Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers
Date and Time: Friday, August 17, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Opening NFL Odds: Panthers -4, 43
Dolphins vs. Panthers TV Coverage: Local TV
Last season was lost for the Dolphins from the get go after Ryan Tannehill was lost for the year in the preseason. Their QB1 returned to live game action for the first time last week and completed 4 of 6 passes for 32 yards. Most importantly, he wasn’t sacked and looked to be in command of the offense. In all, Miami’s offense looked to be in much better shape than it was a year ago with Jay Cutler at the helm.
When it was said and done, the Fins racked up 393 yards of total offense with 277 of those yards coming through the air. Third stringer David Fales led the way with 115 yards on 8 of 11 passes. Brock Osweiler completed 10 of 21 for 83 yards and Bryce Petty added another 53. The unit completed nearly 58 percent of its 45 overall passes. Rookie Kalen Ballage led the way on the ground with 37 yards on 10 carries.
Carolina showed some major resolve with its second, third and fourth units against the Bills last week. Up 17-7 at the break, Buffalo looked like a shoe-in to score its first win of the exhibition season. That however didn’t turn out to be the case after the Panthers went on to outscore the Bills 21-6 in the second half to pull out the dramatic 28-23 come-from-behind victory.
The triumph moved Riverboat Ron to 16-13 SU and 14-12-3 ATS lifetime in the preseason. Backups Garrett Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke led the comeback charge with the former tossing a touchdown strike minutes into the third quarter and the latter more or less sealing the deal with five-plus minutes remaining in the fourth. The defense still gave a whopping 443 total yards, so that’s something to consider of you plan on laying the points in this tilt on the Week 2 NFL betting odds.
Player to Watch
Christian McCaffery – The second year running back is a highly touted player in fantasy football circles this season, and for good reason. After combining for over 1,000 yards and 7 TDs last season, he got out to a quick start last week rushing for 11 yards and a touchdown on four carries and adding another 29 yards on a pair of receptions. This dual threat is in line for a big campaign, and he’s likely going to get some burn in this spot against a Miami defense whose strength likely lies in the secondary. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him hit pay dirt a second straight week after the Dolphins surrendered a pair of touchdowns to running backs last week.
Dolphins vs. Panthers Free Picks
After the Panthers allowed what’s expected to be a bad Buffalo offense light it up for 23 points and nearly 450 yards of total offense, I can’t help but think defensive coordinator Eric Washington will tidy things up in Week 2. Remember, he’s taking over for Steve Wilks who ran a tight ship in Carolina before taking over the head coaching gig in the desert. Miami’s QB rotation isn’t nearly as good as a bad Buccaneers defense made it look last week.
On top of that, I’m also expecting offensive coordinator Norv Turner to add a few more wrinkles to the Panthers attack. I was pretty surprised to see Cam Newton and a number of other starters log as much playing time as they did last week. That should only help aid in their first half production this time around. So long as a few more of Carolina’s defensive regulars get some more reps, they shouldn’t have much of a problem disposing of a bad Miami team.
NFL ATS Pick: Panthers - at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Panthers 30 – Dolphins 16