Jay Cutler

Raiders favored on road against Dolphins on Sunday Night Football

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When neither team instills confidence it’s probably best to go with the more desperate team and the healthier quarterback – and the Oakland Raiders edge the Miami Dolphins on both counts.

The Raiders and QB Derek Carr are listed as three-point road favorites against the Dolphins with a 44-point total for the NFL Week 9 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

It is Oakland’s second consecutive game in the Eastern Time Zone, which should reduce how much sway its 4-20 straight-up record in its last 24 games in the East has over the proceedings. The same might be said of the Dolphins’ 11-0 SU mark in their last 11 home games against West Coast squads.

Oakland does have a 7-2 record against the spread across its last nine road games, but Miami counters that with a 6-1-1 ATS record over its last eight home games in November,

Oakland, 3-5 both SU and ATS, is ranked just 20th offensively in the 32-team NFL even though Carr is complemented by big names in both the passing and rushing phases. But Miami has allowed the second-highest opponents’ passer rating in the league and the trio of WR Michael Crabtree, WR Amari Cooper and TE Jared Cook might be able to exploit CB Xavien Howard and SS Reshad Jones.

There is a troublesome line matchup since Dolphins DE Cameron Wake usually lines up to the right of the quarterback, where Raiders RT Marshall Newhouse has been having a rough time of late.

The Raiders have RB Marshawn Lynch back from suspension, but it will be up their line to open holes against a quietly good Dolphins run defense.

The Dolphins, who are 4-3 SU and 3-3-1 ATS and just jettisoned RB Jay Ajayi in a trade-deadline deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, come into the game with QB Jay Cutler (ribs) banged up and trying to revive the NFL’s worst offense (by more than 27 yards per game than the 31st-ranked offense, no less).

Miami’s pass protection, which has been so-so, will have to shut down Raiders OLB Khalil Mack. And Mack is one of the NFL’s best edge defenders against the run, which could limit Miami’s ability to get new starting RB Kenyan Drake going.

One point in favor of the Dolphins offense – which, of course, scored zero points in a 40-0 loss against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8 when Matt Moore replaced Cutler – is Oakland has been brutal at playing the pass. The Raiders are the lone NFL team with zero interceptions and allow 8.0 yards per throw, and their coverage might be further compromised with cornerbacks David Amerson (foot) and Gareon Conley (shin) out of action.

Whether it becomes a favorable matchup for Cutler and the likes of favorite WR DeVante Parker depends on the pass  protection.

The total has gone under in six of the Raiders’ last eight games on the road, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone under in six of the Dolphins’ last eight games.

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Watch: Bears’ Hail Mary prayers answered

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Talk about a “wow” moment for the Chicago Bears.

On the final play of the first half between the Bears and Buccaneers, Jay Cutler heaved a ball 50 plus yards into the endzone. The ball was tipped up in the air and caught by WR Cameron Meredith.