Fade the Bears & Make Dolphins +1.5 the NFL Pick

Troy West

Thursday, August 13, 2015 1:59 PM GMT

This matchup will is a tale of two different teams that are going in different directions. The Miami Dolphins have their chips in on this season and this game will tell just how far they can go. 

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have their franchise in QB Ryan Tannehill, that’s the good news. The bad is I can’t really tell who can take over the backup position, but if I had a bet on it, it would be Matt Moore. Moore has frugal pocket presence and manages the game well enough to hold on. Josh Freeman hasn’t had much luck in the league since being drafted. Moore will get the start but I think they’re looking for what Freeman can do.

The most pressing concern is their offensive line. I like Brandon Albert and Mike Pouncey, but it gets a little sketchy after that and this game should start to iron that out. Keep your eyes on Jeff Linkenbach and Jamil Douglas at both guard positions even though they’re “listed” as backups. Douglas is athletic and Linkenbach brings the nastiness that every line coach craves in his players.

Running back and receiver have a bit better picture. Lamar Miller appears set as the start again and after that LaMichael James could get some time, but two interesting names are Jay Ajayi and Demetrius Bronson. James is your change of pace guy who will prove more of this worth on special teams on both kickoffs and punts. Luckily for Bronson, Ajayi is a rookie and has quite a bit to go meaning Bronson will more than likely get some good carries. However, if Ajayi is efficient like he was at Boise State, that gap could close quickly.

Through the air, coaches will look to see what both DeVante Parker and Rishard Matthews. Parker is their prized pick out of Louisville with a lot of speed and loves to attack the football, something Miami receivers have struggled a bit at in recent years. Matthews has experience working for him and proven good worth on special teams in his years on the roster. Michael Preston (6-5, 215 lbs.) is another name to keep in mind.

On the other side of the ball, it seems pretty clear cut what Miami has for starters. What should peak some interest is the battle for the backup linebacker position; Jordan Tripp is a rookie looking to make himself a name, Spencer Paysinger and Kelvin Sheppard will be playing with some desperation and Jeff Luc can also provide some punch.

Click here to view our ML & Over/Under NFL picks for this matchup

Chicago Bears
In Chicago, it’s going to be yet another windy year, pun intended. Jay Cutler is still there, but Brandon Marshall isn’t which could prove leadership problems, Jared Allen is getting old and worn and your offensive line is a complete mess among other problems. But we will leave that for later.

Head coach Marc Trestman left a mess for John Fox and the work amount is pretty pressing. Fox only has a handful of games to figure out who he wants to start and who can actually play in this league. He will have a better idea after this game because I feel a lot of young names and some veteran, on both sides of the football, are going to get their minutes.

He won’t play, but his name is synonymous with the word hope at this point and that’s receiver Kevin White, rookie out of West Virginia. He did a lot of great things last year and will be counted upon heavily when healthy this year as will another name at a very important position, quarterback.

Cutler is the “starter” for now, but something tells me Fox is going to be staring at that roster spot a lot this preseason. Many in Chicago believe Cutler has other aspirations in this league besides winning and this year could tell a lot about his position. Look for Jimmy Clausen, along with Fox, to put Cutler on the hot seat the majority of the year.

As for the offensive line, the two safe names are Jermon Bushrod and Kyle Long and left tackles and right guard. Other than that, ones guess is as good another, but some can speculate what will mold into who will start week one. For Hroniss Grasu, time is the only thing keeping him from being a starter. He’s going to be special. Beyond that, it’s going to be who will be making plays on a daily basis that will decide who stays and who goes.

 

The Matchup: Like before, two teames going in completely different directions. Miami has everything to lose this year and it could mean head coach Joe Philbin’s job, but I think they have the players to make the noise they want (AKA playoffs). Chicago has a lot of work ahead of them meaning more evaluation this year than progression. I like Miami to cover.

MLB Pick: Dolphins +1.5 at BetOnline 

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