Look to Moneyline for Chiefs-Dolphins Week 3 NFL Picks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:26 PM GMT

Both the Dolphins and Chiefs enter this NFL Week 3 AFC matchup in Miami Gardens, Florida with some injury concerns at running back. Is this a good thing for the Under? Let's examine and find a pick.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT
Probably not a preview of the AFC Championship game, this game between the Chiefs (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) and the Dolphins (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) is intriguing from the standpoint that a 0-3 start for Kansas City (10-7 SU, 9-8 ATS LY) would be absolutely devastating and a goodbye message to any potential playoff hopes this season for the AFC West team. Besides the pressure of needing a win against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens Sunday afternoon, Kansas City also has the added burden of approaching the game with injuries to RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) and S Erik Berry (heel). Charles is listed as doubtful while Charles is questionable here against Miami.

But the Dolphins (8-8 SU, 9-7 ATS LY) have their own share of problems, maybe even more so than underdog Kansas City here. RB Knowshon Moreno (dislocated left elbow) is out for four weeks after hurting himself in Miami’s humiliating 29-10 loss in Buffalo last Sunday. Backup RB Lamar Miller (ankle) left the game in a walking boot and his status for Sunday is unknown. And center Mike Pouncey (hip) is out indefinitely so head coach Joe Philbin will have his work cut out for him. And although QB Ryan Tannehill (31-49, 241 yards, TD) was somewhat impressive in his role under center, the rest of the team was a trainwreck. The special teams allowed a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, had two shanked punts, another blocked and also lost a fumble on a muffed punt. And the DL had only two QB pressures—and 0 sacks against the Bills—while the OL allowed 4 sacks against Buffalo. The Fish couldn’t get out of Buffalo soon enough.

 

Can a Solid Case Be Made Here For Backing the Under in The Sunshine State?
With Andy Reid’s Chiefs conceding 25.0 points per game, backing the NFL odds totals at 'Under' 42 is hard here, especially with the mentality that neither may have much to lose if they can’t defeat their mediocre opponents here, which means either or both could open up the offense(s). And with potentially both the Chiefs’ Charles and the Dolphins’ Moreno sidelined, this is a distinct possibility. The Dolphins Total Points (23 -110 Sky Bet) and Total Chiefs Points (18½ -110) hint at boredom from an entertainment point of view but in sports gambling the idea is to try to find a seemingly logical approach or to back a proven trend and nobody would be surprised if the Chiefs (+190 moneyline, Paddy Power) somehow upset the Dolphins (-230) here or if it went way under and ended like 12-10 or it it evolved into a shootout and ends 42-40—although 82 total points between these two would probably cause many people to look up at the skies.

The Chiefs have played two Unders to start the season, a 26-10 (U45½) loss to the Titans in their home opener and a 24-17 (U49) loss at the AFC champions Broncos last Sunday, so Kansas City games have both gone Under the posted number by more than a touchdown (by 9½ and 8 points). And when these two last played back in 2011, the Dolphins rolled to a 31-3 win at Kansas City (34 total points scored only) as a 5½-point underdog, another small sign that points to a potentially low-scoring affair with both Tannehill and Chiefs QB Alex Smith having trouble getting the 7s and not the 3s.

The weather (85°, scattered thunderstorms) and playing surface (grass) will both be perfect for football and maybe even some good, old-fashioned mud on Sunday. Miami has had one high-scoring game (won 33-20) against the Patriots and a relatively lower one (lost 29-10) against the Bills. The thing that seems to be important here, in terms of pace and possibly the final score, is the fact neither team can afford to lose this one and both coaches will likely be conservative here and play it very tight to the vest. With the total spot on, the over a pick-6 or costly turnover away from going over at such a low number (42) and Tannehill likely to be passing more with key-rushing cog Moreno out, it seems the best thing to do here is just pass and look for something with a little more meat on the bone for your NFL picks.

 

Can the Chiefs Pull off the Upset in Miami and Are There Any Solid Trends?
It will take a strong game plan, a solid outing from QB Smith, much better defense and a little luck, but the Chiefs can certainly win this game. After looking like maybe they were something special in beating New England in their opener, the Dolphins looked abysmal against the Bills in Week 2 and the injuries and special teams and OL and DL problems can’t get fixed like a plumber just coming in and fixing a toilet. The majority of trends and the homefield reality here at Sun Life Stadium point to simply taking the Dolphins just to win the game (moneyline -230) and to staying away from laying the potentially dangerous 4 or 5 points in what could be a low-scoring gridiron chess match. These two also make for a perfect storm of mediocrity so much so that an Overtime game prop bet (Yes +1000, bwin) could be considered.

The big trend that stands out here is that the Dolphins are 7-1 SU L8 against Kansas City in Miami and if the Fish can beat the Patriots here at home they should be able to take out Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs. Miami is also 5-1-1 ATS in its L7 against KC at home and 3-0 ATS in its L3 vs. the Chiefs overall. Another eye-opener that really tips the scale to simply taking the host Dolphins to find a way to win is that the Chiefs are 1-9 against the AFC East in their L10. Although they made many strides and had a great 2013, 2014 could be a very different and difficult animal for Kansas City.

Also, the Over is 6-3 in the Chiefs L9 and 4-1 L5 on the Road, so, any thoughts of backing the Under dissolve quickly knowing this and that’s probably a good thing with a KC defense which has allowed 50 points in its first two games. And Tannehill and Smith—though not big names—are a bit better than most people think or know and are both capable of getting their teams to score around 30 points, when on, especially against less-than stellar competition. With so many conflicting trends and injuries heading in, the only real way to play this game is to either stay away completely or to take the host Dolphins on the moneyline -230 and and use it either as a straight bet or as a parlay element. Not much to see here.

Free NFL Pick: Dolphins Moneyline -210 at 5Dimes

Props Pick:   Mike Wallace Anytime TD Scorer (Dolphins)

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