at Miami Dolphins
The stumbling Oakland Raiders travel to the east coast for the third
time this season to take on the Miami Dolphins in this AFC,
The Raiders have already played at Buffalo in a 24-23 game they
probably should have won, and more recently, at Baltimore, where
they didn’t fare as well in a 29-10 blowout. The Raiders are at 2-7
overall, but are 2-4 within the conference, with wins at Kansas City
and at home vs the Jets. They will follow this game with 3 straight
divisional match-ups, but I don’t think we have to worry about any
look-aheads considering their current status.
Oakland is coming off of a pretty ugly game that resulted in a 16-7
loss to the visiting Carolina Panthers. They held Carolina to just
219 total net yards of offense, rushed for 147 yds themselves,
forced 4 turnovers, ran 18 more plays, resulting in 7 more FD’s,
held a 14 minute advantage in time-of-possession, and still lost by
11. Carolina’s stat line for the game showed an impressive 162 yds
rushing, but about half of that came on a 69 yd scamper by RB
DeAngelo Williams, who finished with 140 yds on 19 carries and a TD.
Overall, the Panthers offense managed to get just 10 FD’s on the
day. QB Jake Delhomme had possibly the worst performance of his
career, completing just 7 of 27 passes for 72 yds, and he was picked
off 4 times. Oakland put themselves in a hole by fumbling the
opening kick-off, which set up a quick score for Carolina from just
16 yds out. The Panthers got another quick TD on a 2nd Q possession,
when Williams’ took off on his 69 yd run on the first play of that
drive. And the only other scoring for them came on a last minute FG
by K John Kasay, which gave Carolina the improbable cover.
Oakland got good field position on a couple of their INT’s, but
twice managed just 5 yds in 4 plays to settle for Janikowski FG’s.
QB Andrew Walter got the start over injured JaMarcus Russell and
went just 14 of 32 for 147 yds, 2 INT’s and 0 TD’s. The Raiders also
had trouble hanging onto the ball, fumbling 5 times but losing just
one of them. Walter suffered an ankle sprain in the game, but it
looks like Russell will be back for this game anyway, as he has been
taking most of the snaps in practices the past couple days. Oakland
will also likely get RB Darren McFadden back for this game, although
he will probably be sharing the workload with Justin Fargas who
finished with 89 yds on 22 carries in the Carolina game.
The 5-4 Miami Dolphins have now won their last 3 games in a row, and
actually find themselves as large home favorites for the second
straight week. They were 9.5 pt favorites last week against the
Seahawks, but failed to cover the large line in a 21-19 win.
EVERYONE BETS AT SPORTSBOOK.COM
It looked good for a while as the Dolphins jumped out to a quick
14-0 lead, but Seattle returned a 2nd Q INT for a TD to go into
half-time down by just 7. The Seahawks cut the lead to 14-13 on two
3rd Q FG’s, and then had a chance to tie the game at 21 all when
they scored a TD with under 3 minutes to play in the 4th Q. But they
missed the 2 pt conversion and Miami was able to run out the clock.
The Dolphins have been getting good production out of QB Chad
Pennington, who has completed a little over 66% of his passes for
2200 yds, 8 TD’s and just 5 INT’s on the year. WR Greg Camarillo has
been the go-to guy for the most part, but lately Ted Ginn has
stepped it up also. But their main success on offense this year has
revolved around RB Ronnie Brown who has rushed for over 500 yds and
9 TD’s already. The so-called ‘Wildcat Offense’ they’ve been using,
with direct snaps to the RB’s, has been very successful in
disrupting opposing defenses. Ricky Williams has also been quite a
surprise this year with 89 carries for 388 yds and 3 TD’s. The Miami
RB’s have also been instrumental in the passing game, with a
combined 47 receptions for 538 yds and 2 scores between Brown,
Williams and 2nd year RB Patrick Cobbs out of North Texas.
Miami surprised the Patriots earlier this year when they pulled out
the wildcat formation, but opposing defenses have now been able to
plan for it at least. The Dolphins won that game at New England by 3
and a half TD’s, but since then their largest margin of victory has
been 9 points. This current line of 10.5 is huge when you consider
this is the Miami Dolphins we are talking about here. Even with the
38 pts they scored against the Pats, this is a team that is
averaging just 21.3 pts per game and giving up an average of 20.2.
Since Oakland’s opening game fiasco against the Broncos, where they
gave up 41 pts, the Raiders have been giving up an average of just
22 pts per game. Of course they have only been averaging 12.5 pts
per game themselves, hence the 2-7 record, but Miami doesn’t exactly
have a shut-down defense. They are currently ranked 10th vs the run,
just 25th vs the pass and 18th overall. And Oakland’s defense does
have a shut-down CB in Nnamdi Asomugha. They’ve also got 21 sacks
and 11 INT’s. There’s liable to be a lot of running plays called in
this game. Oakland doesn’t have much of a passing game anyway, plus
they get McFadden back. PK Janikowski’s got a big leg, so they can
score from long distance. Oakland gives up lots of yards on the
ground so Miami is liable to pound it. The Dolphins didn’t come
close to covering the big spread against Seattle last week, and they
may have trouble here too.
Since the start of the 2003 season, Miami is just 4-20-1 ATS and
13-12 SU as a home favorite. During that same period, they are 0-6-1
ATS as a home favorite of a TD or more. This is only about the 7th
time in the last 15 years that they’ve ever been a double-digit home
Since the start of the 2005 season, the Raiders are 9-13 ATS as a
road dog, but they are just 2-8 ATS their last 10 games as
double-digit road dogs, so keep that in mind. Oakland is 7-7-3 ATS
and 8-9 SU their last 15 games vs the AFC East, including 2-0 ATS
and 1-1 SU this year.
Miami does have a big divisional game coming up next week with New
England, so there is the possibility of a slight little peek ahead.
All things considered, I think it will be hard for Miami to cover
the double-digit spread again this week.. I’ll take the