With the Dolphins on the back of a 6-game winning streak the team travel into New Orleans, themselves on the back of another regular season beat down of Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Tua Tagovailoa has shown great progress as the Dolphins have rescued their season but must now show the progress is real during a much tougher three game stretch. The Dolphins next three opponents are a combined 25-17 while their previous 6 opponents were 23-47.
TUA TAGOVAILOA READY FOR HIS BIGGEST TEST
The Saints may not be Tua’s toughest opponents of his short career, but the Miami heading into this game in the playoff hunt it is surely the biggest.
With the New Orleans defence ranking 6th in the league on points conceded at 20.4 points per game and the Dolphins offence at 22nd and just 20.4 PPG this game will rest solely on the Dolphins ability to put up enough points for the win.
Tua has put up at least 20 points in each of his last four starts, and although there was a small downtick in his performance against the Jets in week 15, his 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in that span at 75.7% completion rate is a sure sign things are starting to click.
If Duke Johnson can repeat his 100-yard performance from week-15 it will take some of the pressure off of Tua and allow the Dolphins to chew up more clock and put the ball more into the hands of the struggling Hill.
An interesting aside to Duke Johnson’s 100-yard game is that each of Miami’s last three 100-yard games have now come in week 15, with the previous ones by Salvon Ahmed (week 15, 2020) and Kalen Ballage (week 15, 2018). So maybe don’t bank on it happening in back-to-back weeks.
Taysom Hill has struggled mightily as a passer in his limited starts this season, and the Dolphins D will almost certainly be rolling out the amoeba and zero shell looks to confuse him. However, Hill’s legs will be a concern for Miami even as New Orleans have scaled back the number of designed runs in recent games.
We really don’t see the Saints being able to put up many points against the Dolphins, barring a Covid related outbreak. Hill hasn’t consistently shown he can do anything except run, and with half the field closed down by Xavien Howard it’ll be a long day for him.
There’s a few bets that are looking very solid in this one, with the total points market currently set at 38.5 the under looks a very solid call here. As noted, the Saints don’t give up a lot of points and the Dolphins don’t score many, and with Taysom Hill as QB, New Orleans only had 9 points last time up, and a combined 56 in three games (one of which was against the Jets).
But if you’re not someone who likes to cheer on defences the point spread is the place to look. With the Saints a three point favourite, we’re thinking the Dolphins are a solid buy at 1.95. But over at Betway you will find the Dolphins at 2.40 straight-up to win this game. We love those odds, although keep a check on the injury report to make sure the Dolphins are getting their major offensive weapons back.
For us the Dolphins are favourites in this game, although it will be a squeaker. Taking the three points will give you that little bit of a cushion but also shave the edge of your top-end a little. It all depends on your risk profile.
But as always, bet responsibly and make sure to never bet more than you can afford to lose.
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