Miami Dolphins Betting Preview
The 2021-22 season for the Miami Dolphins will be Tua time, all the time.
With the grizzly veteran and oft instant spark plug Ryan Fitzpatrick in Washington this season, second-year signal caller Tua Tagovailo will be in sole possession of the ‘fins offense instead of a co-signer. Keep reading on this Miami Dolphins Betting Preview.
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Can ‘fins end playoff drought?
Miami enters the season after a 10-6 campaign in 2020-21, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot for the fourth straight season.
Can Tua lead the team back to the promised land?
Only time will tell, but the Dolphins do have the fifth easiest strength of schedule starting out the season. Opponents on the Dolphins’ schedule finished last season with a record of 128-144 (.471).
Vegas has the win total for the Dolphins this season set at a reasonable 9 wins for the upcoming season.
Barometer set early
Buffalo is the heavy Online Betting Favorite to win the AFC East division crown for the second consecutive season. We will have a better understanding of just how good the Dolphins will be early in the season. Miami may have the fifth easiest sledding over the course of the 17-game season, but it will have an arduous task in the early going.
The Dolphins open the season on the road against division rival New England before hosting the favored Bills in Week 2.
After a NFL Week 3 trip to Vegas, Miami returns home to face Indianapolis. What originally may have been considered one of the tougher games on the schedule, the Dolphins may catch a break with the uncertain status of the Colts’ new quarterback Carson Wentz — out indefinitely with foot injury.
NFL Week 5 has Miami staying in state and traveling north to Tampa to face long-time nemesis Tom Brady and the defending champs.
If Miami can squeeze out a 3-2 record heading into its NFL Week 6 matchup against the Jags, the Dolphins should be in good shape to reach double-digit wins for the second straight season.
Crucial home stretch
Whether or not Miami can reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016 may hinge on the final three games. The Dolphins are on the road in New Orleans and Tennessee in NFL Weeks 16 and 17 before wrapping up the regular season with the way it started — against the Patriots. The regular-season may serve as a play-in game between the two division rivals who will most likely be chasing Buffalo all season.
Can Tua handle load alone?
As mentioned above, Miami will rely on its second-year quarterback to guide the team into the playoffs. Although Fitzmagic is no longer around to pitch in for a save or get a spot start, former Indianapolis QB Jacoby Brissett will serve as a more than capable backup.
Tua finished last season completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Other key players
In addition to leading receiver DeVante Parker (63-793) returning, Miami added Willer Fuller to the receiving core and drafted Tua’s former teammate from Alabama, Jaylen Waddle.
Fuller comes to South Beach after five productive seasons in Houston. The 6-foot-1 WR caught 53 passes a season ago for 879 yards and eight touchdowns.
Waddle, who was selected No. 6 in this season’s draft and ahead four spots ahead of teammate and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, appears to have fully recovered from an ankle injury that saddled him for most of his final season at ‘Bama. If Waddle is indeed 100 percent to start the season, he could provide a big security blanket for Tua.
Other offensive weapons for the Dolphins will be Myles Gaskins — dual threat out of the backfield — Preston Williams (WR), Mike Gesicki (TE), Malcolm Brown (RB) and Hunter Long (TE).
Can defense continue to progress
However, the pressure of making the playoffs will not fall squarely on Tua’s shoulders and the offense. Miami ranked No. 6 in total defense a season ago.
A big key on whether or not the ‘fins can improve on those numbers may hinge on what develops with the status of cornerback Xavien Howard. The 2020 All-Pro, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions, has recently requested a trade out of Miami and left a recent training camp practice with an undisclosed injury.
Even with the headlines Howard has created, Miami should have enough talent on both sides of the ball to eclipse the 9-win mark.
Despite having a relatively easy strength of schedule, Miami is going to be in a season-long dog fight for a playoff spot. If the ‘fins can take care of business against the teams they are supposed to dominate and pick up a surprise win or two against the rest, the 9 wins should be well within reach. Final record prediction for this Miami Dolphins Betting Preview: 11-6.