Monday Night Football Predictions: Dolphins at Buccaneers Week 10 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/7/2013
Sad to say, I've never played professional sports. I have played in high school and college, so I'm familiar with what goes on in a locker room. I've been the victim of pranks/hazing and certainly helped put the occasional freshman in line as well. Frankly, what the Miami Dolphins' Richie Incognito apparently did to Jonathan Martin sounds tame compared to what I had to endure as a fraternity pledge. But when ESPN gets its hands on a story, it won't let go, so the Incognito-Martin incident is only getting bigger with more news out each day. The latest being that the team's GM said Martin should have punched Incognito if he was bothering Martin.
I'm sure a few coaches and/or front office types are going to get fired over this. Incognito has been suspended and will never play for the Dolphins again. I can't see Martin doing so, either, as he broke the locker room "code" by going narc, and now player after player on the Dolphins has voiced support for Incognito. I would recommend you read a story on MMQB.SI.com by former Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha. It might change your opinion on all this.
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So perhaps the Fins (4-4) will be rather eager to simply play some football on Monday night at winless Tampa Bay. However, I don't know how this isn't a massive distraction to the team. No way the Fins are 100 percent focused on the task at hand with the media buzzing around all week and the NFL investigating the matter. Miami saved its season with last Thursday's overtime win over Cincinnati, but it could go right down the tubes if the Fins lose Monday. They are only a half-game out of the final wild-card spot in the AFC and have two home games up next after this one. So beat the Bucs and maybe all this can be forgotten and a playoff berth is possible. Lose, and watch out.
This mess is about the only thing making Monday's game watchable.
Dolphins at Bucs Betting Story Lines
Miami played desperate late week on a four-game skid, and it showed in beating a Bengals team that had won four in a row. Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake dominated with three sacks, including taking down Andy Dalton for only the third overtime sack in NFL history in the 22-20 win. It had to infuriate bettors who took the “over” 43 points. At worse they were looking at a push (barring an unlikely tie) and their money back. Those who took the “under” got a huge gift.
Ryan Tannehill had been a turnover machine but didn't give it away on Thursday. He was sacked three more times, bringing his NFL-leading total to 35. Obviously, down starters Incognito and Martin won't help matters up front going forward. Tannehill really isn't going to win games for you like Andrew Luck, so the Fins need to be balanced. They were against the Bengals in rushing for a season-high 157 yards. Lamar Miller has started to come on with 194 yards the past two weeks, and he averaged 6.6 ypc carry in his first career 100-yard game in Week 9. Tampa Bay is middle of the pack in rush defense, allowing 107.5 per game.
The Bucs almost pulled one of the biggest upsets of the decade last Sunday, going into Seattle as a 17-point dog and jumping to a 21-0 lead. Rookie QB Mike Glennon and rookie RB Mike James (who finished with a career-high 158 yards) gutted that vaunted Seattle defense in the first half, but the Bucs totaled 76 yards on their final five drives and didn't run a single play in Seattle territory as the Seahawks rallied for the 27-24 OT victory in the biggest comeback in team history. Seattle became only the second team to win this season with a turnover margin of minus-3. I'm not sure the Seahawks took the Bucs all that seriously, so maybe it's a sign of a good team that they still managed to win. Tampa Bay didn't sack Russell Wilson once, and that's been a problem all year as the Bucs have only 17 QB takedowns.
The Bucs remain without top running back Doug Martin, who looks unlikely to return this season. Tampa Bay could get back pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson. He has missed two straight games with a knee injury but did practice this week. Guard Carl Nicks remains out because of MRSA complications, just one more thing to go wrong for Tampa Bay this year. This will be the final prime-time game, I am sure, for Bucs coach Greg Schiano. No way he's back next season. Maybe the Bucs should bring Jon Gruden out of the MNF booth and back to the sideline. He still lives in Tampa.
Dolphins at Bucs NFL Week 10 Betting Odds and Trends
At Bovada, Miami is a three-point favorite (I've seen it at 1 other books) with a total of 41. The Dolphins are 4-4 ATS (2-2 on road) and 5-2-1 over/under (2-2 on road). Tampa Bay is 2-6 ATS (1-3 at home) and 4-4 O/U (2-2 at home). Miami is 5-2 ATS in its past seven after a win. The Fins are 0-4 ATS in their past four Monday night games. Tampa Bay is 0-4-2 ATS in its past six Monday games. The under is 5-1 in Miami's past six against teams with a losing record. The over is 4-1 in the Bucs' past five November games. Tampa Bay is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings (last in 2009, although they play one another every preseason).
Monday Night Football Predictions: Dolphins at Bucs Betting Picks
Tampa Bay really does have too much talent to go winless, even with Martin and receiver Mike Williams out for the year, unlike Jacksonville. Glennon has been rather good of late, with five TDs and no picks the past three games. It also should be a sellout, a rarity these days in Tampa, with Warren Sapp being inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime. This is as big of a trap game as I can think of for Miami. Take Tampa Bay and the under.
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