NFL Odds & Picks: Fade the Jets as Big Underdogs vs. Dolphins
Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Jets vs. Dolphins Odds
The last time the Dolphins were favored by eight or more points was back in 2016 when, ironically, Adam Gase was their head coach. Now, Gase brings the 0-6 Jets into Miami, after releasing veteran running back Le’Veon Ball.
What is the best bet in this unpredictable rivalry?
New York Jets
New York released Bell, leaving 37-year-old Frank Gore and unproven rookie La’Mical Perine in the backfield. Rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton and quarterback Sam Darnold are both listed as doubtful, leaving 35-year old Joe Flacco again under center. The Jets are hoping to have wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who has been out with an ankle sprain since Week 2, active to help the veteran slinger.
New York’s offense has been putrid all season. The Jets rank 28th in both run and pass offense DVOA (per Football Outsiders), and average a league-worst 15 points per game.
Flacco was subpar in the Jets 30-10 home loss to Arizona. He completed just 54.5% of his passes for 195 total yards and one touchdown. His limited mobility, lack of playmakers and poor offensive line makes production very challenging.
The lone bright spot for the Jets has been wide receiver Jamison Crowder. The 27-year-old slot receiver ranks second in the league with 22 PPR fantasy points per game. He has double-digit targets and more than 100 receiving yards in each of his three games. The Jets will again need to pepper Crowder, as Miami’s pass defense has limited the production of perimeter wideouts.
New York does still has success stopping the run, with the ninth-best run defense per DVOA. However, they have struggled against the pass, allowing the following stat lines to opposing wideouts:
- DeAndre Hopkins: 6 receptions, 131 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
- Tim Patrick: 6 receptions, 113 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
- Stefon Diggs: 8 receptions, 86 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
- John Brown: 6 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
New York will need to find success on the ground and generate pressure on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to avoid an insurmountable early-game deficit.
The Dolphins have surprised with consecutive wins over Jacksonville and at San Francisco. They are also getting healthy on both sides of the ball.
Defensive end Shaq Lawson and tight end Durham Smythe are listed as questionable after missing the 43-17 win at San Francisco. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy missed practice this week with a groin injury, but he is also expected to play with a questionable designation.
Fitzpatrick had his best performance of the season against the 49ers with 350 passing yards and three touchdown passes. The 37-year-old has two QB7 or better fantasy performances over his past three games.
Miami received a huge offensive boost with a big performance by wide receiver Preston Williams. The 23-year-old former undrafted free agent is fully recovered from an ACL tear that ended his 2019 season. Williams’ four receptions, 106 receiving yards and one touchdown finally gave the Dolphins a complementary receiving threat opposite DeVante Parker on the perimeter this season.
Miami will also use tight end Mike Gesicki to attack the Jets down the middle of the field. Gesicki ranks first in air yards and deep targets among all tight ends.
The Dolphins are vulnerable against the run, ranking 32nd in rushing defense DVOA. Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week with a biceps injury.
However, Miami’s pass defense is becoming one of the NFL’s best, with a pair of top cornerbacks in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Howard ranks 10th overall in Pro Football Focus cornerback grades, and Jones is finally back at full strength and rates among the NFL’s top run defense CBs.
This rivalry is always unpredictable, but the Jets enter with too many injuries to keep this close. It would have been hard to imagine at the beginning of the season that we could see the Dolphins comfortably favored against any team, but here we are.
I’m backing the Dolphins -9.5 against a Jets team that has struggled to generate offense all season. The Jets’ rushing attack isn’t strong enough to control the line of scrimmage, and Fitzpatrick will make enough plays in the passing game to win this game by double digits.
If the Jets had Darnold at quarterback I would feel differently, but I don’t have confidence in Flacco on the road in this spot.
PICK: Dolphins -9.5