Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

Miami Dolphins (4-3 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 4, 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
TV: CBS/DirecTV 711
by Vesper Abadon, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: Mia -2.5/Ind +2.5
Over/Under Total: 43

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If you’d have said, prior to the start of the season, that both the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts would be above .500 and in playoff contention through Week 8, people would have called you crazy; however, as it is, you would have been right. Both teams are a surprising 4-3 and performing well above expectations.

There was little doubt that Andrew Luck, the first overall pick in the year’s draft, would be a successful quarterback, but his rise has come quicker than anyone expected. The Colts were supposed to be rebuilding, but Luck has stepped up and has done a decent job filling the big shoes left by Peyton Manning. Thus far Luck has completed 160 of 288 passes for 1,971 yards, eight touchdowns, and a QB rating of 74.6, and while those numbers aren’t mind blowing, they’re not too shabby for someone who’s only played seven games in the NFL.

The Colts currently rank ninth in the league in passing with 265.9 yards per game (YPG), and that’s in large part to a rejuvenated Reggie Wayne, who has 54 catches for 757 yards and two touchdowns. That gives him an average of 14 yards per reception; with his longest being 30 yards. Toss in solid performances by Donnie Avery (29 catches for 346 yards and a touchdown) and Coby Fleener (21 catches for 222 yards), and Luck has plenty of weapons at his disposal.

Unfortunately for the Colts, they’ve had trouble establishing an effective run game and they’re ranked a mediocre 17th in the league with 107.1 YPG. That’s not horrendous, but they need more from Donald Brown, who has rushed 74 times for 319 yards (4.3 Yds/Att), and Vick Ballard, who has carried 61 times for 206 yards (3.4 Yds/Att).

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Surprisingly, the Colts are ranked higher than the Dolphins in every category except for rushing. The Dolphins boast the 11th-best rush attack with 115.9 YPG. That’s not too much better than the Colts, but Reggie Bush seems to have his team more motivated after rushing for 493 yards on 112 carries (4.4 Yds/Att) and three touchdowns. Bush’s health is always a concern, but he seems to be in good shape and is overdue for a big game. The Colts allow 137.4 YPG on the ground, so look for Bush to step up and deliver.

What’s more, the Dolphins are also likely to lean on their feature back due to an injured Ryan Tannehill, who was hurt in the first quarter in their win against the New York Jets in Week 8. Matt Moore, who is one of the premiere backups in the league, stepped in and did a good job filling in, going 11 of 19 for 131 yards and a touchdown, but the Dolphins are Tannehill’s team to lead. They need to continue to grow together if they hope to keep momentum moving forward. Tannehill’s confident he’ll be ready to go on Sunday, but as of now his status is unknown.

Vesper Abadon’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Colts are a hit-or-miss team. They’ve beaten some stiff competition like the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, but they’ve lost to the likes of the Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. On the other hand, Miami could easily be 6-1 if not for two field-goal losses in overtime. For me, these two teams are similar and well balanced. I’m really looking forward to this matchup as I think it’ll be a quality game, but Tannehill’s status has me worried. Even if he plays, it’s his first time dealing with injury in the NFL. The Dolphins could easily come out on top, but because they’re banged up and on the road, I think the Colts, who are 3-1 at home, will come away with a win.

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