Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The undefeated Miami Dolphins welcome the winless Oakland Raiders to Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday in the Sunshine State. The 1pm kick means that Oak-town will be playing football at 10am California time. Last week the Raiders blew a late lead and did not trail until seconds left in defeat in Denver. The Fins took a trip to the Big Apple where they took down division rival New York, 20-12. Oakland leads the all-times series 25-19-2 and has won two in a row with the Dolphins last victory coming in 2014.
Raiders Raring for a Victory
Jon Gruden’s return to the head coaching ranks in the NFL has been an unceremonious one, but some feel there is still reason for optimism. After going toe-to-toe with the talented Rams for a half on Monday Night of opening weekend, they ultimately fell by 25 points. This time around they shut the Donks out in the first half, holding a 12-0 lead in Denver at the break. Unfortunately for “Da Raidas,” they forgot there were two halves to be played and the Broncos outscored them 20-7 in the second half en route to the one-point victory.
Derek Carr looked sharp, throwing for 288 yards and a score while there was also an Amari Cooper sighting. The third-year receiver out of Alabama hauled in 10 catches for 116 yards. Marshawn Lynch found it tough going all day and ended up with 65 yards on 18 carries, but did find the end zone once.
Oakland has the oldest roster in the NFL and if they are going to do anything to turn this ship around, now is the time. They are outgaining the Dolphins by 63 yards per game and nearly 100 yards through the air. Carr will need to continue his resurgence if they want to come out South Beach with a win and take advantage of a Fins D that is giving up 277 yards passing per contest. Running back Deandre Washington is listed as questionable and Lynch, as well as Doug Martin, should still see a bulk of the carries out of the backfield.
Fins Finding a Way
Not a whole lot was expected out of the Dolphins coming into this season. That is not to say the team was expected to be bad. The reality is nobody really knew what to think, but so far the team is exceeding expectations. The seven-point victory over the Titans to open the season grabbed some attention and their eight-point win over the Jets is showing other teams that Miami is a squad to be reckoned with.
Tannehill is putting together a solid season to this point with four scores against two picks and 398 total yards through two games. Kenyan Drake is leading the ground game with 101 yards and a touchdown while Kenny Stills has six receptions for 123 yards and two scores. While none of these stats are overly impressive, whatever the team is doing, it is working. Can they do enough to make it work against the Raiders on Sunday. That is what we are trying to figure out here.
Matchup-wise, the Fins may not be putting up the yardage that their counterparts are, but they are outscoring the Raiders by over a touchdown per game. They are also allowing 25 yards less per contest. Teams that start the season 3-0 increase their chances of making the playoffs dramatically and with the Patriots already sporting a loss, it would also give them a leg up in the division.
Wide Receiver DeVante Parker is listed as questionable for the contest.
- 1-4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- 4-22 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 3.
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 3.
- 4-1-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The reality is that this is kind of a must win game for the Raiders and desperation can do a lot for a football team. you can bet your money (and in a second I am going to tell you to) that Jon Gruden will be looking to save face and not allow his team to go 0-3 in his return to the NFL. The fact that they are getting more than a field goal is even more of a bonus here. Look for a competitive ballgame throughout here, but I like Oakland to win this one outright because this is around the time of the season when everybody thinks they might be starting to figure out things, and they usually haven’t.
Prediction: Pick: Oakland +3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a strong play for both of these teams, with it hitting in the last nine games the Raiders have participated in and eight of the last nine times that the Dolphins have played against a team with a losing road record. It has also hit the last four times the Raiders were on the road and the last four times the Fins played a squad with a losing record period. These trends are too hard to look past.
Prediction: Under 44