NFL Betting Favorite: Miami -3
It’s hard to believe that the Miami Dolphins, who started 0-7, could be favored by three points over the “Dream Team” of the Philadelphia Eagles. At the same time, based on the performance of each of the teams lately, it definitely makes sense. The Eagles have completely fallen apart, while the Dolphins have won four of their last five games. Will the Eagles get back in the win column or will the Dolphins keep rolling?
Mike Vick is expected to be back this Sunday after missing the team’s last three games. Vick sustained a rib injury in week 10, but the coaches say he has looked good in practice this week. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the play calling is with Vick dinged up and the Eagles virtually out of the playoff race. LeSean McCoy has had a tremendous season thus far. McCoy is averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and he has racked up 1,134 rushing yards. Jeremy Maclin has missed the last three weeks, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. The Eagles offense is third in the NFL in total offense, but they are just 16th in points per game. Turnovers have been a major issue for this unit.
The Eagles defense has been a major disappointment this year. The secondary was supposed to be the best in the league, but they have given up a lot of big plays. The front seven has done a nice job getting after the quarterback, but they have done a poor job clogging up the running lanes. Opponents are averaging 23.5 points per contest against this defense.
Miami’s offense has quietly been putting up some pretty impressive numbers over the last few games. In three of the team’s last six contests, the Dolphins have scored more than 30 points. Matt Moore is doing a nice job taking what the defense gives him. Reggie Bush has been carrying the load very nicely in the backfield. The offensive line has come together as the season has moved on, which has given this team a big boost. Miami is a team that likes to establish the run and then look for opportunities in the passing game off play-action passes.
The Dolphins defense has been good all season. This unit was keeping the team in the game even when the offense was terrible early in the season, and lately they have been putting the offense in good spots with their aggressive play. Cameron Wake is quickly becoming one of the best pass rushers in the league. Vontae Davis is a great cover corner who really shuts down his side of the field. This is a solid defense that is allowing only 18.3 points per game in 2011.
The Dolphins defense is much better than most people realize. Vick will likely be a bit rusty in his first game back. I think this one stays under the posted total.
Free NFL Pick: Eagles/Dolphins under 45.5
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