Pick Dolphins as the 4.5-Point Chalk vs. Jaguars

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 12:37 PM UTC

Jacksonville Jaguars clinched their first win of the season over Cleveland Browns in Week 7 NFL betting. Can the Jaguars make it two in a row at the expense of the Dolphins on Sunday?

Miami Dolphins (3-3, 2-1 away)
The Dolphins improved to 3-3 SU behind a road win in Chicago in week 7 NFL betting, bouncing back from a heartbreaking 27-24 loss at home to the Green Bay Packers. Ryan Tannehill went 25-of-32 for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns. Overall, Miami accounted for 393 yards in total offense – 256 passing and 137 rushing. Importantly, they stifled the Bears’ O-line and Jay Cutler, holding them to just 224 yards of total offense (172 passing and 52 rushing); a feat that caused a huge bust-up in the Bears’ locker room as (allegedly) Brandon Marshall tore Jay Cutler off a strip for the Bears’ unacceptable defeat, which had Soldier Field echoing with boos.

So far this season, the Dolphins have been unable to string together a winning streak. They opened the season with a win over the Patriots but failed to build on that result, succumbing to back-to-back defeats instead to Buffalo and Kansas City. A trip to London saw them rebound at the expense of the hapless Raiders 38-14 before a week 5 bye and improve to 2-2 SU. But it was back to their losing ways in week 6 NFL betting when they collided with the Packers.

In more ways than one, the game with the Bears was a must-win game for the Dolphins. Down 2-3 SU on the season they were in danger of slipping completely out of contention for the playoffs. Credit to them, they went back to work in week 7 on the road, rising to the occasion with a big road win to improve to 3-3. As such, they are deemed the 4.5-point road favourites against a hapless Jacksonville Jaguars side, albeit beaming after clinching their first win on the season.


Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, 1-2 home)
Jacksonville Jaguars defied NFL betting markets when they upset the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, beating the AFC North visitors 24-6 to come through as the 5.5-point home pups and the whopping +210 home pups SU.

Imagine the euphoria in Jacksonville. The win marked their first win in ten games, a losing streak that goes back to last season. Not to take anything away from them, but it remains to be seen whether it’s a bona fide turnaround for the franchise or whether it’s a one off. A happy result that correlates to a letdown by the Cleveland Browns, who after a big home win over divisional rivals Steelers in week 6 NFL betting took their eye off the ball, so to speak.  Took the Jaguars, their winless run on the season and inexperienced quarterback for granted to their own detriment.

Fact is the Jaguars are still a work in progress with a 1-6 SU record. They’ve been outscored 105-to-191 through seven games, yielding a minus 86-point differential. Jacksonville Jaguars still average only 15 points per game all while conceding 27.3 points per game. They’ve a long way to go to alter betting public’s opinion.


Dolphins -4.5 (-115) vs. Jaguars +4.5 (-105)
The Dolphins take a huge confidence boost from their road win in Chicago, which keeps them in the running for a playoff spot. As far as scheduling goes, they couldn’t have asked for a better opponent against which to attempt building a winning streak than the Jacksonville Jaguars. On paper, the Jaguars are a much weaker outfit – they rank near the bottom of the league on both sides of the ball.

Granted the Jaguars are after a win, and a good one too against a decent outfit, but one win doesn’t all of a sudden make a winning team.  Dolphins rushing offense ranks fifth in the league with an average of 136.3 yards per game; overall, they are averaging 24.5 points per game. The Jaguars defense is sure to have its hands full.

Although the Dolphins allow an average of 23.0 points per game, they rank amongst the best in total yards allowed. They’ve allowed the fewest yards to date of 1882, and they are fourth against the pass with 213 yards per game allowed and tenth against the rush with 100.3 yards per game allowed. Blake Bortles and his fledgling O-line will have its work cut out to back up their win over the Browns.


NFL Betting Verdict 
Backing the Jaguars appears to be the vogue NFL pick right now. The convincing deposit in week 7 NFL betting has gone a long way to alter perceptions. Any perceived inconsistency by the Dolphins also fuels this stance. That said had this game occurred in week 6 for instance, the NFL odds for this game would have been considerably larger, which could have led to hesitation – Dolphins aren’t a side that NFL bettors would consistently trust with a massive spread.

The recent turnaround by the Jaguars and their back-to-back covers in NFL betting has brought about a more conservative, shorter spread of 4.5-points. Which can only be fortuitous for backers of both teams, but, arguably, more so for Miami backers. The Dolphins don’t get the benefit of a favourable nod on the road very often. Since 2013, actually, there have been only two occasions when the Dolphins were road favourites and they spilt those games 1-1-0 ATS. But, crucially, the average margin of victory in those instances was at 8.5-points, which fits in nicely here. As such, we feel the Miami Dolphins are the value NFL picks as the 4.5-point chalk.

Free NFL Picks: Dolphins -4.5  at 5Dimes

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