IT’S been a bruising week in the NFL so far but we’re confident we can finish on a positive.
The Dolphins will hit the road as they travel to Carolina to take on Cam Newton and the Panthers.
Despite their well known offensive struggles, Miami are still sitting at 4-4 with a chance of making the playoffs.
It’s hard to fathom the thought of a team averaging an NFL-worst 14.5 points per game to have any chance of making the postseason, yet the Dolphins are doing their best to do just that.
The one bright spark for them last week was the emergence of Kenyan Drake at RB in place of Philly-bound Jay Ajari.
After running for more than 100 yards against the Raiders last week the Dolphins will hope that he can help relieve the pressure on Jay Cutler at QB by providing a meaningful option on the ground.
It’s clear that for Miami to have any chance at securing a W here (or anywhere else for that matter) their defence has to be locked in from the start – and they will be favoured to halt an inconsistent Panthers offence.
Carolina has managed just 40 points in their last three games – two wins and one loss to Chicago.
Cam Newton has struggled to find his best form throwing through the air, and the former MVP has the unwanted record of growing more INT’s than TD’s this season (11 INT; 10 TD).
Despite completing 62.4% of his pass attempts this season, Newton is averaging just 6.9 yards per completion and averaging just 219.8 yards per game – both career lows!
Miami rank fifth in the league in pass defence this season in total yards allowed (1,771 yards) and while they don’t secure anywhere as many turnovers as a top tier defence would like (3 INT’s this season) they should boost those numbers after today.
Carolina has seen six of their past eight games go under the points total, and while their defence has a big part to play in that it also comes down to their inability to score points.
The Panthers have failed to score over 20.5 points in their last three straight games, while Miami has managed to keep five of their opponents to under 20.5 points this season.
Expect both sides to struggle offensively in this one, but the real value is on the alternate team total here. We’re projecting the Panthers to score just 17.1 points here giving us great value on this play.
Tip: Carolina Panthers tt u/20.5 points @ $2.62