Joe Philbin's past performance makes the Carolina Panthers a solid NFL pick this Saturday night when they host the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 of NFL preseason action.
Week 1 of the 2015 NFL preseason is in the books. How did your NFL picks do? Probably somewhere around .500 would be our guess. We're part of that majority here at the ranch; we loaded up on all six Thursday and all six Friday games, ending up at 5-6-1 against the spread and 6-4-2 against the total. That's a textbook break-even week right there, folks.
We'll take it, of course. And we'll gladly keep fading the Miami Dolphins during the preseason, including this Saturday night (7:00 p.m. ET) when they visit the Carolina Panthers. The Dolphins did their civic duty by losing 27-10 to the Chicago Bears (+2 at home) in Week 1, thus falling to 3-10 ATS in exhibition play under head coach Joe Philbin. Our NFL odds board at press time shows Miami getting two points in very early action.
Dolphins fans have every right to feel a bit shaky about their team's prospects under Philbin, but last week's results were actually quite positive for Miami. The first unit looked very sharp against the Bears, moving the ball with alacrity on offense and shutting Chicago down on defense. We can expect to see QB Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the Dolphins starters get stretched out a little more this Saturday, but just a little – for the most part, it will be Miami's second- and third-stringers facing Carolina.
That suits our purposes just fine. Miami's reserves looked very bad last week against Chicago, and we're not convinced that things are going to improve in this area. The Dolphins did a fine job of improving their starters during the offseason, especially with the addition of DT Ndamukong Suh, but Miami's front office is something of a boondoggle right now, with a nebulous hierarchy and not much of a track record in team-building. Praying for the Good Health Fairy to visit your clubhouse isn't enough.
The Panthers took some money back off our table by beating the Buffalo Bills 25-24 last week as 3-point road dogs. We originally recommended the OVER for this matchup, dissatisfied with the profit margin available ATS; Panthers coach Ron Rivera was 9-7 ATS in the preseason going into Week 1, and we were concerned that third-stringer Joe Webb might not keep up with Buffalo's three-headed QB monster.
And that's how things went – until the final minute of play, when Webb connected with Brandon Wegher for a 42-yard touchdown, then found Paul Browning moments later for the game-winning 2-point conversion. Be that as it may, all three of Carolina's QBs played well enough, and we're looking forward to seeing what first-round pick Shaq Thompson can do at linebacker after sitting out the preseason opener with a bad hammy. Stay the course with the Miami Fade Machine, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Panthers –2 at BetOnline