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Sportsbooks move Lions to -3 vs Dolphins

by | Oct 20, 2018 | nfl

Detroit Lions (2-3 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
NFL Football Week 7
Date and Time: Sunday, October 21st, 1:00pm EST
Where: Hard Rock Stadium - Miami Gardens, FL
TV: FOX
By: Bob Clark, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: DET -3/MIA +3
Over/Under Total: 47

LIONS VS DOLPHINS INTRODUCTION

One of the lesser sexy games of Sunday will be playing Miami when the 3-2 Detroit Lions will go into Hard Rock Stadium to take on the 4-2 Miami Dolphins. Both teams have had their share of big wins this season but thy also had a few setbacks as well. Miami comes into this Sunday’s game in a tie with New England for first place in the AFC East while Detroit enters sitting in last place in the NFC North. Both teams desperately need wins this week to keep pace in their respective conference’s playoff races.

The Miami Dolphins come into this game as a three point underdog at home to the Detroit Lions. Sportsbooks moved this link to the key field goal number after initially hovering around 2/2.5 How? Well, mainly because it appears that the Dolphins will again be without Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler will be under center for the Fish. This game was off the board for about a day or so simply because of the QB situation. Once the action started coming in, the public was loving the Lions on the road. As of late Wednesday evening, 66% of the action was on Detroit to cover. I do not see this line moving very much before Sunday so plan on it staying right around three points.

THE MATCH-UP

With Ryan Tannehill out for Miami, there is going to be a lot of pressure on the Dolphins run game and offensive line. Last week, the O-Line did a great job keeping the Bears defense at bay while Brock Osweiler played one of the better games he has ever played. Miami will not come out in this game being pass happy. They are going to rely on that offensive line and the legs of 35 year old Frank Gore to take much of the pressure off Osweiler and keep Matt Stafford and the Lions off the field. Although the Miami Dolphins are not your typical “high flying offense,” averaging just over 21 points a game, they are playing against a Lions defense that has been very suspect at times. Detroit is ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in points allowed. If the Dolphins can have success on the ground to open up the passing game, they could easily be in position to get their fifth win of the season.

So how can Detroit win this game? First off, over the past four or five seasons, the Detroit run game was pretty much missing.

They went like fifty years without a hundred yard rusher but over the last few weeks, the run game for the Lions has been rejuvenated by the play of rookie running back, Kerryon Johnson. In 2018, Johnson has had 50 carries for 286 yards which is almost six yards per touch. This could bode well down the road for Detroit and I am sure the gun slinger, Matt Stafford, is loving it. Stafford had to put the offense on his shoulders year after year and I do not care how talented you are…one dimensional offenses eventually lose in the NFL. This will put a good amount of pressure on the Dolphins defensive front this Sunday. In years past defenses would just pin their ears back and attack Matt Stafford but now there is a run game that has to be respected. In order to win this game, the Miami Dolphins need to try and make Detroit the one dimensional, pass happy team they have been since 2009. Like the Lions, the Dolphins defense has had its share of let downs so neither team has a clear cut defensive advantage…or offensive advantage to be honest. This game is toss up.

THE PREDICTION

Like I said, these two teams are very similar from a statistical standpoint. There is nothing that stands out to me where I really like one team head and shoulders above the other. However, many times when betting on NFL games, the public puts far too much emphasis on QB play. Now hear me out, yes I know that quarterback is potentially one of the most important positions in all of sports but you have to look at the teams style of play and the match-ups. It is not like the Dolphins are replacing Tom Brady, Drew Bree, or Aaron Rodgers this Sunday. They are having to replace Ryan Tannehill. No disrespect intended but Brock Osweiler in my opinion is not that far behind Tannehill from a talent standpoint. Maybe I am wrong but I’m probably not. Regardless of quarterback this weekend, the Dolphins were coming in here relying on offensive line play and running the ball. They were never going to put the ball in the air 35 times no matter who the QB was. The Dolphins are going to attempt to grind this game out, keep the score somewhat low, and control the tempo…and they will be successful. The Lions are favored and the public loves them…which is why I am fading the hell out of the Lions and the betting public. Miami will not only cover the spread but they will win this game outright… and with ease. The Dolphins will beat the Detroit Lions 24-18 on their way to their 5th win of 2018.

Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE MIAMI DOLPHINS +3
Note: Online sportsbook pricing on this game fluctuates. Find the best line to maximize your ROI. 

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