The NFL Odds for this matchup favor the Jags at -1 ½, with a total of 35 ½ points. With the Fins on short rest, and the Jags coming in with a brand new head coach, who is more likely to cover in this game between Florida teams?
Dolphins let it go
After putting up 17 points in the 4th quarter of the Hall of Fame game, the Miami Dolphins let go of the lead by giving up a pick six to give the Cowboys the four-point victory. While Miami didn’t play their starters long, they did play their starter, Ryan Tannehill a few series before taking him out of the game. He also fumbled on his first play.
Since the Fins are playing five preseason games this year, it will be hard to tell how much the Dolphins will play their starters in a game on short rest like this, but I think we can expect them to take it a lot like the HOF game, considering this is still Week 1.
Coach Joe Philbin was visibly disappointed after the HOF game on how the team played on defense against Dallas, so even if they only play their starters a little bit again, I think we can expect the Fins defense to put on a better show. This is one of the sleeper defenses in the NFL this season, and while it is only the preseason, I think coach Philbin will have more of a game plan for this one. Philbin is now 0-5 SU in his preseason career, and it might be time for him to actually try and win one of these games.
Jags new leaf
With Gus Bradley coming in from Seattle, this team is going to be a shadow of their 2-14 SU self from 2012. The Jacksonville Jaguars have spent the summer revamping their defense, and with a ton of new players on that side of the ball, I think we will see that end shine in Bradley’s first game as an NFL head coach. Although they might not win more than four or five games, that’s still double what they won last year.
On offense for the Jags, it might be short lived. I doubt Maurice Jones-Drew plays at all considering he is coming off a serious foot injury, and along with being suspended for the first four games of the season, Justin Blackmon is still recovering from groin surgery. There is no reason in this first preseason game for Bradley and his OC to risk any more injuries to his small amount of talented skill players. Blaine Gabbert will probably play a little more than we expect, but that isn’t necessarily giving the Jags much of an advantage. With all things considered in this game, I could see a very low scoring game in Jacksonville to finalize Week 1 of the NFL preseason Odds.
The Sharp Pick
I see coach Bradley cycling in a lot of his new defensive weapons in this game, as he has some decisions to make about who gets the last roster spots in Jacksonville. I also think he will coach this game to win it, however I think that will mean a bigger defensive effort than offensive.
This game has “low-scoring,” written all over it, and 35 ½ might even be too high for a regular season game between these two, let alone a preseason one. Both coaches will run the ball more and slow this game down, leading to a game that neither team will get out of the teens. Take the under and add it to your NFL picks for Friday night.
My Pick: ‘Under’ 35 ½