Miami Dolphins (0-7 SU, 1-5-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS), 1:00 p.m. EST, Week 9 NFL, Sunday, November 6, 2011, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo., TV: CBS
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mia +5/KC -5
Over/Under Total: 39.5
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Two of the most storied franchises in the AFC that have fallen on hard times of late will clash this weekend when the winless Miami Dolphins make the trip Northwest to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in week nine NFL action Sunday on CBS.
The Dolphins are still searching for answers ever since the day Dan Marino retired, and this year it appears to be more of the same as they just cant seem to get over the hump and notch their first victory of the season. They came really close again last Sunday, outplaying the New York Giants for three and a half quarters, but a late touchdown by the G-men gave them their seventh loss of the season in seven tries by a 20-17 score.
But you really have to commend the Dolphins for continuing to fight each week. They could easily throw in the towel this season and set themselves up in prime position to draft Stanfords Andrew Luck, which could very well be the answer to their long-term issues since Marino, but they have maintained their professionalism and have yet to lay down to anyone. That may become an issue in the coming weeks though.
A month ago it looked as if the Chiefs were going to join the Dolphins in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, but since then the Chiefs have done a 180-degree turn around and won four straight games to pull into a three-way tie atop the AFC West standings.
On Monday the Chiefs were handed a gift-wrapped, 23-20, overtime victory over the rival San Diego Chargers when Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers unexpectedly dropped a snap from center in the closing seconds costing his team a chance at a chip shot field goal to win the game in regulation. KC isnt winning pretty, but theyre winning, which is all that matters in the NFL these days.
MAKE KC A +15 UNDERDOG BY PLACING THEM
INTO A 20 POINT FOOTBALL TEASER AT 5DIMES (THEY ALSO OFFER -105 SIDES/TOTALS!)
What is telling about this game is the fact that the oddsmakers in Las Vegas set the opening point spread with the Chiefs as 5-point favorites at home in Arrowhead.
With a four game winning streak and homefield advantage, against a winless team struggling to score points playing a second-string quarterback, youd almost expect the Chiefs to open as a touchdown favorite or more in this game. But the fact of the matter is that the Chiefs just arent playing good football, despite their climb back into first place in the AFC West, so the number opened at minus -5 and is still sitting there after 24 hours of open wagering on it at the window.
The over/under total opened at a low 39.5 when it went up on the board at most sportsbooks, and since both of these teams are struggling to score points it has yet to show any signs of line movement in either direction.
Just how hard has it been for these two offenses to score you ask?
Both of them are in the bottom third of the league in scoring, with Kansas City sporting an 18.3 average (25th) and the Dolphins sitting at 15.3 points per game (29th). The highest output either team has put on the board was two weeks ago when the Chiefs scored 28 against the Raiders, but that shouldnt officially count since it was actually the defense that ran two interceptions back for touchdowns in that game to equal the output of the offense.
Miami has a little bit of an excuse, since they have been forced to play Matt Moore at quarterback since starter Chad Henne went down with a season-ending shoulder injury back in week four. Moore is limited in the passing game (202 ypg 25th), and with Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas taking turns being injured the Fins have no real running game to speak of either to take the pressure off of Moore.
Kansas City also has an excuse if you will, since quarterback Matt Cassel is now on his fourth offensive coordinator in his four years as a Chief. The Chiefs are also without their top playmaker, running back Jamaal Charles, but his absence isnt as bad as it may seem since the Chiefs are still one of the better running teams in the league with a 124.3 yards per game average (9th).
With minimal offense on either sideline these two defenses should have strong games on Sunday, but neither team is loaded with talent on defense either.
Kansas City is statistically better overall (373.6 ypg 22nd) than Miami (380.6 ypg- 24th), but the difference is only slight. The Chiefs main issue has been a lack of a pass rush, with only 9 sacks total on the season. The Dolphins give up big yardage and big plays in the passing game (allowing 270.7 ypg 27th), which has crushed them in all seven losses this season.
These two havent played each other since the 2008 season, in what turned into a, 38-31, shootout win for the Dolphins on the road at Arrowhead. But that was the Tyler Thigpen-Chad Pennington days at QB for the Chiefs and Dolphins, so looking too deep into that game for insights would be a huge waste of time.
Historically Miami has dominated the Chiefs, winning seven of the last 10 games they played head-to-head since the 1991 season. The numbers are similar when you look at the series from a bettors perspective, since the Dolphins are 6-3-1 ATS in those same 10 games including a 2-0 ATS mark in the last two in 08 and 2006.
If youre a betting trend follower, youll probably want to wager on the under in this game. The under is 6-0 in the Dolphins last six overall, 5-0 in their last five versus an AFC opponent and 16-5 in their last 21 games as a road underdog. The under is also 6-0 in the Chiefs last six games against a team with a losing record and 5-2 in their last seven games versus the AFC.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With so many other games worthy of betting on this weekend, this game may be a good one to pass on. If you have to bet it, the Chiefs are the play. Miami’s offense is absolutely horrible.
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