The NFL is set up with another great week of action as the season nears the postseason. Three games will be up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these games will be between the Miami Dolphins and the Las Vegas Raiders. These two teams are in the hunt for a playoff spot, which should lead to a great game. This one will kick off at around 8:15 PM Eastern time on NFL Network.
The Dolphins have put up a record of 9-5 throughout the regular season, which has them sitting in second place of the AFC East. Miami has grabbed the seventh seed in the AFC to this point, but have the Baltimore Ravens right on their tail. The Dolphins will look to keep in control of that playoff spot with a big win on Saturday night.
Las Vegas has earned a record of 7-7 so far this season, which has put them in second place of the AFC West. The Raiders are on the outside looking in the playoff picture. Las Vegas could still earn a playoff spot in the AFC, but need Miami and Baltimore to lose out. If the Raiders can win this game, it will keep their hopes alive. Las Vegas will at least look to play spoiler against the Dolphins in this one.
These two teams are still competing in the AFC playoff picture, but the Raiders playoff hopes are slim. Las Vegas still has a chance, but will at least look to hurt Miami’s playoff chances. The Dolphins have won three of their last four, while the Raiders have lost four of their last five games. Las Vegas will look to finish the season strong after blowing their playoff chances.
Miami faced off against the New England Patriots in Week 15. Nick Folk went 4-4 on field goal chances, but that was all the points that the Patriots could muster. Tua Tagovailoa had two touchdown runs throughout the game, while Salvon Ahmed had another rushing touchdown. The Dolphins defense stood strong as Miami earned a 22-12 win at home.
The Raiders met up with the Los Angeles Chargers last week on Thursday Night Football. Marcus Mariota had a touchdown run and a touchdown pass on the night. Josh Jacobs had another touchdown run, but it was not enough. Justin Herbert had two touchdown passes and a touchdown run in overtime. The Chargers pulled off the upset with a 30-27 win in overtime.
The Dolphins were able to break through on New England last week with a big win, while Las Vegas lost a heartbreaker in overtime. Miami found some success on offense against a strong Patriots defense, while the Chargers exposed the Raiders defense. I expect Las Vegas to use the long week to their advantage as they try to bounce back with a win on Saturday night.
Tua Tagovailoa has taken over as the starting Quarterback for Miami this season. Tagovailoa has done a good job stepping in, earning a record of 5-2 through his starts. He has thrown for 1359 yards, 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Tagovailoa has rushed for 70 yards and 3 touchdowns as well. Last week he went 20-26 for 145 yards and an interception, while rushing for 2 touchdowns.
Marcus Mariota could end up getting the start for the Raiders in this one if Derek Carr is out. Mariota stepped in the Chargers game, going 17-28 for 226 yards, 2 total touchdowns and 1 interception. Carr has thrown for 3396 yards, 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He has also rushed for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Mariota was able to play well coming off the bench in the Los Angeles game, which makes me believe he will be ready to go if Carr can’t play on Saturday night. Tagovailoa has done a good job since stepping in earlier in the season, but if the Raiders offense get going, it could force Tagovailoa to pass more. Tagovailoa still seems a little shaky at times, which could give Las Vegas the edge in this one.
Offense vs Defense
Miami’s offense has struggled a bit throughout this season, but their defense has stood strong. The Dolphins have scored 352 points and gained 4587 yards of offense, which are 16th and 26th in the NFL this season. Miami has held opposing teams to 257 points, which is 2nd in the league. The Dolphins have given up 5013 yards, which is 18th in the league.
The Raiders have gotten the offense going this season, but their defense remains an issue. Las Vegas has put up 377 points, which is 11th in the league. The Raiders have also gained 5250 yards of offense, which is also 11th in the NFL. Las Vegas has given up 421 points and 5396 yards to opposing teams, which is 29th and 25th in the league this season.
The Dolphins defense has been able to put up strong performances throughout this season, but will have to slow down Las Vegas’ offense, which is a tough task. The Raiders have not done well on defense this season, but will look for the long week to help them get some issues figures out. If Las Vegas cannot slow down Miami’s offense, the Dolphins might be able to take over in this one.
The Dolphins are coming off a big win against the Patriots last week, but I think they could have a tough matchup against the Raiders in this one. Las Vegas is coming off back to back tough losses and will look to play spoiler in this one. The Raiders need a lot of help if they are going to sneak in the playoffs, but I still expect Las Vegas to come out hot as they look to win on Saturday night.
BetOnline has Miami listed as a -3 against the spread in this one. This gives a small edge to the Dolphins on the road in this one. I think that the Raiders are going to come into this one much better after the long week. Las Vegas will come in very prepared for this one and I think they can slow down this struggling Miami offense. If the Raiders offense can move the ball early, I think they can pull off the upset.