New York Giants (5-7 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (5-7 SU, 4-8 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Monday, December 14, 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYG -1.5/MIA +1.5
Over/Under Total: 47
Two teams with identical 5-7 records, but seemingly heading in opposite directions on the season will tussle in week 14 NFL action inside Sun Life Stadium, when the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins get together on this weeks installment of Monday Night Football on ESPN.
The Giants certainly are not playing like a potential division winner and playoff team, losing three in a row and four out of the last five games including the showdown with their cross-town rival New York Jets last Sunday, 23-20. The G-men and coach Tom Coughlin have been taken to task for going for it on fourth-and-goal early in the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead. Eli Manning threw an interception on the fourth down play and it turned the momentum of the game in favor of the Jets, who rallied to tie the game and force overtime with a Brandon Marshall touchdown catch with 27 seconds left in regulation.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins continue to take one step forward and two steps back on their tumultuous 2015 season. This week its a step forward, following their narrow, 15-13, victory over Baltimore last Sunday. But dont be deceived by the win, the Dolphins scored all 15 points in a span of 20 seconds in the second quarter and only had 82 total yards of passing in the ugly win.
Surprisingly, the point spread for the Monday Night Football contest has had a lot of action and a lot of early-week line movement too. After setting the opening number with the Dolphins as 2-point favorites at home, the public hammered the underdog Giants so much that it moved the game down to a pick em by mid-day on Monday. The money has continued to flow in on the Giants, so much that the point spread at many sportsbooks now shows the Giants as 1.5-point favorites for MNF.
The over/under total opened at 46.5 and has held firm at most sportsbooks, with just a scant few moving up the hook to 47 currently.
The total continues to rise because as bettors look at this game, all they see is two of the NFLs weakest defenses. The Giants are 31st in yards allowed (423 ypg) and dead-last 32nd in passing yards allowed per game (315 ypg). The Dolphins, who broke the bank signing Ndamukong Suh in the offseason to shore up the run defense, have to be totally pissed that Suh hasnt brought any results since the Fins are 30th versus the run allowing 135 yards a game. The only good news for both teams is that both offenses are weak in those respective areas and could be unable to capitalize. The Giants running back by committee only rush for 88 yards a game (29th), whereas the Dolphins are 22nd in passing averaging just 231 yards per game in the air.
Since this is a true AFC-NFC matchup, the history between these two franchises on the gridiron is limited. The Giants won, 20-17, back in 2011 in their last meeting, and are 5-1 SU in the six head-to-head meetings with the Fins dating back to 1990. However, the Dolphins are a perfect 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings including the one game they actually won straight up in 2003 (ironically as 1-point underdogs). Historically, the under (4-0) and the underdog (4-0 ATS) have been the plays in this AFC-NFC series.
Its been awhile since the Dolphins have played in the NFLs primetime featured game on Monday, and when you see that they are 0-6 ATS in their last six games on MNF it explains a lot. However, the Giants havent enjoyed the Monday Night spotlight either, going 1-5 ATS in their last six games in primetime.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I have to say that I was surprised at the start of the week to see the Dolphins favored in this game. Now, thanks to all of the Giants fans pounding this game for the G-men, the line has flipped in the span of 24 hours. With all of the value on the Giants gone, Im betting against the steam. Im taking the Dolphins as a home barking dog. Im taking Miami plus the 1.5-points.
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