The Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders close out the day on Saturday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Clark County for those that want to point out that Allegiant Stadium, nor is the Strip in the City of Las Vegas. This is an interesting matchup against two teams going in opposite directions. The Raiders have done a disappearing act in the season, and no longer control their own destiny for the playoffs.
It is possible that the Raiders are officially removed from the playoff picture this week. Note that five weeks ago, the Raiders stood a 70% chance of reaching the playoffs. After losing four of their last five games, they are in dire straits with a 1% chance. Their best-case scenario is 7th in the AFC as the final seed.
That best-case scenario is highly unlikely to happen for the Raiders. Jon Gruden has no one to blame but himself and his team. Losing four out of five games at the most important stretch of the season is due to poor discipline. Obviously there’s talent on the Raiders’ roster. They looked really sharp early in the 2020 campaign, but it’s been nothing but slop out of the Raiders recently.
The Raiders are entering Saturday with a record of 7-7. There is a question at quarterback going into Week 16 against the Dolphins. Derek Carr is banged up right now, and Gruden might want to give Mariota another chance after providing a bit of a spark last week. Carr is likely to start, but that is no guarantee. If Carr is healthy enough to play, then it’s unlikely Gruden keeps him off the field.
Gruden is not revealing who the starting quarterback is up until gametime. The Dolphins had to prepare for two quarterbacks this week. That adds an extra wrinkle to this game, but how much motivation do the Raiders have on Saturday night? All of the confidence is with Tua and the 9-5 Dolphins going into this one.
They are winners in eight of their last ten games, with their only defeats a tough 33-27 loss against the Chiefs, and 20-13 loss against the Broncos in a letdown spot. Tua might get a lot of the recognition because he’s the quarterback, but the Miami defense has been the catalyst for this push in 2020. Don’t get me wrong Tua has been solid. Although, his job has been a lot easier with the defense. Head below for our free Dolphins vs. Raiders props for December 26, 2020.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 26, 2020
Darren Waller Receiving Yards
Tight end Darren Waller has been an unstoppable weapon for the Las Vegas Raiders this season. They can line him up all over the field, as a traditional tight end at the end of the line, or as a wideout on the outside. Waller lined up as a wide receiver last week and blew past the secondary for a deep score of 35 yards from Mariota. When it was all said and done against the Chargers, Waller put up 150 yards on 9 receptions. It was the second game in three outings that Waller had at least 150 yards receiving. Waller went for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 receptions against the Jets on December 6.
Waller has accumulated a total of 967 yards and 8 touchdowns on 93 receptions. He is the best tight end in the NFL that no one is paying attention to. Okay, some people are recognizing Waller, but the talk of the Raiders choking away their playoff chances is on the frontburner right now. It’s not because Waller isn’t showing up and playing as hard as he can, though. This is a tough matchup for Waller against the Dolphins’ defense. However, that provides us with a lower total and what looks like solid value. He will see plenty of looks on Saturday night, with a good chance of hauling in more than 57 yards receiving.
Myles Gaskin Rushing Yards
Myles Gaskin has progressed nicely after a shaky year as a rookie in 2019. The standout Washington Husky, started slow in the NFL last season. He struggled to find a way up the depth chart, and was buried for the most of the year. A terrific college talent, but Gaskins didn’t pick things up quickly in the NFL He is coming along nicely this season, though. Gaskins has gained 477 yards and 2 touchdowns on 3.9 yards per carry. He’s continuing to get more and more touches as the season has moved along, too.
Gaskins recorded two of the best performances of his career recently against the Jets and Bengals. He ran for 91 yards and 5.1 yards per carry against the Jets, and then most recently galloped for 90 yards on 4.3 carries last week versus the Bengals. You might say, but yeah, it’s the Jets and Bengals. But this is the Raiders, who have been pretty inept against the run. The Raiders have allowed 125.8 yards per game, which is just about the same as the Bengals, and worse than the Jets. This looks like a good value pick on Gaskins to get OVER on this prop.