NFL Picks: Miami Dolphins Win Totals & Game-by-Game Predictions

Nikki Adams

Saturday, May 30, 2015 7:19 PM GMT

Since the rise of the Brady-inspired New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins have been relegated into the shadows. With a favorable NFL schedule in 2015, can the Dolphins buck the negative trend? Join us as we preview the Dolphins win totals and serve up our NFL predictions.

Miami Dolphins On the Rise?
Last season, the Miami Dolphins finished with an 8-8 SU mark despite having the 12th hardest NFL schedule that featured a trip to London, a week 5 bye and a 12-game stretch to close out the season.

Ryan Tannehill showed a lot of promise when he delivered a signature win over the New England Patriots in week 1 NFL betting and even gave Petyon Manning and Co. a run for their money at Mile High. Indeed, they performed better than we'd expected according to our recommended NFL picks.

Under Joe Philbin, the Miami Dolphins have been steadily improving, and with those improvements come elevated expectations. Vegas odds makers chalk the line at 8.5 wins for the season, up from 7.5 wins last year, which they just cracked in an 8-8 finish. What the Dolphins have going for them is a softer schedule that ranks 17th in the NFL with a 0.492 winning percentage. However, they still have a week 5 bye to contend with after a trip to the UK in week 4 and a rather brutal 12-game stretch that gets heavier as the season winds down.

How will the Dolphins perform this season with a much improved defense thanks to the acquisition of Ndamukong Suh and a more mature Ryan Tannehill? Can Philbin coach this team beyond the .500 mark, even a double-digit season in his fourth term in Miami? Let's see shall we as we go game-by-game and serve up our NFL picks.

 

Week 1: vs. Washington (road), Sunday, Sept 13 at 1 PM
The Redskins are in rebuilding mode and after the season RGIII had last year, the Redskins don't cut a competitive figure on the NFL betting floor in outright win markets. Most concerning was all the in-fighting within the Redskins camp and the lack of respect between coach and quarterback. That's not a healthy mindset that could spill forth into the coming season. It's a road game, but a winnable one for the Dolphins

NFL Pick: Win
Record 1-0

 

Week 2: vs. Jacksonville (road), Sunday, Sept 20 at 4:05 PM 
In the second road game in as many weeks, the establishing Dolphins will look to capitalise on a Jacksonville Jaguars side still in the early phases of construction. There were lots of positives and negatives to be had with the Jaguars last season. Blake Bortles will be in his second year but he's sure to go through more growing pains. The more experienced Dolphins should win. Last year, Dolphins won 27-13 at Jacksonville.

NFL Pick: Win
Record 2-0

 

Week 3: vs. Buffalo (home), Sunday, Sept 27 at 4:25 PM 
The Dolphins open the season at home against the Dolphins. It'll be the first home game for the Dolphins and the atmosphere is sure to be electric. Last year, the Dolphins lost to the Bills 29-10 on the road, a week after beating the New England Patriots at home, but they won the home stand 22-9. This time they get home advantage in the first meeting and the motivation to win at home could be the deciding factor,

NFL Pick: Win
Record 3-0

 

Week 4: vs. NY Jets (LONDON), Sunday, Oct 4 at 9:30 AM
The Dolphins and Jets collide in London. The Dolphins enjoyed a stellar 38-14 win over the Oakland Raiders in London last year, marking one of their best games after beating the Patriots in week 1 NFL betting. The Jets figure to have more talent than the Raiders so this game could be a lot closer than last year's win. If there's one thing that swings this game towards the Dolphins on our early NFL picks, it's the lingering questions at quarterback for the Jets.

NFL Pick: Win
Record 4-0

 

Week 5: BYE

 

Week 6: vs. Tennessee (road), Sunday, Oct 18 at 1 PM
The Tennessee Titans are after a forgettable season. Expecting them to mastermind a turnaround a la the Kansas City Chiefs a couple of years ago after finishing in the NFL basement is a bit of a stretch. This is a team that is being overhauled and as yet undecided on what course is best. Dolphins should bounce out of a week 5 bye with a win in Tennessee.

NFL Pick: Win
Record 5-0

 

Week 7: vs. Houston (home), Sunday, Oct 25 at 1 PM 
In week 7 NFL betting, things start to get a little tougher for the Dolphins. Beginning with a date with the Houston Texans at home. The Texans turned around their season after an abysmal 2013 season and they figure to be just as good, if not better, this season. This is going to be a tough ask for the Dolphins and could serve up a home upset.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 5-1

 

Week 8: vs. New England (road), Thursday, Oct 29 at 8:25 PM            
After a physically bruising date with the Houston Texans, the Dolphins take on arch rivals and defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots. Tom Brady figures to be back in the line up with at least two games under his belt (four-game suspension ends in week 6) so he should be finding form by now. The Dolphins suffered a brutal 41-13 loss in New England last season.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 5-2

 

Week 9: vs. Buffalo (road), Sunday, Nov 8 at 1 PM 
The Dolphins lost 29-10 in Buffalo last year, splitting the series 1-1 with each side winning at home. The Bills tend to play the Dolphins tough, even give them fits. This year's Rex Ryan-inspired Bills figure to be solid on defense and with a date in November when the weather starts to become a bit of a factor this could be a tough ask for the Dolphins. Then again, the quarterback question is still an issue and tips the scale in favor of the Dolphins in our opinion.

NFL Pick: Win
Record 6-2

 

Week 10: vs. Philadelphia (road), Sunday, Nov 15 at 1 PM 
For a second straight week, the Dolphins are on the road. Weather becomes more and more of a factor for the Dolphins as they travel to colder climates. Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles have been tough to beat over the last two seasons, losing only six games per season. The Eagles' high-octane offense and home field advantage should prove deciding.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 6-3

 

Week 11: vs. Dallas (home), Sunday, Nov 22 at 1 PM 
The Dallas Cowboys were the best road team last season with a perfect 8-0 record that included a win over the 2013 Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks. That said with a much improved defense in Miami and an offensive-minded Dallas, this could be a very interesting game. Still, we give the edge to Tony Romo and the Cowboys.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 6-4

 

Week 12: vs. NY Jets (road), Sunday, Nov 29 at 1 PM
For some reason, the Dolphins enjoy playing at MetLife Stadium. Philbin hasn't lost a game there during his tenure with the Dolphins (3-0 SU), which includes a 16-13 win last season. That NFL betting trend could change this time around with all the offensive targets the Jets have. Then again, with the quarterback question iffy in NY and a tough stretch for the Dolphins as the season winds down, this is a game they'll be desperate to win.

NFL Pick: Win
Record 7-4

 

Week 13: vs. Baltimore (home), Sunday, Dec 6 at 1 PM 
Last year, the Dolphins lost to Baltimore 28-13 at home. For a second straight year they welcome the Ravens in December and the result doesn't figure to be different in our books. This isn't a good matchup for the Dolphins and when it comes to trusting a quarterback one has to give Joe Flacco the edge over Ryan Tannehill.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 7:5

 

Week 14:  vs. NY Giants (home), Monday, Dec 14 at 8:30 PM 
Monday Primetime Football between the Giants and Dolphins is sure to be entertaining, and a game that could swing either way depending on the plays of Eli Manning and Ryan Tannehill, respectively. Which quarterback will keep his nerve better? There's very little that separates these two teams in terms of their accounts over the last few seasons, so this is a tossup on our NFL picks. Home advantage tips the scale towards the Dolphins.

NFL Pick: Win
Record 8-5

 

Week 15: vs. San Diego (road), Sunday, Dec 20 at 4:25 PM 
The Dolphins face a long trek to San Diego in a short week. That has to be a decided disadvantage for the Dolphins as they look to close the season on a positive note. That said the Dolphins have favored this matchup over the last two seasons. In fact, they blitzed the Chargers inexplicably 37-0 last season. However, that was a game played in Miami. If Rivers is going to be worth his salt, this is a game NFL bettors will expect the Chargers' starter to win, if not serve up revenge cold.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 8-6

 

Week 16: vs. Indianapolis (home), Sunday, Dec 27 at 1 PM
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are amongst the top favorites across NFL betting boards, so it's unlikely that the Dolphins are going to win it even with home advantage. The Colts are more talented and they have a superstar-in-the-making in Andrew Luck.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 8-7

 

Week 17: vs. New England (home), Sunday, Jan 3 at 1 PM
Last season, the Dolphins opened with a win over the Patriots. This season, they collide in the last week of the NFL betting season. The Patriots have a tendency to get better and better as the season progresses, so one has to consider that's going to factor in this game. What will also factor is whether the Patriots will need this win towards determining the playoff picture (one assumes they'll be in it). If it is a full strength Patriots, Miami will have a tough go of it.

NFL Pick: Loss
Record 8-8

 

NFL Betting Verdict   
As it is, by our early game-by-game predictions we have the Dolphins matching their 2014 season win total of 8-8. That puts them UNDER the 8.5 mark currently trading at +115 NFL odds at Bovada. It's worth mentioning, the bookies fancy the OVER at -145 NFL odds. So we could be guilty of undervaluing the Dolphins for a second straight season. That said, it really is a brutal 12-game stretch featuring six dates with a 2014 playoff team (twice the New England Patriots). We're not sure the Dolphins are quite there yet to make that big step forward, close though they are.