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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.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Seahawks, Packers headline betting favorites for Wild Card Weekend

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Neither Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks nor Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are on a hot streak, but home field and primetime could factor heavily into their matchup.

The Seahawks are listed as eight-point favorites against the Lions with a 42.5-point total in their NFC wild card game matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Seattle is 7-0 straight-up in their last seven home games against teams who hail from the Eastern time zone, and are also 20-4-2 against the spread in their last 26 primetime games.

The other similarity between Wilson and Stafford is the lack of a supportive rushing attack. The Lions’ pass-rush woes, apart from DE Ziggy Ansah and Kerry Hyder, might allow Wilson to get in a groove. The Seahawks’ pass defense has lost some of its identity since the season-ending injury to FS Earl Thomas, but Stafford will have to be pinpoint if he is to bring Detroit their first road playoff victory in 59 seasons.

The Green Bay Packers are 4.5-point favorites against the New York Giants with a 44.5-point total. The Giants, held together by FS Landon Collins, have perhaps the toughest pass defense of any team in the playoffs and could pose a riddle to red-hot Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s injuries at cornerback might hamper their ability to slow down Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr., whose team is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games against Green Bay.

In the AFC, the Houston Texans are favored by 3.5 points against the Oakland Raiders, who are down to a 0.4 % chance to win the Super Bowl at PredictionMachine.com, with a 36.5-point total on Saturday. The Texans contain short passes well and it might be too much to expect Raiders rookie QB Connor Cook to furnish a downfield threat.

While the Raiders’ defense is generous yardage-wise, they have an impressive 16 interceptions, which is coincidentally the same number that Texans QB Brock Osweiler has thrown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 10-point betting favorites against the Miami Dolphins with a 47-point total in the AFC betting matchup on Sunday. Traveling north with backup QB Matt Moore seems daunting for Miami, although Pittsburgh still has the the run-defense issues that led to Jay Ajayi scooting for 202 yards during a Dolphins win in October.

Miami is also 13-4 ATS in its last 17 games as a double-digit underdog. However, Miami can also be soft against the run and Pittsburgh, 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite, has RB Le’Veon Bell.

The favored team is 3-7-2 ATS in the last three years in wild card games. Twelve of the 16 wild card games over the last four seasons have gone under the posted total, with one push.

The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs (the top two seeds in the AFC), as well as the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons (the top two seeds in the NFC) have a bye week before hosting divisional-round games on January 14 and 15. The lowest surviving seeds head to New England and Dallas next week.

NFL Week 13: Cowboys, Seahawks, Falcons seek wins as favorites

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Dak Prescott and the streaking Dallas Cowboys will face a top pass rush against the Minnesota Vikings, who are tough to defeat twice in a row.

The Cowboys are listed as the 3.5-point favorite against the Vikings in the Thursday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys come in red-hot, going 6-0 straight-up and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games as a favorite.

Prescott has proven unflappable and his strong offensive line will have the challenge of nullifying the Vikings defense, which has an impressive 28 sacks. The Vikings are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games after losing the previous game in a matchup, but based on what they have shown, it’s doubtful whether QB Sam Bradford and their mediocre offense can keep pace with Dallas.

The Atlanta Falcons are four-point betting favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs. While Chiefs CB Marcus Peters might negate WR Julio Jones, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has many more weapons including WR Taylor Gabriel and RB Devonta Freeman. The Chiefs had a thrilling overtime win last week in Denver, but are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games after an ATS win.

The Arizona Cardinals are 2.5-point favorites against the Washington Redskins. Arizona’s No. 1 defense could cancel out Washington’s No. 2 offense. On the other side of the ball, Washington is susceptible to the run and Cardinals RB David Johnson is capable of taking over a game. The Cardinals, who were blown out by Atlanta in Week 12, are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games after a loss.

The New Orleans Saints are five-point favorites against the Detroit Lions. Chances are, quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford might trade touchdowns all afternoon. New Orleans, which is 2-8 ATS over its last 10 games as a favorite of at least 4.5 points, is giving up more yards per game on defense than Detroit but has faced a higher caliber of opposing offenses.

The Baltimore Ravens are favored by 3.5 points against the Miami Dolphins in a matchup of two teams that have crept into the AFC playoff picture. The Ravens’ No. 2-ranked defense, led by ILB Zachary Orr and SS Eric Weddle, should be able to slow down the Dolphins’ balanced offense that is built around QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Jay Ajayi.

The Indianapolis Colts are the one-point road favorite against the New York Jets in the Monday Night Football matchup. Colts QB Andrew Luck is practicing again, and he tends to make his teammates better while struggling Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick does the opposite. The Colts, who are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Monday games, will have to keep Jets RB Matt Forte and WR Brandon Marshall from taking over the game.

And the Seattle Seahawks are favored by seven against the Carolina Panthers in the Sunday Night Football matchup. The Seahawks, sitting third on the odds to win Super Bowl 51, are 11-1 SU in their last 12 home games against teams with losing records. The Panthers, though, are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven matchups as underdogs of at least seven points.