NFL Picks: Dolphins vs. Buccaneers Betting the Total

Jason Lake

Monday, November 11, 2013 12:30 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 12:30 PM UTC

We’ve got one of the softest NFL betting markets that Monday Night Football has ever seen when the Miami Bullies visit the Tampa Bay Staph Infections. Find out where we've decided to place our money.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to November 9 inclusive:

24-19-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

4-7 Totals

Do you like mid-major college football betting? Then have we got a game for you. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and the first expanded consensus numbers for the Monday Night Football matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have literally just been published. It was all “Minimum wager data not recorded” up until now. That’s what I call a soft betting market.

Looking at our standard consensus figures, Monday’s game opened with a fairly low total of 40.5 points on the Week 10 NFL Odds; that total moved to 41.5 points as the sharps made their standard early move on the OVER. But as we go to press, the tide has turned, and the total is back down to 41 points as the more casual bettors start pounding the UNDER. What was that old adage about fading public underdogs and public UNDERs? I think it was one of Shaw’s.

Misery Loves Company

As you may have heard, the Dolphins (OVER 5-2-1) and the Buccaneers (OVER 4-4) have some issues to deal with off the field. But everything that happens out there in the real world has an impact on the games themselves. In this case, Miami’s offensive line will be missing both LG Richie Incognito and RT Jonathan Martin on Monday night, and beyond. That’s not good news for a fishy offense that Football Outsiders had ranked No. 19 overall in efficiency going into Week 10.

Tampa Bay’s No.22-ranked offense is also missing a few good men. WR Mike Williams (hamstring) has been put on injured reserve, leaving undrafted rookie Timothy Wright (24 catches, two TDs) as Tampa’s No. 2 option next to WR Vincent Jackson (43 catches, four TDs). But perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Williams (22 catches, two TDs) just wasn’t healthy this year; WR Tiquan Underwood and his magnificent high top fade stepped into the breach in Week 9 and caught a TD pass against the Seattle Seahawks, helping that contest go OVER the 40-point total in a 27-24 overtime victory for the ‘Hawks.

Sub Mission

Buccaneers supporters have also been strangely thankful for the loss of RB Doug Martin, who was finally put on IR after missing the past two games with a torn labrum. This has been a lousy sophomore season for Martin (3.6 yards per carry) after he made the Pro Bowl last year. But it’s turning into an excellent rookie campaign thus far for RB Mike James (4.6 yards per carry), who torched the Seahawks for 158 yards on 28 carries.

Tampa Bay has even managed to salvage its special teams somewhat after PK Connor Barth ruptured his Achilles over the summer and PK Lawrence Tynes was felled by the staph infection that also put Pro Bowl LG Carl Nicks and rookie CB Johnthan Banks out of commission. The Bucs turned to 14-year veteran Rian Lindell, who has made 11 of his 13 field-goal attempts, including his last nine in a row.

A Tall Glass of Quarterback Juice

Of course, the biggest substitution of them all – again, literally – has been 6-foot-6 QB Mike Glennon, who took over when Josh Freeman was shown the door in September. It looks like head coach Greg Schiano may have gotten this one right after all. Glennon is playing with poise, connecting on 60.3 percent of his passes (eight TDs, three INTs) and posting a plus-138 passing DYAR. That’s more than Tom Brady (plus-129 DYAR) has managed in nine full games.

And that’s why the Buccaneers have driven the OVER to the pay window in four straight games. I’m betting they’ll make it five straight on Monday night. May the prolate spheroid be with you.

NFL Pick: Take OVER 41 (–106) at Pinnacle

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