Dolphins vs. Chargers Analysis & Free Pick ATS 12/08/22

by | Dec 8, 2022 | nfl

Miami Dolphins (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS)

Week 14 NFL

Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, December 11, 2022, at 8:20 PM EST

Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California

TV: NBC

Point Spread: MIA -3/LAC +3 (Bovada – Deposit $200, get $100 FREE!)

Over/Under Total: 52

The Miami Dolphins take on the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday Night Football in a key AFC battle from Inglewood. It’s good to see these old-school AFC powers in a battle that means something in late season. Both teams losing last week only raises the stakes for this week, as both squads figure to be pushing hard for a win on Sunday. The Dolphins fell to the 49ers on Sunday in a bit of a disconcerting 33-17 loss that followed a five-game winning streak. They look to get back on the winning track against a Chargers team whose margin for error is shrinking at 6-6. On Sunday, they lost to the Raiders, 27-20, and look to restore order this week at home.

Will Bolts Get Over the Hump in 2022?

While still in the mix, this season hasn’t really been what Chargers optimists had in mind. Since getting crushed at home by the Jags a few months back in one of their typical bottoming-out weeks, we’ve seen one tight game after another. They play favored teams closer than you’d suspect, while seldom getting any separation from the teams they’re supposed to beat handily. Justin Herbert has been hampered by a banged-up O-line, along with a receiving unit that has followed suit. It has been hard to get continuity, and as a result, we’re seeing fewer and fewer offensive detonations from this bunch.

The lack of protection for Herbert, not being able to really sustain anything resembling a traditional run game, and the constant missing components aerially are bad enough. On top of that is a defense that is experiencing their own ongoing personnel issues. The absence of Joey Bosa takes a lot of juice away up-front, and opposing teams with a good run game have really been able to pounce on this group. Whether Miami can rekindle their run game with Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert remains to be seen, but it seems like as good a week as any to showcase that aspect of their offense. And while the Chargers’ secondary can be effective and heavy on the big plays with the massive collection of talent they have, it is still a group that better quarterbacks have been able to attack this season. The prospects of a diverse Miami offense taking it to a Chargers’ defense that isn’t really all that rigid should give pause this week to potential backers of the Bolts.

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Nice Spot for the Bolts?

Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks for the Chargers. Miami is dealing with injury concerns of its own, with Tua Tagavailoa dealing with a gimpy ankle, but likely to play. Top receiver Jaylen Waddle is questionable, as the rest of their team is littered with questionable tags on both sides of the ball. Some of those issues on defense could really be coming home to roost, as evidenced by last week’s 33-point allowance to a SF offense that was led by Brock Purdy for most of the game. The Chargers would like to see a full cast to wield against this defense. With Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams (questionable), Joshua Palmer, and others, it’s a cast that could really pounce against a Miami defense that sometimes struggles keeping it together for a whole game.

Advantages for the Dolphins on Sunday

The Dolphins don’t have a delicate offensive formula that needs a specific set of conditions in which to thrive. Against this Chargers’ defense, why would they fall off a map now? If Tua is compromised, which is a dicey proposition, and Waddle is out, then maybe the story will start to paint itself more in the Chargers’ favor. Still, they have some fresh legs with Wilson and Mostert to wield on a Bolts’ run defense that is really looking rough lately. And with Hill still running loose, along with a nice cast of secondary pieces who can step up week to week, this seems to be a spot where the Chargers will be relying on an offense that hasn’t been nearly as reliable as what Miami has brought to the table most weeks.

Granted, Miami has been exploited aerially on occasion this season. They still step up some weeks, as they’ve played with a wide range of form this year. When their offense is eating up the clock and making opponents have to adjust on offense, the defense can be enough in most cases. The Chargers might not be easy pickings at home, but we’ve seen the Dolphins make this work against better units this season. And after hitting some flat notes against a better San Fran defense on Sunday, it only heightens the urgency to reclaim some momentum on this side of the ball, something that might not be that difficult this week.

Lay the Points on the Road Favorite

This is a big spotlight game for both teams on Sunday Night Football. It might have been better for the Bolts if the ‘Fins won last week, and they could maybe catch them a bit off-guard on Sunday night. I’d be looking for Miami to be gunning hard to reclaim positive energy this week. While a scenario where the Chargers and Herbert open it up offensively could bode well against an exploitable Miami “D,” I see the Dolphins as being more suited to a footrace. I’ll take the Dolphins this week.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Miami Dolphins minus 3 points. This is a GREAT game to throw into a big teaser. Did you know that you can move the line up to 20 points by using one of the massive NFL teasers at Wagerweb Sportsbook? Check it out!