Miami Dolphins (5-4 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-5 SU, 4-3-2 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 4:05 PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
TV: FOX, DTV: 713
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:MIA -1.5/LA +1.5
Over/Under Total: 40
Theres a changing of the guard in LA. Case Keenum is out at quarterback and rookie Jared Goff will make his first career start on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. It was a decision that came after the Rams won on the road against the New York Jets, though without scoring a touchdown (it was a 9-6 win).
“I don’t want to say it’s a new era, it’s a new start, but in a lot of ways it is,” head coach Jeff Fisher said on Tuesday. “Jared Goff’s going to be under center this week at home against a really good defensive team in the Miami Dolphins, so big challenge ahead.
Goff will lead an offense that is currently ranked second-to-last in the NFL (the Minnesota Vikings are the only team ranked worse) averaging 308 total yards per game (YPG) and 15.4 points per game (PPG). Their passing game is 25th averaging 225.4 YPG, while their rushing game is 29th averaging just 82.6 YPG.
The Rams have been struggling on the ground due to a lackluster year by Todd Gurley, who has carried 167 times for 515 yards (3.1 average per carry) and has scored just three times. If Goff is to be successful, Gurley needs to return to his 2015 form.
Defensively the Rams are much better at seventh in the league holding opponents to an average of 327 total YPG (223.9 passing YPG & 103.1 rushing YPG) and 19.2 PPG.
As for the Dolphins, their defense is 29th in the NFL holding opponents to an average of 364.3 total YPG (235.6 passing YPG & 128.8 rushing YPG) and 22.9 PPG. That defense looked much better than their rankings would suggest in their 31-24 win over the San Diego Chargers. In that game, the secondary intercepted Philip Rivers four times in the 4th quarter, which included a pick-six by Kiko Alonso, who notched his first career touchdown.
Offensively the Dolphins are ranked 22nd averaging 339.8 total YPG and 22.7 PPG. Their passing game is a lowly 28th averaging 219.4 YPG, while their rushing game is much better averaging 120.3 YPG.
The Dolphins didnt have much of a running game earlier in the season, which is probably why they started 1-4. Since then, they have won four straight thanks to the emergence of running back Jay Ajayi, who has now carried 127 times for 725 yards (5.7 average per carry) and six touchdowns.
Chad Holloway’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Gurley will have an opportunity to get back on track as the Dolphins have struggled against the run, and hell need to do it if Goff is going to be successful. Otherwise, the Dolphins will apply pressure and the secondary will wreak havoc. Just look at what they did to a future Hall of Famer last week.
The Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the league, and this week they get to go up against a rookie quarterback making his first start mid-season. All signs point to Dolphins winning their fifth in a row, and I wouldnt bet against it. I think theyll do it by covering the spread. As for the over/under, I think the two teams will combine for enough to bet the over.
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