How Bettors Can Take Advantage of 2018’s Worst NFL Team
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Prior to the 2017 NFL season, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a torn ACL that kept him out for the entire year. Miami signed everyone’s favorite quarterback, Jay Cutler, to lead the offense, and let’s just say that didn’t go well.
Cutler finished 26th in the league with a 39.8 QBR as the Dolphins offense sputtered to just 17.6 points per game, 28th in the NFL. There appears to be optimism (for some reason) regarding Miami’s 2018 outlook as Tannehill returns to take over for Smokin’ Jay.
While Tannhehill, and frankly anyone, may seem like an upgrade over Cutler, Tannehill’s numbers were quite Cutler-esque leading into last season. He ranked 27th in QBR in 2015 and 24th in 2016, and is now without WR Jarvis Landry.
The Dolphins also lost Ndamukong Suh, who ranked as the 36th-best player in the NFL last year and the only Dolphin among the league’s best 101 players, according to Pro Football Focus.
With the team’s quarterback situation basically a real-world example of the Spiderman pointing meme, its best skill position player off to Cleveland and Suh now a Ram, there’s not much to like about this roster.
According to Bet Labs’ post-draft simulations, Miami projects as the worst team in the league, but that doesn’t mean bettors should be blindly fading the Dolphins across all futures and props. Remember, the betting market is already pricing the Dolphins as one of the league’s worst at 110-1 to win Super Bowl 53, trailing only the Cardinals (165-1), Jets (145-1) and Bears (140-1).
So how can bettors take advantage? Using the results of our most recent simulations, we’ve pinpointed four ways bettors can find value right now by fading the 2018 Miami Dolphins. — PJ Walsh
Oddsmakers have set the Dolphins’ 2018 win total at 6.0 (over -150, under +130). As mentioned above, Tannhehill was below average before tearing his ACL and if the seventh-year pro (how has he been in the league this long?) isn’t ready to play Week 1 or is sidelined due to injury, his backup is Brock Osweiler. BROCK OSWEILER! In five games last season, the former Bronco completed 55.8% of his passes and threw as many interceptions (five) as touchdowns.
Needless to say, we aren’t high on the passing situation in Miami. Quarterbacks win games, and the Dolphins don’t have one. Based on our projections, the Fins win 3.9 games on average despite playing the second-easiest schedule in the league. Miami is the only team with more than a two-win difference between the projections and the betting market. Under 5 (+130) is the smart side. — John Ewing
Will the Dolphins make the playoffs? Unlikely. Westgate is currently offering “Yes” +550 odds that Miami plays past Week 17. No is listed at -800. The implied probability of the team not making the playoffs is 88.9%. The model gives the team a 0.3% chance to reach the postseason or a 99.7% chance of not making the playoffs for a ninth time in the last 10 years. Gamblers have to lay $800 to win $100 betting “No”, but there is value fading the Dolphins. — Ewing
Miami’s ineptitude also benefits New England. According to the numbers, the Patriots have an incredible 95.8% chance to win the AFC East, which converts to a moneyline of -2283. At the time of publication, New England is available at odds ranging from -500 to -600. — Walsh
Shortly after the 2018 schedule release, sportsbooks posted lines for every Week 1 game. After comparing lines to our simulations, we pinpointed Tennessee (-2.5) at Miami as one of three matchups offering value.
That line has yet to move off -2.5, and our post-draft simulations make the line Titans -6.6, meaning there’s plenty of value backing the Titans. — Walsh
Top Photo: Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons