Is Schedule Too Daunting For Rookie Dolphin's Head Coach Adam Gase? Yes it is...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 4:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016 4:39 PM UTC

NFL bettors hype up Miami in 2016, though sports betting exchanges suggest a subpar season for the Dolphins with a 6.5 season win total. We determine if the Dolphins crack this total in this space.

Miami Dolphins 2015 Look Back
The Miami Dolphins finished bottom of the AFC East in 2015 with a 6-10 SU mark. They flirted with two different coaches over the 17 weeks of the season but both were sent packing, first Joe Philbin midway through the season then interim head coach Dan Campbell at the end of the season.

To put it simply, 2015 doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s a new term. New coach in Adam Gase, a rookie head coach, no less (hmm); new players on the roster, including Arian Foster the latest big acquisition; and, generally, a whole new outlook and attitude.

Where the Dolphins go from here is anybody’s guess. Not surprisingly, there are those that hesitate to buy what the Dolphins are selling. Each and every season they are talked up only to fail to launch. The idea that this season will be no different has traction.

In any event, the market is feeling somewhat generous. Rolling out anywhere from a 6.5 to a 7 projected season win total for the Dolphins all while favouring the OVER in either instance. Bodog hangs the Dolphins on a 7-win season with the OVER favoured at -130 and the UNDER settled on EVEN money. Bet365 hangs the Dolphins on a 6.5-win season with the OVER fancied at whopping -160 NFL odds and the UNDER backed out to +130 NFL odds.

If you want, we’re not sold on the Dolphins or the optimistic outlook that has Miami on an upward trajectory. Looking at the NFL schedule alone we’re concerned. Three away games against serious heavyweights in the league, with cross-country travel interspersed in between, could be a demoralising way to start the season. After which things could simply just escalate, pile up on top of them, and, then, send them careening over a cliff. Ok, maybe, not as dramatic as that. But, you get the drift.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We rundown each and every game here and serve up our predictions alongside a weekly record. Finally, we sum up the Dolphins and the 2016 season before offering up our final NFL pick for season win total bettors to sink their teeth into.


Week 1 vs. Seattle (away), Sunday, September 11
Talk about drawing the short straw: an away date with the preseason favourites in Super Bowl LI betting, Seattle Seahawks, is murders. This is an impossible assignment for rookie coach Adam Gase and his Dolphins in the opening week. Might as well just ship the W to Seattle and not even bother showing up.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 0-1


Week 2 vs. New England Patriots (away), Sunday September 18
It’s week 2 of the 2016 season and, already, Adam Gase must be thinking, ‘are the NFL schedulers having a laugh?’ Back-to-back away games to start the season. Flitting from one end of the country and back. Two consecutive NFL heavyweights, not to mention each a recent Super Bowl champion. Again, might as well just chalk this up as a loss right off the bat. Don’t fight it Dolphins.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 0-2

Week 3 vs. Cleveland, Sunday, September 25
Finally, a game the Dolphins can realistically hope to win. (Imagine if they didn’t, though. That would certainly put the rookie coach under the cosh.) After a rough first two weeks on the road, the Dolphins open their season at home. If they are indeed 0-2 SU going into week 3, there’ll be a sense of desperation here. Fortunately, the Browns are expected to be pedestrian this season. The way things are taking shape in Cleveland, a junior varsity team would have a viable shot against them.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 1-2


Week 4 vs. Cincinnati (away), Thursday, October 2
Ok. This isn’t funny anymore. Three away games in the first four weeks, three mega competitors on the NFL landscape. Oh, and a short week for a Thursday Night Football spot. Somebody must have it in for the Dolphins or is just against Adam Gase. This is cruel and unusual punishment. Nothing to it, the Dolphins will have to grin and bear it. Another loss looms on the horizon unless Andy Dalton suffers primetime yips and the Bengals find a way to lose it.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 1-3


Week 5 vs. Tennessee, Sunday, October 9
The Tennessee Titans are a long way away from becoming a contender in the NFL. They have some good pieces in place already, but there are bound to be growing pains. The Dolphins beat the Titans last season quite convincingly. Expect another win by the Dolphins here.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 2-3


Week 6 vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday, October 16
Oh, my days. Another league heavyweight, elite quarterback, and high octane offense all rolled into one. The Dolphins have home advantage, which could in some strange way work in their favour. Then again, one expects Big Ben to part the Dolphins defense like the Red Sea.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 2-4


Week 7 vs. Buffalo, Sunday, October 23
The Buffalo Bills decimated the Dolphins 41-14 in Miami last season, a week 3 defeat that spelt the end of Joe Philbin’s career with the Dolphins. They then went on to lose 33-17 in Buffalo with Dan Campbell at the helm later in the year. Have the Dolphins improved much in the offseason to get back into this rivalry? Home advantage might work to their favour. Still, Rex Ryan and the Bills will fancy their chances.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 2-5


Week 8 BYE


Week 9 vs. NY Jets, Sunday, November 6
Coming off a bye week the Dolphins welcome the Jets to Miami. The outcome of this game hinges on which quarterback will be leading the Jets. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is calling the shots, we fancy the Jets. On the flip side, if it’s Geno Smith then chalk it as a win for the Fins at home. Going on the assumption that it’s the latter (Fitzpatrick is yet unsigned at the time of writing), we’re generously giving it to the Fins.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 3-5


Week 10 vs. San Diego (away), Sunday, November 13
The San Diego Chargers are coming off a 4-12 SU season. They were bad last season, despite having a pretty good quarterback in Philip Rivers. It just goes to show, a quarterback can’t do it alone. This one is a bit of a tossup. Don’t like the road trip to San Diego, but it’s a winnable game for either team. Unfortunately, the NFL trend goes against the Dolphins, who simply don’t play well out west.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 3-6


Week 11 vs. Los Angeles (away), Sunday, November 20
Los Angeles Rams are in the process of change and development. They have the No.1 NFL draft pick Jared Goff, last year’s standout Todd Gurley and a pretty good defense. It’s tough to  say what the Rams will be like as a team in 2016, but, on paper, this is a winnable game for Jeff Fischer and his Rams. Makes it a tricky prospect to bet on, but, if there’s one thing that might swing the balance it’s the fact that we don’t quite trust Ryan Tannehill in the face of this stout defense.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 3-7


Week 12 vs. San Francisco, Sunday, November 27
The Dolphins return home in week 12 and welcome the San Francisco 49ers, who are in flux and, probably, worse off than the Dolphins. Well, so say the NFL odds makers that hang the Niners on a 5.5 projected season win total, way lower than the Dolphins. Many uncertainties persist with the Niners at the time of writing, mainly the quarterback question mark. The smart bet is to take the hosts in such an instance.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 4-7


Week 13 vs. Baltimore (away), Sunday, December 4
Inasmuch as the Dolphins struggled last season, so did the Ravens. The Dolphins capitalised in a 16-13 win over Baltimore in week 13 at home. This time they get the Ravens in the same week but on the road. Don’t think the Ravens will be as bad as they were last year. Joe Flacco and Company set the record straight at M&T Stadium.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-8


Week 14 vs. Arizona, Sunday, December 11
Arizona Cardinals are tipped to be one of the NFC contenders this season. Just don’t see Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians showing any mercy to the Dolphins before their fans. The Cards could have a field day here. Oh dear.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-9


Week 15 vs. NY Jets (away), Saturday, December 17
It’s primetime football for the Dolphins in the frigid cold of New York in December. The Jets swept the Dolphins last season and could potentially do so again with all the weapons they have, so long as they have a suitable quarterback calling the shots. That means, no Geno Smith.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-10


Week 16 vs. Buffalo (away), Saturday, December 24
A second straight divisional rivalry on the road, in the cold month of December. A tough ask for the Dolphins, who, at this point in time, might not have a whole lot to play for save for the role of spoilsports.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-11


Week 17 vs. New England, Sunday, January 1
Last year, the Dolphins surprised the Patriots in week 17 behind a 20-10 win at home. Once again, they close the season with the Patriots in Miami. Do they pull off the unthinkable back-to-back home wins over the Patriots? It could happen if the Patriots rest their starters. Seeing as Brady is set to miss the first four-games of the season, it’s more likely than not that this game will have a premium on the win. As such, we’re banking on the Patriots because no team  plays up to an occasion as well as they do.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-12


NFL Projected Season Win Total for the Dolphins: It’s not a positive outlook for the Dolphins by any stretch of the imagination. Try as we might, the NFL schedule is simply too daunting for rookie head coach Adam Gase and the Dolphins for us to be any higher on the Dolphins than the rather low 4-12 SU outlook. Well, certainly we wouldn’t go above the 7-win projected season. As such, we’d recommend the UNDER 7 at EVEN money with Bodog for your NFL picks. Those that feel bolder might fancy the UNDER 6.5 at +130 with Bet365. Better bang for your buck, albeit less wiggle room to play with.


Free NFL Picks: Under 7 at Even at Bodog

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