Weak Offenses Suggest 'Under': Dolphins-Raiders NFL Picks

Steven Suarez

Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:49 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014 2:49 PM UTC

Still searching for their first win, the Raiders will welcome the 1-2 Dolphins to Oakland in Week 4. We've run over the early NFL betting odds and think we have a good read on where the best bets are with our NFL picks.

If you think Miami's the play, you can find them favored by either 3.5 or 4 points, with different sportsbooks offering different numbers.

The O/U is at 41 points at 5Dimes, and you can check SBRodds.com for updated line movements throughout the week.

Oakland Raiders in 2014-15 Regular Season: 0-3 SU, 2-1 ATS, -9.3 margin of victory

Injury Watch: Matt Schaub (questionable), Maurice Jones-Drew (questionable), Tyvon Branch (out), Nick Roach (questionable), Sio Moore (questionable), Miles Burris (questionable)

Miami Dolphins in 2014-15 Regular Season: 1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS, -8.3 margin of victory

Injury Watch: Knowshon Moreno (out), Charles Clay (probable), Koa Misi (questionable), Terrence Fede (questionable)

The Raiders have yet to win a single game this season. They've lost at home to Houston (30-14 in Week 2) and on the road to the Jets (19-14) and Patriots (16-9). Thanks to their competitiveness on the road, they've helped out their backers by covering the spread in both games.

Last weekend, Oakland gave New England all they could handle. Though Derek Carr (174 passing yards, zero touchdowns, one interception) wasn't good, and the run game was stuffed for 67 total yards, the Raiders defense stepped up in a major way to keep the game close. Not often do you see Tom Brady and company get neutralized like that, especially at home.

Will they do something similar Week 4 against the Dolphins?

Miami has stuttered since a Week 1 win over the Patriots, losing consecutive games by double digits to Buffalo and then Kansas City. The Dolphins didn't come close to sniffing a cover in either defeat.

In Week 3, Miami lost 34-15 at home to the Chiefs. Ryan Tannehill was 21-of-43 for 205 yards and a touchdown, with Mike Wallace leading the way with five receptions for 74 yards and Brian Hartline reeling in the lone touchdown. Lamar Miller filled in nicely for the injured Knowshon Moreno, running 15 times for 108 yards and adding four receptions or 24 yards.


Suarez Says:
Of the two teams leading into Week 4, Oakland has more injury worries, but the Raiders have the advantage of being at home, and they should also be feeling confident after putting forth a very respectable effort against New England.

Nonetheless, we're finding it challenging to see much value in backing either team in this situation.

The Raiders have really only done one thing well this season, and that's stopping the pass. They've allowed 183.3 yards per game, which puts them fourth in the NFL. They've been bad elsewhere, ranking #29 in passing offense, #31 in rushing offense, and #31 in rushing defense.

We therefore expect to see Miami go with a heavy dosage of Miller in this one, which should help bleed the clock and prevent a high-scoring game. The back had a lot of success last week against a solid Kansas City defense, and should feature heavily again this weekend.

With that said, the 'under' may very well be our best course of action in this Week 4 encounter. We don't love either of these offenses, so let's bank on the defenses stepping up instead with our NFL picks.

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