Miami Dolphins (8-5 SU, 6-5-2 ATS) vs. New York Jets (4-9 SU, 5-6-2 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time: Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 8:25 PM EST
Where: Metlife Stadium
TV: NFL, DTV: 212
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:MIA -2/NYJ +2
Over/Under Total: 38
Last Sunday, the Miami Dolphins experienced both a big win and loss. Their win came in the form of a 26-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, but their loss came when quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was having one of the best games of his career, went down with a knee injury. At first it looked like he tore his ACL, but after a MRI it was revealed to be a sprained ACL/MCL. Still, it will require him to miss at least the next couple weeks, which is tough considering they’re in AFC Wildcard hunt.
If the Dolphins are to make the Playoffs, it’ll be on the arm of veteran backup Matt Moore, who needs to kick the dust after sitting on the sideline as Tannehill started 77 consecutive games. That said, in 2011 when Moore was last called to action – it happened when Chad Henne went down with a dislocated shoulder in Week 4 – he led the Dolphins to a 6-6 record and was named team MVP. Moore, now 32, is 13-12 as a career starter.
Moore will have had five days of prep by the time the Fins head to New York on Saturday to take on the Jets. Coincidentally, that’s the team Moore faced during his last start, which came on January 1, 2012. In that game, Moore completed 22 of 32 passes for 135 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions in a 19-17 win.
Last week, the Jets gave up a NFL-high 248 yards rushing to the San Francisco 49ers, though they still managed to win 23-17. What that means is Dolphins running backs Jay Ajayi and Damien Williams may be able to take some of the pressure off Moore by moving the ball on the ground.
The Dolphins will enter Week 15 with the 26th-ranked offense averaging 326.7 total yards per game (YPG) and 21.6 points per game (PPG). Their passing game averages 217.4 YPG, which puts them 27th in the NFL, while their rushing game is 13th averaging 109.3 YPG. Defensively, the Dolphins are ranked 25th holding opponents to an average of 367.5 total YPG (233.7 passing YPG and 133.8 rushing YPG) and 23.2 PPG.
As for the Jets, their offense comes in 22nd averaging 333.8 YPG and 17.6 PPG. Their passing game is 26th averaging 222.5 YPG, while their rushing game is 10th averaging 111.4. Speaking of the run game, the Jets lost Matt Forte last week to a knee injury. He’s now day-to-day and unlikely to go on Saturday. The good news is Bilal Powell will fill in, and he’s coming off a career game where he carried 29 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns as well as five catches for 34 yards.
Defensively, the Jets are 19th in the league holding opponents to an average of 355.5 total YPG (253 passing YPG and 102.5 rushing YPG) and 24.9 PPG.
Chad Holloway's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Jets aren’t playing for a Playoff spot, but you best believe they’d love to ruin the Dolphins’ chances. Expect a sloppy game as the weather forecast calls for it to be just above 40 degrees with rain/sleet. It’s going to be a ground-and-pound affair. While Powell is a capable back, he’s got to do it on his own whereas the Dolphins can utilize both Ajayi and Williams. If last week is any indication, the Jets will give up some yards. Toss in the fact that I believe Moore is going to remind both critics and his oppositions that he’s a capable QB. I like the Dolphins to win by covering the spread. Despite the weather, I think the two teams will combine to cover the over.
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