Colts vs. Dolphins Odds, NFL Picks, Week 4 Predictions: Back Miami As A Home Favorite vs. Indianapolis?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacoby Brissett.
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
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After a tough loss to the Titans last week, the Colts will look to bounce back this week when they visit Hard Rock Stadium to take on the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
The Colts (0-3) played the Titans close for most of the day, but they ultimately saw their efforts fall short in the fourth quarter in a 25-16 loss. The Dolphins (1-2), meanwhile, took the Raiders to overtime on the road last week before a late Daniel Carlson field goal handed them their second loss.
In a game between two struggling teams that’s projected to remain close throughout, should we trust the Dolphins to take care of business at home?
Colts Offense Enters Game Banged Up
Quarterback Carson Wentz (ankle) is questionable for Sunday as he continues to recover from multiple ankle sprains suffered in Week 2.
Running back Jonathan Taylor (knee) is officially questionable, but he is expected to play after practicing on a limited basis all week. Guard Quenton Nelson (ankle) has been ruled out.
Wentz was able to play last week, so assuming there were no setbacks, he should be good to go in this one. That’s not necessarily a good thing for the Colts, though. Wentz was terribly inefficient last week, completing just 51% of his passes and throwing for only 194 yards. He was clearly not 100%, so even if he plays, expect a large dose of the running game — especially considering the Dolphins currently rank 10th among all teams in pass DVOA, per Football Outsiders.
Taylor and Nyheim Hines — the Colts running back tandem — also have a neutral matchup at best against a Dolphins run defense that currently sits at 14th in rush DVOA. Per PFF’s WR/CB Matchup tool, none of Wentz’ primary receiving options have any particular matchup advantage to speak of, either.
Jacoby Brissett, Dolphins Could Lean on Pass
Wide receiver Will Fuller (chest, elbow) is expected to play after limited practice time earlier in the week. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) will remain sidelined for at least the next two games, leaving Jacoby Brissett to man the offense once again.
Brissett hasn’t done much to impress since taking over for Tagovailoa this season, compiling just 384 passing yards, zero touchdowns and one interception thus far. This matchup isn’t overly daunting for him, however — he’ll square off against a Colts defense that currently ranks 22nd in PFF’s defensive rating, 31st in pass coverage and 28th in pass rush rating thus far.
Fuller will have the best individual matchup on the board with a 92.8 advantage against his primary defenders, per PFF, so expect Brissett to look his way early and often on passing downs. DaVante Parker will also have a substantial advantage when lined up against Rock Ya Sin, whom he is projected to see on approximately 24 snaps this week.
Running backs Myles Gaskin and Malcolm Brown will likely have a tougher time, however, as they’ll run into a Colts rush defense that currently ranks 11th in rush DVOA thus far. The two — along with Brissett — combined for only 27 attempts last week, so a similar pass-first approach could be necessary if they wish to exploit their opponent’s weakness in this one.
There are no two ways about it — this is going to be a tough game to watch. Not only do you have two struggling franchises matching up in a game with a projected game total of just 42.5 points, but you also have two teams that will be below full strength due to injury.
Even with the barrage of injuries, the Dolphins project as the better team here at home. They’ll have a matchup advantage across the board while on offense and will undoubtedly trot out the better unit on defense.
If we consider the fact that a three-point spread is considered a standard starting point for a home team, this line insinuates that the Dolphins are the inferior team here. While a fully healthy Colts squad would warrant a more substantial line in favor of Indianapolis, this version with a hobbled Wentz certainly isn’t it.
It won’t be pretty, but at just -2.5, the Dolphins should squeeze out enough offense to cover this minuscule spread. While I’d prefer this at the current number, I’d be comfortable playing it up to -3 if necessary.
Pick: Dolphins -2.5 | Bet to -3