NFL Preseason Picks for Dolphins vs. Falcons

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:55 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 1:55 PM UTC

The Falcons and Dolphins meet up on Friday in what will be each team's first taste of preseason action. Come check out what kind of NFL odds are on offer, as we also dish out our preferred selection with our sports picks.

Odds Overview
Looking over the NFL betting lines that have been released by oddsmakers, we see a general consensus in Atlanta being favored by 2.5 points. If you shop around enough, you may be able to find a line of three points, which would be a huge difference for those of you that like Miami as underdogs.

The total is currently trading at 37.5 points.

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Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins finished 8-8 last season, good for third place in the AFC East, and were unable to make the postseason once again.

There's really not much Miami did well. They ranked in the bottom ten in both passing yards and rushing yards per game, while ranking #16 and #24 in opposing passing and rushing respectively, yet still managed to find a way to win eight games.

Have there been any dramatic improvements made ahead of the new season?

Not necessarily. Ryan Tannehill remains the clear-cut starter at quarterback, while Lamar Miller and new signing Knowshon Moreno will fight for touches out of the backfield. At wideout you've got Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline leading the way, with Brandon Gibson, Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews also in the discussion. Meanwhile, Cortland Finnegan is a nice addition to the secondary.

There is definitely talent on this team, but it remains to be seen if they'll be able to truly challenge in a division that's been owned by New England over the years. We'll get a small taste of what's to come here on Friday.


Atlanta Falcons
Talk about disappointing.

The Falcons were expected to mount a serious challenge for the Super Bowl before last season started, but they fell flat on their faces, with injuries certainly not helping their cause. They ended up 4-12, this coming after they finished 13-3 in 2012.

Looking at the depth chart, especially on the offensive end, you have to figure this Atlanta team will be able to fare much better if the key figures are able to stay healthy. Matt Ryan has a plethora of weapons to throw to, including Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas and even Jacquizz Rodgers out of the backfield.

There was no balance at all to Atlanta's offense last year, however, as they ranked dead last in the NFL with only 77.9 rushing yards per game. They were also awful defensively, ranking #21 against the pass and #31 versus the run. The addition of Pat Angerer from Indianapolis should be a boost to the team defensively.

There are a lot of question marks surrounding the Falcons entering the new season. Is Ryan really the man to lead this team forward? Will Julio Jones return to his pre-injury level of play? Will that defense be able to stop anyone? Maybe we'll get an inkling on some of those answers in the first preseason game.


NFL Pick
We all know how difficult preseason games can be to cap, with playing time restrictions making things very tricky.

We don't expect much playing time, if any, for Ryan and guys like Jones and White, so we believe we'd be best served by siding with Miami as underdogs. We trust the likes of Matt Moore and Pat Devlin, the Dolphins' backup QBs, much more than Atlanta's T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree.

With that said, let's add the Falcons to our NFL picks on Friday night.

NFL Pick: Dolphins +2.5

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