I don’t think anyone expected the Dolphins and Saints to have a combined record of 6-0 entering week 4. I’m sure there were plenty of people that expected the Saints to be 3-0, but the Dolphins at 3-0 may come as a surprise to some. Nevertheless, the media and pundits expected Miami to be a well-built team this year, with perhaps enough firepower to be able to compete with the Patriots in the AFC East. I don’t know if they can pull it off, as the Patriots and Tom Brady are doing just fine with the amount of injuries they have to endure.
Speaking of that, we cashed the Patriots last night, which turned out to be a pretty entertaining affair in the end. The Falcons nearly completed the comeback late, but were shut down in the red zone by the Patriots’ defense. The win gave us a 2-1 with my official plays on the blog, and 3-1 in total with a win on Thursday night. I also had a play on the Bears Lions OVER 47, so it’s been another profitable weekend of football betting. Today is the last day of September, which marks the 5th straight month I have been in the green with my baseball and football picks. Let’s end it with another winning pick.
Dolphins vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Miami Dolphins +7 (-105)
@New Orleans Saints -7(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Dolphins vs. Saints Pick:
The New Orleans Saints hit a low last season since Sean Payton has been the head coach of the team. He came and turned the franchise around, but last year he wasn’t even on the sidelines as a result of his suspension from bountygate. It’s easy to see what kind of impact Payton has on the Saints, as they are now 3-0 and looking like a threat to go deep into the playoffs. Tonight Payton and his Saints will have a Monday night game in their own backyard against the surprising Miami Dolphins. The Saints are 3-0 and the Dolphins are 3-0. The Dolphins knocked off the Atlanta Falcons late last week, after Ryan Tannehill staged a comeback to steal one, 27-23. The Dolphins may even have a bigger test in front of them this week, as they’ll need to play in one of the most difficult venues to play in football.
The Dolphins will need to contend with Drew Brees of course, but the real shocker of 2013 has been their defense. The Saints hired former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to take over the controls, and has had nothing but success with his new team. I think this was Ryan’s last shot at making a name for himself in the NFL, so he has certainly answered the call this season. The Saints defense was so bad last season that they broke numerous NFL records for yards allowed in a season. This season, however, has been a totally different story. They are actually a top-5 defense thus far this season, coming in at 4th in total yards allowed after three weeks of play. The Saints are also only allowing 12.7 points per game, primarily stymying the opposing quarterback and the passing game. In this regard, they are only giving up an average of 184.3 yards in the air per game.
If the defense can stay clicking like that, then the Saints are going to be a tough team to beat to say the least. The offense hasn’t exactly been their usual self so far this season, but there is a long way to go, and I’m just waiting for this offense to explode. If the defense is for real and the offense catches up, look out, the Saints are going to be a hard team to beat down the stretch. It’s not say they aren’t bad, it’s just they haven’t been scoring 40 points a game like we have been accustomed to. Nevertheless, they are moving the ball, because they are 6th in the NFL averaging 404.8 yards per game, but only 23.3 points. That’s pretty good, but not Saints like. I expect the offense to put it all together tonight and put some points up on the scoreboard.
The Dolphins defense has been serviceable this year, but have been giving up yardage. The Falcons are the worst in the NFL at converting in the red zone, so it’s easy to see why they are only allowing 17.7 points per game. However, they are ranked 18th in the league in yards allowed per game. If you watched the Saints, Patriots game last night, you know what kind of troubles the Falcons have once they get in the red zone. In fact, they could have ended up winning that game if they scored deep in Patriots’ territory. I don’t think the Saints are going to make the same mistakes the Falcons did last week tonight.
This would seem like a big line for two teams coming in a 3-0, but I think it is set just where it needs to be. This isn’t to say I don’t like one side. I think home field advantage for the Saints on MNF tonight will be too much for the Dolphins to overcome. They came back against a good Falcons team last week at home, but I think the Saints are better than good. The Dolphins will need to put in an even better performance if they plan on picking up a victory tonight. And I’m just not convinced that the Dolphins are as good as their record indicates. The Saints thrive in these primetime slots at home and I don’t see it changing tonight. I’ll lay the points with the Saints in the crazed Super Dome.
PICK: Saints -7 (-115)