A matchup of AFC East foes meet in Miami for the right to try and catch up with the New England Patriots. Spoiler alert: the Jets or Dolphins are not going to be winning the division so it’s all but a pipe dream. Both teams are under .500, with the Jets at 3-5 and the Dolphins 3-4 following a bye week. Were the Dolphins happy to see that bye week? I’m not so sure, they were playing extremely well and it came to a halt for a week break. There are teams who desperately need a break to rest up and heal, meanwhile you have others that just found their element and want to keep it going. The Dolphins won two in a row against the Steelers and Bills. The Steelers win coming as their biggest of the season, and a 28-25 win against a quality Buffalo defense was fairly impressive. The man of the hour for the Dolphins has been Jay Ajayi.
The former Boise State product, Ajayi, is the breakout player of the season and playing like the best running back in the NFL. Ajayi has rushed for over 200 years in the Dolphins’ previous two games, including 3 touchdowns. He has rumbled for 535 yards and 5 touchdowns. A terrific sophomore campaign for the second-year back. Ajayi has made life easy on quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has not shown any signs of being a franchise quarterback this season. He’s at the point in his career where he has to show up and be a game changer, but 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions does not match his contract. He also sports a below average quarterback rating of 87.5.
The Dolphins welcome the Jets to the newly refurbished Hard Rock Stadium, where they’ll be looking for their third straight win in a row as well. The Jets have wins over Ravens and Browns the last two weeks. A win against the Browns isn’t saying much, but winning on the road is never easy. Their other win came against Buffalo way back on September 15th. In other words, the Jets lost four in a row before snapping that losing streak versus the Ravens. Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been fairly hopeless, with the end of his career on the horizon. It’s a battle of underachieving quarterbacks in Miami this afternoon. Let’s get to the pick below.
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Dolphins -4(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jets vs. Dolphins Pick:
The Jets will have to get something out of Fitzpatrick in Miami if they want to win here. He’s thrown just 7 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions this season. His quarterback rating of 68 is the worst among active starters in the NFL at the moment. The Jets will have to find a way to get the offense in motion and not just simply rely on the defense every week. The Dolphins are allowing just 231.4 yards passing per game, 10th in the NFL. I’m not confident in Fitzpatrick having a solid game against 95 percent of NFL defenses, so I’m certainly not confident in him having a good game on the road in Miami. This will be his second consecutive start on the road.
Ajayi has been on a major roll, as I already mentioned earlier. However, Ajayi and the offensive line is going to be in for a battle in the trenches this afternoon. The Jets aren’t great at a lot of things, but they are very good defending the run. Their run stopping unit are 1st in the NFL, allowing only 74 yards per game against the ground game. I think that a week off may disrupt what they had going in the running game with Ajayi. However, I don’t expect the Dolphins to stray too far from what has been working for them, so I will be looking at a lot of carriers for Ajayi today.
Likewise, it’s a safe prediction that the Jets will pound the ball. Putting the ball in Fitzpatrick’s hands to win this game is dangerous, but they are going against a defensive unit who are allowing 135.6 yards on the ground, 30th in the NFL. I am fairly certain the game plan for the Jets in this game is to hammer the ball. The Dolphins have had a couple of weeks to prepare for a bad Jets’ offense, so I expect the defense to look good, but I don’t see Ajayi running wild again. This should be a low scoring, slug it out 17-13 or 20-17 style of contest. The spread in this game is sharp, but the UNDER looks pretty attractive to me in Miami between the Jets and Dolphins.
PICK: UNDER 44 POINTS (-110)