|4.5 MIA (-110) @ Draftkings|
10* Big Ticket: Take Miami (#471)
Let me start with an excerpt from my pro-Miami write-up from last week’s win over the LA Rams. Numbers have been slightly edited to reflect current realities:
At first glance, I was stunned when Brian Flores announced that he would be making a QB change to Tua Tagovailoa from Ryan Fitzpatrick. After all, the bearded one was in the midst of a solid campaign, and the Miami enters November as a fringe playoff contender in the AFC. Then I started to read some of the quotes coming out of that locker room. Most of them sound like this: Dolphins defensive end Shaq Lawson, talking about the QB change in Miami: “I’ve seen a lot of (Tua) in practice…. It’s going to be incredible. He’s going to lead this team in the right way.”
Miami’s defense has, quite literally, gotten better by the week. In fact, in their last five contests, the Dolphins have allowed 17 or less four times, and the fifth game came against Russell Wilson – no shame there. And let’s not forget that LA has no NFL film on Tua to break down – not even from a preseason game.
Miami is ‘bet-on’ all the way right now, but the betting markets are looking at last week’s box score and coming up with a different conclusion. Yes, Miami was outgained by more than 300 yards last week and out-first downed 31-9. Yes, Tua Tagovailoa was only 12-22 for 93 yards, and he didn’t scramble out of the pocket. But what the markets are missing is that the Dolphins didn’t need to test Tua in that game, comfortably ahead well before halftime thanks to big plays from their defense and special teams. Once they had a 28-7 lead, all the offense was asked to do was burn clock, which they did. Tua didn’t have a coming out party….but he might this week!
Arizona has five wins this season. Three came against bottom feeders – the Jets, Cowboys and Washington. One came against a semi-bottom feeder – the injury riddled 49ers. And one came in bizarro fashion as they rallied from behind to beat the Seahawks by a field goal in overtime after Seattle’ game winning TD was called back on a penalty. It’s not like the Cardinals are routinely taking care of business; winning by big margins against decent foes – they’ve got a grand total of two wins at home by more than a field goal in the Kliff Kingsbury era. And they’ve got multiple defenders dealing with COVID issues; disrupting their bye week preparations. Expect a battle, not a blowout, and be sure to sprinkle at least a little something on the moneyline here. Big Ticket: Take the Dolphins.