Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins
Date and Time: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium
Opening NFL Odds: Raiders -2.5, O/U 43.5
Raiders vs. Dolphins TV Coverage: NBC
The Raiders have simply been unable to build upon last season’s breakout campaign. While injuries have played a role, the mojo has been missing ever since Week 3. Oakland was playing even with the Bills up until the closing moments of the first half last week when a fumble was scooped and returned the other way for a 40 yard touchdown. It was all downhill from there.
Buffalo went on to outscore the Raiders 20-7 the rest of the way with the offense failing miserably to get much of anything done. After going HAM on the Chiefs defense the previous week, Amari Cooper was nearly invisible reeling in just five of 10 targets for 48 yards. The ground game was also missing in action with Marshawn Lynch suspended. Miami’s played some stiff defense to date, so this week won’t be a walk in the park either.
The second year of the Adam Gase regime has failed miserably in building upon the effort put forth a year ago that saw Miami win 10 games and head to the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. In falling to the Ravens by 40 points and failing to tally a single point, it marked the second time to date that Miami had been shutout. To make a point, upper management shipped struggling running back Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia for draft picks.
Matt Moore did absolutely nothing in his time under center the last two weeks. Jay Cutler’s ribs are said to be healed, so he will return to his post calling the shots for the offense this week. It’s debatable as to whether that’s a good thing or not. Miami ranks last in the league in scoring and total offense, and hasn’t been able to get anything done on the ground or via the pass. A matchup against a leaky Raiders defense could be the answer.
Matchup to Watch
A passing attack led by Derek Carr should rank amongst the best in the league. That simply hasn’t been the case in 2017 with the unit averaging just 229.8 yards per game ( No. 15 ) while averaging just 6.5 yards per pass attempt ( No. 19 ). As bad as Oakland has been on the ground to date, it’s going to have to find a way to solve a Miami defense that ranks just outside the top 10 in pass defense but has only picked off two passes. Carr must force the issue here and force feed his pass catchers the ball if Oakland is to live up to being favored in the Sunday night spot.
Raiders vs. Dolphins Picks
Your guess is as good as mine as to how this game plays out from a pointspread perspective. Both the Raiders and Dolphins have their warts, and each enters this Week 9 tilt badly in need of tallying a win. The betting public has no faith in the Dolphins whatsoever with better than 77 percent of the handle riding the visitors. Not exactly sure what they’re seeing. But with both clubs struggling to put points on the board, I see some value in betting the total for this one at the best NFL sportsbooks. Save for the 31 point outburst against Kansas City, Oakland had failed to top 17 points in five of its last six games. Miami has scored 20 or less points in all but one of its games played to date. How this total has been bet up a half point is beyond me. I’ll take the extra cushion and bet against both of these clubs hitting the 20-point plateau.
NFL ATS Pick: Under 44 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Raiders 21 – Dolphins 17