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    Hman's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Best Bets For Dolphins - Steelers 🤑

    Best bets for Dolphins-Steelers

    ESPN PLUS+ ($ Material)

    The 2019 NFL season rolls on, and we're here with a betting preview for Monday night's game on ESPN between the winless Miami Dolphins and 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Preston Johnson, Joe Fortenbaugh and Doug Kezirian offer their best bets for the final game of Week 8.

    Note: Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook as of Sunday evening.

    Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14, 43.5)
    Dolphins +14

    Kezirian: This is a fun handicap. The Dolphins have been historically bad, but are the Steelers really worthy of being this big of a favorite? Over the past 30 seasons, Pittsburgh is just the 10th team with a record this bad this late in the season to be a double-digit favorite. The previous teams went 2-7 ATS in those spots. Additionally, quarterback Mason Rudolph has been incredibly limited and it is mind-boggling to see him laying this many points. He is the first player since Elvis Grbac in 1995 with San Francisco to be favored by at least 14 points within his first four career starts. I think Miami has the better quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Dolphins showed some life last week in Buffalo, holding a lead at halftime. I think we see their best effort here on the big stage of Monday Night Football. That's way too many points.

    Fortenbaugh: Laying two touchdowns with Tom Brady and the Patriots is one thing; laying 14 points with Rudolph and the 2-4 Steelers is a completely different story. Give me a Dolphins team that, while pathetic, is more efficient offensively with Fitzpatrick under center as opposed to UCLA product Josh Rosen. I'd love to throw some impressive statistics your way in an effort to help beef up this analysis, but the reality of the situation is simply that Rudolph shouldn't be laying two touchdowns to anybody.

    Over 43.5 points

    Johnson: Last week in our first-look column, I broke down embracing the high-variance approach of Fitzpatrick and betting the over 39.5. Not only was the 31-21 result a success, but the 42.5-point closing number in Buffalo also points to our process being sound. I'm going back to the well and snagging the over for Week 8's Monday night game in Pittsburgh.

    The Fitzpatrick-led Dolphins offense gained 5.8 yards per play (YPP) last week against the Bills. On the season, Miami was averaging only 4.0 YPP. Even more impressive, the Dolphins did it against a Buffalo defense that ranked No. 3 in the NFL, allowing just 4.5 YPP. The offense was better, and Fitzpatrick's high-risk, high-reward approach was extremely beneficial.

    The matchup on the Pittsburgh side for this game is also intriguing. One of the reasons the Steelers have had success despite playing backup quarterbacks for the majority of the season is their pass protection; they lead the NFL in adjusted sack rate (2.4%). Do you know where the Miami defensive front ranks in adjusted sack rate? It's 31st! The Dolphins are sacking their opponents on only 4.2% of snaps. This bodes well for a Pittsburgh offense that is already aware of the lack of talent under center.

    An efficient run game would help the Steelers, but they rank 27th in the NFL in yards per rush attempt (3.5) and 29th in adjusted line yards (3.6). The great news is Pittsburgh faces a Miami defense that ranks 31st in the NFL in allowing 5.23 adjusted line yards per play. This Miami team is still giving up over 35 points per game, and I'm confident we'll be getting out ahead of another strong over bet this week.

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