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Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Point Spread - Pick

Miami Dolphins (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: MIA +10.5/ATL -10.5
Over/Under Total: 47

The Miami Dolphins come to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in week 6 action. The Falcons are coming off a bye-week, so they should be well-rested for this home-game. In their last game two weeks ago, they fell to the Buffalo Bills in an upset at home, 23-17. It was their first loss of the season and they now turn their attention to another visiting AFC East team in the Dolphins. On Sunday, the Dolphins were able to move to 2-2 with a 16-10 win over the Titans. They look for a big win this week on the road against the Falcons.

The time should help the Falcons, who are a little banged-up. They really worked hard to extinguish the leftover stink in the locker-room from last season by piling up wins to start this season. A little weariness was visible in the loss to Buffalo, with injuries not helping, either. Right Tackle Ryan Schraeder has been out for two games with a concussion and his return would really help. Last season, they saw all starting five offensive linemen start all 16 games. Also on offense, Julio Jones is dealing with a hip flexor issue, while Mohamed Sanu is still working his way back from a hurt hamstring. And on defense, a lot of key pieces are banged-up or out, with Vic Beasley the biggest loss. In any event, this is a key game in the trajectory of the Falcons' season. After a loss and a bye week, they now need to answer.

We'll see as the week progresses how Julio Jones looks. While it's not an offense that is dependent entirely on any one person, there is some major drop-off in the Atlanta receiver package without Jones and Sanu, with all respect to Taylor Gabriel, Austin Hooper, and their backs, most of whom are capable ball-catchers. In the backfield is a great 1-2 punch with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. And it doesn't hurt when the guy running the offense is the league's defending MVP, with Matt Ryan usually coming up with the right answers. It's just that they're not at full-health and we'll see how that resonates in this game.

The ATL defense has been pretty good. Even in their loss to Buffalo, they only allowed 16 points, with the other TD coming on a defensive TD. This is not a defense that necessarily needs to be great. With their offense, it suffices for them to be just a capable group, with elements of clutch and a playmaking flair. They've only secured two turnovers on the season and that number will need to go up. And without Beasley (questionable), they've lost a chunk of their pass-rushing prowess. While not a bad secondary, they're not terribly deep and recent injuries to guys like S Ricardo Allen and the suspension of CB Jalen Collins has hurt. All in all, however, they haven't been bad and have given their offense more than a good chance to win all their games this season.


Miami played their first home game on Sunday, after seeing their home opener postponed in week one. They now hit the road again in a game where they will be out of their element in an NFC south venue. In a tie game against the Titans on Sunday, Jay Cutler was able to hit Jarvis Landry for a go-ahead TD, while the defense kept the Mariota-less Titans off the board late to secure the win. Still, the offense continues to languish, as they entered the game with just 6 points in their last two games. They only had 16 against the Titans with 7 of those coming on a defensive touchdown. Their defense has been solid, but if they want to hang in there with the Falcons this week, their offense will need an infusion of energy.

Jay Cutler delivered late to get the win, but he was otherwise pedestrian with 92 yards on 12-for-26 passing. Jay Ajayi ran for 77 yards, but he lost a fumble and hasn't really gotten untracked this season as of yet. Jarvis Landry led all receivers with 44 yards, but no other ball-catcher had more than 15 yards through the air last Sunday. The aerial attack is a bit frustrating, with receivers dropping a lot of balls and Cutler not really ever airing it out at all. When it comes to just about every offensive category, the Dolphins rank near the bottom. Yet, they managed to pull off the win and look to take it to 3-2 this week, despite the odds not favoring it against a rested Falcons team that will be looking to make up for their last game at home when they were upset by the Bills. Their banged-up secondary still faces a daunting challenge this week.

The defense was a big part of the Miami win on Sunday, contributing a score and keeping the Titans offense under wraps as the Dolphins offense again struggled. Reshad Jones was big with the TD, as he also recovered another fumble on the day. Lawrence Timmons took some time to get on the field this year, but he is looking good and gives the middle a boost, along with Kiko Alonso and Ray Maualuga. Up-front, they are formidable and get after the quarterback, with Andre Branch notching two sacks on the day, while Charles Harris, Ndamukong Suh, and Cameron Wake also were able to get to the quarterback. In 4 games, while not getting a lot of support on the other side of the ball, they have held opponents to 67 combined points.

The Dolphins have their work cut out this week. You have to wonder if playing one lone game at home with this being week 6 will start to weigh on them. The Falcons are nice and dug in at home and losing two in a row at home is something they will be gunning to avoid. Still, the dogged Miami defense can be a thorn in their side, especially if they are able to register big plays. This spread looks a little too big and while an Atlanta romp is certainly never really out of the question, I see the Dolphins' resourcefulness going a long way this week. We're taking points.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Miami Dolphins plus 10.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Dolphins vs. Falcons game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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