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Dolphins vs Panthers

Thursday Night Football

11/19/09

Not the best of matchups for this Thursday Night affair, but nothing could be worse than watching the Cleveland Browns this past Monday, right? This matchup features two teams that are at least still alive in the playoff hunt, with both teams weight in at 4-5 with both the Dolphins and the Panthers having won 2 of their last 3 games. Both Sportsbook.com and BetEd have the Panthers favored by 3 with heavy juice and a total of 43.5.

This is the time of year where you can really start breaking games down in sections. By this we mean you can dig a little deeper into a teams season and break it down statistically based on the entire season to date as well as subsets of games such as the lat 4 games, home and away, and so on. It's always important to keep in mind that a teams season to date stats may not necessarily reflect what that team is right now. Teams improve. Teams get worse. Teams suffer injuries, and so on.

When we look at these two teams, we see two teams that are playing better over the last 4 games than their season as a whole, but nothing that jumps out about either team as a got to team. The entire wagering world was on the Panthers on Sunday when they played the Falcons, and as it turns out, they were right. Not so sure that will be the case here on Thursday.

When we take a look at each teams yards per points numbers over the last 4 games we still see the Panthers with a 17 offensively and a 14 defensively. The Dolphins weigh in at 10.8 offensively and 12.6 on the defensive side of the ball. Subtracting the offensive numbers from the defensive numbers we have the Dolphins as a +2, roughly, and the Panthers as a -2. Using this number to make a line, on a neutral field, the Dolphins would be 4 points better. Give the Panthers 2 or 2 points for home field and the Dolphins would still be a 1 point favorite.

If we take season to date numbers, or if we break it down even further and take season to date home numbers for the Panthers and away numbers for the Dolphins, the case gets even worse for the Panthers. Taking into account only the last 4 games shows us the Panthers are playing better ball, but still nothing to write home about.

Now, we don't make plays based strictly on these numbers. There are many other factors to consider. For us, this is a no play. Good opportunities in the NFL are few and far in between. This isn't one of them. You have to have the discipline to sit on the sidelines when that's the case. However, if we were to make a selection on the game, based on the numbers we have presented, it would be the Dolphins. The numbers suggest this game goes either way, and when that's the case, you have to take the points.

Just a lean. But..........Dolphins +3 with an opinion on the Over 43 as well.

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