NFL

Two Teams on Losing Streaks Meet-Up on Sunday

The good news is that either Houston or Miami will snap long-lost streaks when the two teams meet up as part of week 9 NFL picks. The bad news is that the damage is likely done as each squad has dropped seven straight games following their season-opening wins. 

Sportsbooks can seemingly pull betting lines out of a hat for this matchup between 1-7 teams. Miami has looked the better of the two and is at home, which is why both Bovada and BetUS have the Dolphins as -7 point betting favorites. Totals betting for this meeting has the number at 46. 

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Taylor Back for Houston? 

The Texans offense is one of the worst not only in the NFL this season but what we’ve seen in recent memory. Houston has been held under 10 points in half of their games this year and is 32nd in the league, scoring 14.9 ppg. 

Houston’s offensive struggles are not unexpected, though, starting with QB Deshaun Watson likely missing the season or at least being traded due to personal issues. Backup Tyrod Taylor did look good through the first 1-½ games of the season, but as he’s apt to do, the veteran couldn’t stay healthy and has been out since week 2 with a hamstring injury. 

Betting odds for this game have the Texans with some value as Taylor (70.5% completion rate, four total TDs, 0 INT) is returning to practice. He’s still listed as questionable, though, which means rookie Davis Mills could get his 7th start. Mills has completed 70+ percent of his passes in three of the last four, but it hasn’t translated into wins

Miami Playing Better Than Record Indicates

The Dolphins have been close to getting that elusive second win of the season, losing by 3 in London to the Jaguars and falling 30-28 the following week against Atlanta. Even last week’s 26-11 loss to the Bills wasn’t horrible, with betting odds of MIA +15 and the score being 17-11 until late in the 4th quarter. 

One of the biggest problems with Miami giving the -7 on the betting lines is that their offense is very one-dimensional – and even that dimension isn’t that great. The Dolphins have the 3rd worst rushing game in the league (78.6 ypg), putting a lot of pressure on Tua Tagovailoa and the passing attack. 

Tagovailoa was just 21 of 39 vs. Buffalo, which has a top 5 defense in the league to their credit. Tagovailoa was much better vs. the Jaguars and Falcons, and the close scores showed that. He completed 70.2 and 80 percent of his passes with 6 TD but also had 3 INTs which is problematic. 

The good news for Tagovailoa is that Houston gives up 401.4 ypg, which is 3rd most in the NFL. We may see a rare rushing game appearance for the Dolphins, considering the Texans allow 148.1 ypg on the ground, which ranks 31st in the NFL. 

Texans at Dolphins Pick

The betting odds are somewhat hard to decipher in this one because we don’t know if Taylor goes for the Texans or not. He’s back at practice but also hasn’t played in an NFL game in nearly two months. Houston beat Jacksonville and was tied with the Browns at the half when Taylor was in. 

Ultimately the Dolphins are still the play here because Houston’s recent losses have been pretty wide margins. That includes 28 to the Colts, 26 to the Cardinals, and by 16 to the Rams. Seven points should be doable for Miami. 

Pick: Dolphins -7

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