Monday Night Football Picks: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/28/2014
OK, don't laugh, but I think there is a chance that the Miami Dolphins can win their first AFC East title since 2008. Yes, I'm well aware that the Dolphins (6-5) entered Week 13 three games behind New England in the division. Not saying I would bet on Miami winning the East.
But bear with me. This only becomes relevant if New England loses in Green Bay on Sunday, which obviously could happen, and Miami wins at the Jets on Monday night, which should happen. So that's a two-game deficit for the Fins. Next week, the Patriots have another very tough one, traveling across the country to face the Chargers. Miami hosts a good Baltimore team but should be a slight favorite. If the Pats lose and Fins win, both very possible, then we are at a one-game deficit. Miami visits New England in Week 15. Win that to tie New England, and I believe Miami wins the division because the Dolphins close at home against the lousy Vikings and Jets. They would have swept the Patriots and thus hold the tiebreaker even if New England wins its final two games. This all isn't likely, but stranger things have happened.
For sure Miami needs to win this game and probably the remaining three home games -- if assuming a loss in New England -- to get to 10-6 and have a shot at a wild-card spot. Entering this week, Miami was just 10th in the AFC playoff standings. However, all those wild-card teams above it -- Chiefs, Chargers, Ravens, Steelers and Browns -- will be playing each other. San Diego still also has to go to Denver, Cincinnati and K.C.. Kansas City plays Denver on Sunday and still has to go to Cincinnati and then that Bolts game. The AFC North is too complex to figure out. But I believe a 10-6 Miami team gets in. Not a 9-7 one.
As for the Jets, just lose out baby! If the draft were held today the Jets (2-9) would pick fifth. Finish 2-14 and I can see them getting to as high as second. I don't see New York getting ahead of Oakland, which the Jets beat in Week 1. The higher the draft spot the better for the franchise to start over at quarterback.
Dolphins at Jets Betting Story Lines
Speaking of the Jets' quarterback situation, they are (laughably) going back to Geno Smith, who clearly isn't a starting QB in this league. But it makes sense because Michael Vick is just on a one-year deal and has done nothing. In last Monday night's embarrassing 38-3 loss in Detroit to a Buffalo team that could barely practice due to the blizzard in the city, Vick was 7-for-19 for 76 yards with a pick and five sacks before being yanked in the third quarter. Smith looked decent, going 10-for-12 for 89 yards.
Reports are that Coach Rex Ryan doesn't want to start Smith and neither does most of the locker room, but the front office is making it happen because it wants to see once and for all whether Smith can be the team's QB of the future (let the Robert Griffin III rumors begin). Ryan apparently has told people he has known all season that GM John Idzik planned to fire him at the end of the year, so it's not like Ryan really cares who starts. Smith was 1-7 as a starter and has 13 turnovers with a terrible rating of 67.4. The locker room was ready to rebel when he started off 2-for-8 for 5 yards with three picks in Week 8 against the Bills, and Ryan pulled him from that game. It was the last time Smith played before Monday. By the way, the Jets will be only the fourth team in league history to play back-to-back Monday games. The 2010 Vikings were the last, and they lost both.
While I tried to be optimistic about the Dolphins' chances of winning the AFC East or at least making the playoffs above, I also think that Coach Joe Philbin is a goner if Miami loses this game. Oh, he won't get fired Tuesday morning or anything, but an upset here likely means a late-season collapse. Remember, the Fins had a chance to make the playoffs last season but were dominated Week 16 in Buffalo and then in Week 17 at home by these Jets.
I do believe Ryan Tannehill has answered any questions on whether he's Miami's QB of the future. He's having a nice season, completing 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,582 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight picks. In the four November games he had a rating of 106.0 and completed a whopping 72.5 percent of his passes. His home/road splits are pretty even. Tannehill needs 211 passing yards to become the fourth Dolphin in team history with 10,000. I think Dan Marino's team record is safe, however. The 2014 rookie class of receivers could be the best ever, according to some, and Miami has a future star in Jarvis Landry, who has 49 catches for 450 yards and five scores. Hard to imagine he and Odell Beckham Jr. were on the same LSU team.
Injury-wise, the Fins have some secondary concerns. Cornerback Jamar Taylor (shoulder) has been ruled out, and fellow Cortland Finnegan (ankle) has been limited this week and is questionable. The Jets likely will be without their best player, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, due to a toe injury.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets NFL Monday Night Football Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Miami is a 7.5-point favorite (-130) with current alternate lines of 7 (-110) and 6.5 (+110). The Fins are -320 on the moneyline and the Jets +260. The total is a low 41.5 points. Miami is 7-4 against the spread (4-2 on road) and 5-6 "over/under" (2-4 on road). The Jets are 2-8-1 ATS (1-5 at home) and 5-6 O/U (3-3 at home).
Miami is 5-0 ATS in its past five vs. the AFC. The Fins are 6-2 ATS in their past eight after a loss. The Jets are 2-5 ATS in their past seven against teams with a winning record. New York has covered just two of its past 11 after a loss of more than 14 points. The over is 6-1 in Miami's past seven Monday games. The under is 13-3 in its past 16 inside the division. The over is 5-0 in New York's past five at home vs. teams with a winning road record. The under is 6-1 in the past seven meetings. The road team has covered four straight.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Expert Picks and Betting Predictions
These teams have split each of the past four years, with the Jets winning their past two in Miami. As noted above, New York bounced Miami from playoff contention with a 20-7 win in Week 17 last year. Smith wasn't too bad, completing 17-of-27 for 190 yards and no picks, also running for a score. Tannehill wasn't good, going 20-for-40 for 204 yards with a TD and three picks. After that win, the Jets announced they had extended Ryan's contract. Oops!
It has been five years since Miami last won a Monday Night Football game as the Fins haven't done so since 2009, losing their past five. That streak ends. Just to be safe, I'm giving only 6.5 points. The weather doesn't look too bad, but I'm going under regardless.
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