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New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins Point Spread - Pick

New Orleans Saints (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 9:30PM EST
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NO -3/MIA +3
Over/Under Total: 49.5

The New Orleans Saints face the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on London in week four action from across the pond. New Orleans stopped the bleeding on Sunday, rebounding from an 0-2 start to the season to decimate the favored home Carolina Panthers, 34-13. They now look to even the slate against the Dolphins, who lost on Sunday to the Jets, 20-6. Both teams had strange results on Sunday, both to opposite extremes. Who can leave Wembley Stadium on Sunday with the win?

The Dolphins were playing only their second game of the season after seeing their week one game postponed. But with all the scuttlebutt and relocation, another road game on week three was probably asking a little too much for the weary 'Fins. Still, the Jets had looked fairly dysfunctional through two weeks and to lose in such lopsided fashion was a bit unsightly for a Dolphins team that has a lot of hopes tied up into this season. Still, they had been run ragged and it's unclear how this will resonate, still having not played at home yet this season. Based on what led to that loss on Sunday and how they've bounced back from defeat before, one should be hesitant to place too much stock in the loss to the Jets.

The Miami offense was lucky it wasn't shut out on Sunday, scoring a TD with time running out to make the score look a little better than it really was. But against a Jets team that allowed 45 points the previous week, the offense was stuck in reverse for most of the day, converting just one of 13 third downs. After a nice first game as a Dolphin, Jay Cutler was off the mark a lot and had one TD and one pick with 220 yards on 44 attempts. Following a big week two game, running back Jay Ajayi was sedate with 16 yards on 11 carries. Their three top receivers, DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills, made plays, but all the offensive drives died on Sunday. The offense possessed the ball for just over 23 minutes on Sunday.

The Miami defense wasn't so bad on Sunday. They gave up an efficient game to Josh McCown, who won just his third start in his last 25 games on Sunday. So far, the secondary hasn't been great, led by Reshad Jones, Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, and Nate Allen. They just have not hit the ground running this season. The middle has Kiko Alonso, but they are missing a lot of pieces in the middle for various reasons and hope the returns of Stephone Anthony and Rey Maualaga are imminent. The line is their saving grace at this point. They have kept both of their opponent's run-games so far this season in check. Ndamukong Suh is a big part of that equation, along with Cameron Wake and Andre Branch, who both had sacks on Sunday in a losing effort.

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Kudos to the Saints for so drastically reversing the inertia of the first two weeks. Things didn't look good, as they were beaten without much suspense in their first two games. On Sunday, we saw the Saints' offense get better use of all its playmakers, while a defense that had been victimized the first two weeks was stout and making plays all over the field. They might play with a wide range and you don't know what to get from week-to-week with them, but on a good week, they can really be a handful.

Drew Brees was on-point for the Saints on Sunday, completing 22 of 29 passes with three touchdown passes and no turnovers. Michael Thomas made some nice catches and had 87 yards and a TD, while former Panther receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. hauled in a 40-yard touchdown. The run-game as a composite was effective, though neither Mark Ingram nor Adrian Peterson have really broken it open yet. All in all, there wasn't much bad to say about the Saints' offense. They didn't turn the ball over or sabotage their effort with penalties. And a line that has been hit with injuries did better than one would have forecasted against an attacking Panthers' defense, both in springing the run-game, in addition to limiting Carolina to one sack on the day.

After entering the game on Sunday ranked last in total defense, the Saints came up with a good effort to tame the Carolina offense. They sacked Cam Newton four times, while picking him off three times. The secondary was active, with PJ Williams, Kenny Vaccaro, and Marcus Williams getting interceptions on the day and doing very well despite a lot of key memebers of the group being out-of-action. CB Ken Crawley has stepped in and done well. In the middle, AJ Klein, Manti Te'o, and Alex Anzalone were effective. Up-front, Cameron Jordan had a sack, as did Alex Okafor. They are not at full-power, but showed on Sunday that they can make the most of it.

The Saints should be energized that they have a chance to even the slate on Sunday, although they will need to do so in London. The Dolphins should be energized, which should give way to a far-better version of the 'Fins than what we saw this past week. But even last season, it took this Miami team some time to see their formula for success really start clicking. Sunday showed they may have fallen prey to some of the unfavorable conditions they faced in the first few weeks of the season, but going to London seems like a strange way to fix that. I'm taking New Orleans.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New Orleans Saints minus 3 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the New Orleans vs. Miami London 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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