Monday, Sept. 30, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: New Orleans -7
Total Line: 48
The room on the Dolphins’ bandwagon is rapidly filling up after a 3-0 start both straight-up and against the spread. After stunning Indianapolis 24-20 on the road as one-point underdogs in Week 2, they beat Atlanta last week 27-23 as three-point home favorites. The total went OVER in both of those games. Miami heads back on the road this Monday night in a very difficult place to get a win, but it has covered in 21 of its last 32 road games.
While a few of last season’s rookie quarterbacks have fallen into that dreaded sophomore slump, Ryan Tannehill has taken a major step forward in his second season at the helm. He has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 827 yards and four touchdowns. It also helps that he has gotten the ball to four different receivers with at least 12 catches on the year. The Dolphins’ defense has fallen to 22nd in the NFL in total yards allowed, but it is still ranked eighth in points allowed (17.7).
The return of head coach Sean Payton after serving a one-year league suspension has made all the difference in a 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) start after the Saints fell to 7-9 last year in his absence. This past Sunday they crushed Arizona 31-7 as eight-point home favorites with the total staying UNDER the closing 48.5-point line. The total has now stayed UNDER in their first three games.
While it is no big surprise that Drew Brees is among the passing leaders in the NFL with 1,021 yards and six touchdowns, New Orleans continues to have trouble running the ball with an average of 85.7 yards a game. Pierre Thomas is the team’s leading rusher with 100 yards on 25 attempts. The biggest turnaround with the Saints has been on the defensive side of the ball. After ending the 2012 season ranked near the bottom of the NFL, it is currently fourth in yards allowed and fifth in points allowed (12.7).
Free NFL Pick
Both of these teams bring some solid balance into this matchup which sets the stage for a close battle that could easily go down to the final possession of the game. I do not see New Orleans losing this game SU in front of the home crowd in a prime time setting, but the free NFL pick in this one is Miami plus the seven points.
New Orleans 23 Miami 20
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.