New York Jets (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS),
Week 3 NFL, 8:20 p.m. EST, Sunday Night Football, September 26, 2010, Sun Life
Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla., TV: NBC
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: NYJ +1.5/MIA -1.5
Over/Under Total: 35
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After disposing of one of their main AFC East rivals last weekend now
the New York Jets will turn their attention to the team directly
ahead of them in the divisional standings, the Miami Dolphins, when
the Jets and Dolphins tangle at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Sunday
Night Football on NBC.
The Jets took care of the rival New England Patriots last weekend
with a strong second half, scoring 15 unanswered points to score an
impressive 28-14 victory at home. Quarterback Mark Sanchez played a
solid game throwing for 220 yards and three touchdowns, while the
defense pressured Patriots QB Tom Brady into three turnovers to help
the Jets rebound from a disappointing opener in week one.
Now theyll travel to Florida to take on the undefeated Dolphins, who
have played a little defense of their own through two games this
season. After shutting down the Buffalo Bills in week one (won
15-10), the Dolphins defense held strong and denied the Minnesota
Vikings twice on fourth down (once on fourth-and-goal) in the final
two minutes of the game to hang on and preserve a 14-10 victory on
the road in the Metrodome last Sunday.
With both teams looking to prove themselves and dethrone the Patriots
as the class in the AFC East, Sundays winner will take a huge step
in that direction in front of a primetime viewing audience on NBC.
While most people are in agreement that Sunday Nights contest should
be another classic Jets-Dolphins matchup in primetime, oddsmakers
dont seem to be in agreement as the where to set the point spread
for the game. The betting line opened with Miami as early 2.5-point
favorites, but that number has moved all over the place since it was
first put on the board late Sunday night.
Some offshore sportsbooks have the spread listed as low as Dolphins
minus 1-point, even more are listing the Fins as 1.5-point favorites,
while a few more have held firm at 2.5, so if you want to move the
line you can gain or give up to a point and the hook just by shopping
around on the Internet.
The over/under total opened at 35 and is still listed at that number
at a majority of the sportsbooks on the Web. But there are just about
as many books that have lowered the total to 34.5, so keep looking if
you want the extra hook on your over/under bet.
Offensively this game could be an ugly one.
On one sideline you have the Jets and second-year QB Mark Sanchez, who
played better in week two against the Pats once the Jets decided to
let him open it up a little. But even though they scored 28 points in
the victory their offense is still a run-first unit that has troubles
getting the ball downfield, as their overall offensive numbers would
indicate (256 total ypg 27th; 130 ypg passing 29th).
The one promising aspect of the Jets offense is the spark veteran
running back LaDainian Tomlinson has provided in the first two games,
running for 76 yards and adding 26 receiving in the Jets victory last
week. With LT and Shonn Greene sharing the load the Jets can continue
to pound the ball on the ground and open up the play-action passing
game that worked so well against the Pats in week two.
Miamis offense is almost a carbon copy of the Jets. They also feature a second-year quarterback in Chad Henne, who also struggles
at times to get the ball downfield to his receivers (135 ypg passing
28th). But with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams the Dolphins seem
content to pound away on the ground, milk the clock and play field-
position football for as long as it works.
With the style of offense both teams play, combined by the style of
defense these two play, this game may not have any scoring by the
offense at all. Both defense are more than equipped with the
personnel to stack the box and make one of these quarterbacks win the
game throwing the ball.
The Jets may be without shutdown corner Darrelle Revis due to a
pulled hamstring, but Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson played great
with Revis out of the game last week so Henne might have a hard time
taking advantage of the injury.
The same can be said for Miamis corners Jason Allen and Vontae
Davis, who made future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre look silly on
Sunday with blanket coverage all over the field to account for all
three of Favres interceptions in the game.
The Dolphins swept the season series last year, with both games
playing opposite to what youd expect with 58 points (31-27 in Miami)
and 55 points scored (30-25 in NY) in both games, respectively. Miami
also covered the point spread in both games, both times closing as 3-
point and 3.5-point underdogs. The two wins made it three straight
victories for the Dolphins straight up (3-0 SU), as well as 3-0 ATS
in the last three meetings.
Those results run counter to what has happened historically in this
series, as its actually the Jets that owned a 20-5-2 ATS record
prior to last year. The Jets also play great football when they play
at Miami, going 6-1 ATS in their last seven visits.
If you need more betting trends pointing in the Jets direction, how
about the fact the road team is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven games
head-to-head, as well as the underdog posting a similar 5-1-1 ATS
record over the same time frame.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Ive learned to expect the unexpected when these two
teams meet, especially since I went to sleep with Miami ahead by like
four touchdowns at halftime only to wake up and find out Wayne
Chrebet went nutso in the second half for a huge Jets rally three or
four years ago. With that said, Im bucking the conventional wisdom
here (and common sense) and taking the over of 34.5.