New York Jets (+7) (-110) over Miami Dolphins
Here we go again with the public betting on a team in a must-win situation, which has proven to be a losing proposition over the years. In fact, NFL teams out of playoff contention are 91-56-4 ATS (62%) in the final two weeks of the regular season when facing a team that must win to stay alive in the playoff race. And, while Miami could technically make the postseason with a loss Sunday (nearly mathematically impossible), the general principles in the foregoing system remain the same. Let’s also note that Miami is a money-burning 2-14 ATS at home with a .501 or better win percentage and 0-5 SU and ATS at home following a shutout loss.
Miami fits the profile of a bad football team as the Dolphins are 0.2 yards per play worse than average from the line of scrimmage. Those pedestrian numbers were exploited last week in Buffalo where the Bills outgained Miami 393 yards at 5.4 yards per play to 103 yards at 2.0 yards per play. Even more alarming is the fact that Miami has given up a league-leading 58 sacks this season (7 last week in Buffalo), which is eleven more than Jacksonville! Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been victimized by the Dolphins’ inept offensive line, and I expect his woes to continue against a New York squad playing hard to save their beloved coach’s job. In fact, New York is 2-1 SU and 2-0-1 ATS in its last three games, and securing an eighth win for Rex Ryan would enhance his prospects for returning in 2014.
New York should have success making the Dolphins one-dimensional offensively as the Jets’ defense ranks third in Adjusted Line Yards and lead the league in allowing just 40% conversions on runs in short-yardage situations. In contrast, Miami is ranked 28th in Adjusted Line Yards on offense and 26th in short-yardage conversions (58%). The matchup also favors New York on the other side of the ball as the Jets are averaging 4.4 yards per rush play (0.2 yards better than average), whereas the Dolphins are yielding 4.2 yards per carry (0.2 yards worse than average). With New York standing at 12-3 ATS in this series and playing to save their coach’s job (as well as to avenge an earlier-season loss), take the Jets plus the points and invest with confidence.