Oakland Raiders (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 8:30PM EDT
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OAK -3/MIA +3
Over/Under Total: 44
The Oakland Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins in a must-win game for both teams on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday Night Football. Oakland is coming off a one-sided 34-14 loss to the Bills on Sunday and really need to get on a roll before this season gets away from them. Miami is also reeling from a 40-0 loss to the Ravens last Thursday. With a suffering offense and wild inconsistency, they look to stabilize their season this week. Who can emerge from this battle in South Beach with the win and cover?
Oakland has topped their loss-total from last season and the reasons are too many to list. Derek Carr missing time hasnt helped. But it goes beyond that. Their core of production on offense is underwhelming across-the-board. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are on some weeks and disappear in others. Marshawn Lynch returns from a brief suspension, but he hasnt been very impactful. On the other side of the ball, they arent very stout, nor are they making many plays. Sunday was a tough moment in their season, though beating Buffalo at home is asking a lot. After fighting so hard to beat Kansas City the previous week, they werent competitive against Buffalo.
The issues on offense for Oakland are numerous. Having Carr in there has been helpful, as he can really get this offense moving. He has been turning the ball over too much lately and looks to tighten up moving ahead. But its not all his fault. The line started the season off well, but has receded in recent games. Theyre getting pushed around by opposing fronts as of late and will need to be a lot better this week against this Miami defensive line. With guys who have shown they can be awfully-effective, a more consistent flow of production from Lynch, Cooper, Crabtree, Cordarrelle Patterson, and others is really needed now.
Oaklands defense wasnt that great last season when they went 12-4. But they came up with timely stops and made big plays all season to make up for their lack of stoutness in certain areas. This season, they havent been nearly that impactful. They have zero interceptions on the season and havent been providing much support, leaving the offense to do all the work. Its basically Khalil Mack and whoever happens to step up on a given day to help out. Theyre going to need to be a lot better after giving up a total of 64 points in their last two games.
Its hard to figure what happened when the Ravens crushed Miami 40-0 last Thursday. They had just come off their second big double-digit comeback win and to lay an egg like that is troubling. Also puzzling is how they traded top back Jay Ajayi for future picks, leaving them with what seems like a bare RB crew with 12 carries being the most action any other Miami running back has seen this season. At the same time, despite the loss, the Dolphins are still 14-5 in their last 19 games. Theyve been through a lot this season and maybe Thursday was just a result of a tough run. One should expect better at home this week.
Head coach Adam Gase says the Fins will be with Adam Cutler this week and that helps. Its unclear where they turn to now for a run-game, but all in all, Ajayi had been pretty lackluster other than a few really big games over the last two years and maybe they can duplicate that production. Hes a big part of the reason they havent rushed for a TD this season. Cutler needs to return and start getting more out of guys like Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, along with TE Julius Thomas. They have gotten healthy enough on the line to start providing better protection up-front, while helping spring a better run-game.
The Miami defense took a step back last week, though they werent bad leading up the collapse against Baltimore. They can tighten up late in the right spots and help stage comebacks, as theyve done multiple times already. They were exploited on the ground against the Ravens, but have been good in that area for the most part. Cameron Wake is a top pass-rusher, while Ndamukong Suh fills up the middle with his run-stopping prowess. They are getting good playmaking in the second level with Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons. The secondary hasnt been making a ton of big plays, while giving up some of their own. Still, they havent been bad. Getting into top form would really help the team make a push in the second-half of the season.
This game is a key time of the season for both teams. Oakland needs it more perhaps at 3-5, but it might already be too late for them and they look nothing like a team that is primed to go on a huge run of wins. Another loss in a top-heavy AFC East would also be really costly for Miami. Oakland is in their second road game in a row and this just seems like an inopportune spot for them to get on the right track. I see Miami having good value as a home dog this week.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Miami Dolphins plus 3 points. – If you went to the store and on the shelf was the exact same product, one for $110 and one for $105 which would you buy? The cheaper one of course! So why would you pay -110 odds on your bets instead of -105? Start betting at discounted odds today at 5Dimes!