Dolphins vs. Colts Odds & Picks: Can Miami Pull Off Another Upset?

Dolphins vs. Colts Odds & Picks: Can Miami Pull Off Another Upset? article feature image

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeVante Parker, Ryan Fitzpatrick

  • The Dolphins are 11-point underdogs at the Colts. But is Miami being undervalued off its first win?
  • Our experts analyze the betting odds, break down the biggest matchup and make their pick.

Dolphins at Colts Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Colts -11
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Dolphins are coming off their first win of 2019, but are they a good bet this week?

Jacoby Brissett (knee) will likely be a game-time decision meaning Brian Hoyer will be the Colts’ starting QB if Brissett can’t go. Our experts think that the uncertainty surrounding the Indianapolis QB situation means that coach Frank Reich will devise a ground-heavy game plan against the Dolphins’ weak run defense.

Let’s dig into their analysis and see how our staff is betting this spread.

Dolphins-Colts Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Dolphins

Running back Mark Walton was suspended for four games earlier in the week and Miami will also likely be without cornerback Ken Webster (ankle), who hasn’t returned to practice this week. Other than that, everyone else is trending towards playing since most players on their injury report have at least got in limited practices.

T.Y. Hilton (calf) still hasn’t returned to practice and is expected to be out again. Wide receiver Parris Campbell (hand) also hasn’t resumed practicing since he had hand surgery, leaving Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers and Deon Cain to run in 3-WR sets.

colts-steelers-betting-odds-pick-preview-nfl-week 9-2019
Photo credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jacoby Brissett

Surprisingly, Brissett (knee) hasn’t missed any practice despite spraining his MCL last week against the Steelers. It certainly seems like he’s trending towards playing, but we’ll have a better idea once we get statuses on Friday. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Colts RBs vs. Dolphins LBs

Whether the Colts go with an injured Brissett or an aging Hoyer at quarterback, I expect they will rely on their running backs to ease the load. That’s a wise decision: The Dolphins have been horrible against opposing backfields this year.

Teams facing the 1-7 Dolphins have had lots of positive game script, which has inflated their rushing numbers, but the Dolphins have allowed a league-high 134.3 yards rushing per game to opposing running backs this season. They’re No. 31 in running back rushing success rate allowed with a 56% mark (per Sharp Football Stats). And they are even worse in pass defense against running backs, who have a league-high 65% receiving success rate against the Dolphins.

The Dolphins have major issues in the middle of their defense. Their two primary linebackers have very poor Pro Football Focus run defense and coverage grades.

  • Jerome Baker: 523 snaps, 44.1 run defense, 61.2 coverage
  • Sam Eguavoen: 377 snaps, 41.2 run defense, 51.2 coverage

With such a unit, it’s not a surprise that the Dolphins are No. 31 against the run and No. 32 against running backs in the passing game (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA).

Running back Marlon Mack is No. 2 in the league with 19.9 carries per game, and the Colts are No. 4 with a 46.8% run rate. I expect Mack to be used heavily. In his 16 games as a favorite, Mack has averaged 83.9 yards and 0.81 touchdowns from scrimmage on 16.3 carries and two targets per game.

And change-of-pace back Nyheim Hines could also get in on the action. Primarily used as a receiver, Hines did little for the first two weeks of the season, but over the past six games, Hines has had a regular role, pitching in with 3.8 targets and 2.2 carries per game. Six opportunities per game isn’t a lot, but against the Dolphins, that might be enough for Hines to chip in 50-plus yards.

As big home favorites against a subpar defense, Mack and Hines could combine for a 150-yard, two-touchdown performance. Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Colts -11.5
  • Projected Total: 43.5

With the Dolphins coming off their first win of 2019 with a 26-18 victory over the Jets last week, the public appears willing to back them against the Colts here.

As of Thursday evening, 55% of tickets are coming in on Miami (see live public betting data here). Sean Koerner

Expert Pick

Sean Koerner: Colts -11

The main question here is: How big is the drop-off from Brissett to Brian Hoyer?

Brissett is now listed as questionable, but I’m assuming the Colts will sit him in an attempt to get him 100% for next week, so I’ll dock their power rating by four points if Hoyer starts.

Still, given that the market is currently offering slight value on the Colts, it makes sense to take this line in hopes that Brissett ends up suiting up. In that event, I can see the line bumping up to the -14.5 range.

I’m personally timing it so that if Brissett is announced as probable, I’ll bet it before they pull the line off the board.

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