The Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints meet on Monday Night Football to put the Week 16 slate to bed. This is another game impacted by Covid, with the Saints going down to their third-team quarterback to fill in for Monday night.
Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill are unavailable, so rookie Ian Book gets the call for the Saints. Book is a rookie who will be familiar with college football, especially Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans.
"It's an unbelievable opportunity,"
Rookie QB Ian Book on preparing to start his first NFL game on Monday night pic.twitter.com/RgJ70E6ZJz
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 24, 2021
He has the chance of a lifetime in the spotlight tonight at the Caesars Superdome. If Book has a productive game, he could be in the driver’s seat for the backup role in New Orleans next year.
He’s not going to unseat Hill as the starter, though Siemian is most likely out after his contract expires following this year. That provides Book with an opening to make the active roster in 2022.
His job interview for next season begins now. Sean Payton is likely going to keep the playbook simple for Book. He will dial up some deep balls, but there should be a lot of action underneath Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.
Fortunately for the Saints, they have a healthy backfield with Kamara and Ingram, or this would be tough on him. A running back like Kamara takes a lot of pressure off an inexperienced quarterback.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 27, 2021
The Saints are going into Monday night with back-to-back wins over the New York Jets, 30-9, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9-0. It was the first game since the mid-2000’s that Tom Brady didn’t score a point.
They are going into tonight at 7-7 and amid a playoff race. The same goes for the 7-7 Miami Dolphins. Covid might be impacting this game, but the stakes are high in New Orleans. Head below for our free Dolphins vs. Saints pick on December 27, 2021.
Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Miami Dolphins||-3 (-120)||-170||Over 37.5 (-110)|
|New Orleans Saints||+3 (-110)||+100||Under 37.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||Miami Dolphins||New Orleans Saints|
|Points Per Game||20.4||22.4|
|Points Against Per Game||22.3||20.4|
|Passing Yards Per Game||228.1||194.6|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||86.6||117.1|
Dolphins vs. Saints Prediction:
Book has two things working to his advantage tonight. He is going on the field with a potent backfield and a good defense.
Not many young quarterbacks have that luxury. The Saints’ defense has been on fire recently and just frustrated Tom Brady to no end.
Brady has been unable to figure out the Saints’ defense, and I’m not so sure that Tua Tagovailoa is going to lead the Dolphins up and down the field.
Shutting out the Dolphins will be tough, though expect the Saints to contain the Dolphins’ offense. Miami is 24th in the NFL with 314.7 yards per game.
The Dolphins rate as one of the worst teams on the ground in the NFL, with just 86.6 yards per game behind Myles Gaskin and Duke Johnson.
They got going versus the Jets, but don’t expect the same in New Orleans. The Saints have conceded 96.6 yards per game for the fifth-best in the league.
Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Trends:
- 5-1-1 ATS in their previous seven games
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games after scoring more than 30 points
- 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games as a betting favorite on the road
- UNDER is 4-1 in their previous five games as a betting favorite
- UNDER is 5-2 in their previous seven games
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games at the Caesars Superdome
- 1-5 ATS in their previous six games on Monday Night Football
- UNDER is 4-0 in their previous four games
- UNDER is 12-4 in their previous 16 games after a win
- UNDER is 9-2 after allowing less than 15 points
The playbook for Ian Book has to be similar to what Sean Payton puts together for Taysom Hill. It won’t be exact, but look for Book to utilize the quarterback option and take off running when he feels comfortable.
Payton doesn’t want Book forcing the ball into bad situations, and fortunately, he has some legs to take off. Book rushed for 546 yards on 4.9 yards per carry in his final two years at Notre Dame and 485 yards on 4.2 yards per carry.
I like his rushing prop on Monday night, and it should play into a low-scoring game as well. The Saints will stick to what they do best on the ground and close to the line of scrimmage.
New Orleans is 30th in the league in passing, with 194.6 yards per game through the air. It’s not going to get better with Book getting his first career NFL start.
Overall, the Saints are 25th with 311.7 yards per game. They will be fine playing the field possession game against the Dolphins. It doesn’t help that the Saints will be without one of their big-play receivers in Deonte Harris tonight.
Things will get dumb for the Saints if they’re firing away downfield every series. The Saints don’t need to do that and I think Payton is smart. He knows his defense can keep this one within reaching distance for Book.
I recommended playing the Dolphins plus the points last week. Laying the points on the road doesn’t look as attractive. I’m looking at the UNDER in a game that looks like a 17-13 or 20-13 final at the Caesars Superdome.