New York Jets (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)
Week 9 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: NYJ +3.5/MIA -3.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The New York Jets come to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in a key AFC East battle. Miami has quietly gotten their act together with two straight wins. They are coming off a bye week that they were able to enter with some momentum. Things had gotten pretty bleak with a 1-4 start under new head coach Adam Gase. But in beating winning teams in consecutive games with wins over the Steelers and Bills, there is some hope now. Can Miami get this to .500 and start making a move this season? Or will the Jets put a stop to the rise? The Jets look to have rallied back from a really tough patch with two straight wins to get to 3-5. On Sunday, the Jets overcame a deficit to beat the Browns on the road, 31-28.
The Dolphins are actually a pretty interesting team now that they've shown what they can do. For the first five games, not a ton went right. They opened up with a good game at Seattle, before collapsing late in a loss. They didn't look too good in following weeks, either, with losses by big margins. Their only win was an overtime struggle against a Cleveland Browns team that still hasn't won a game. But the 'Fins got a quirk in the scheduling that gave them four straight home games. Game one saw another typical Miami letdown, as they were flat in a loss to the Titans. But a two-touchdown win over the powerful Steelers and a win over a Bills team that had won four straight has put the Dolphins in a new light.
Key in Miami's success in getting some positivity in the locker room is the surprise ascension of running back Jay Ajayi. After not doing much, he has put up 418 yards rushing in his last two games with consecutive 200-yard performances. This has taken some of the pressure off QB Ryan Tannehill. With Tannehill pressing less, things are starting to come together for an offense that was really struggling in the first month of the season. And maybe that can help Tannehill make better use of his ball-catching package, with Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker being useful weapons to have.
The addition of a sudden powerful running game has given the defense a little wind in its sails. After spending most of the season getting run past by opposing running backs, the 'Fins have become more robust against the run, as they showed against the Buffalo running-attack in their last game. The pass-defense is actually quite good. By the same token, this part of the team could make more plays. It's a talented group of players and if they can continue heading in the right direction, they can become a respected unit. Right now, this is a team that is still under construction, but recent signs show a team at least heading in the right direction, which was a lot more than you could say a few weeks ago. It's not just that they won two straight games, which even bad teams will do from time to time. But the quality of those wins have forced us to sit up and take notice.
The Jets fell behind to the Browns on Sunday, 20-7, going into the locker rooms at halftime. The Jets got off to a slow start on both sides of the ball. Josh McCown led several scoring drives in the first half against the Jets' defense. And Ryan Fitzpatrick was off to a ragged start, before the Jets got it together. Matt Forte and Bilal Powell put up a combined 158 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Quincy Enunwa has 93 yards receiving and a TD grab. Brandon Marshall leads the way with 540 yards. The Jets' offense looked good in the second half.
Last season, the Jets defense made some strides, but they've been pretty bad this season. A secondary that offered promise has been among the worst in the league. That has forced the whole defense into a quandary. The front is still tip-top, with Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Leonard Williams getting after it. But the back-seven hasn't been good in terms of coverage or run-stop, nor when it comes to registering game-changing plays. And a Jets team with a middling defense is just not in good shape with the offense they have.
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Still, we can't overlook the progress they've made with consecutive wins. The Jets are an easy team to overlook and many of us buried the Jets in our subconscious following a 1-5 start. But this is a weird time of the season when we see a lot of teams running neck and neck. Teams that struggled to cover spreads start cashing winners. And we're seeing that with the Jets. A little subtle change and suddenly they're on the upswing. Whether it be guys coming back, less turnovers, more consistent play, or coaches getting their message across better, they're better off. Those still thinking of the Jets as the 1-5 bunch that couldn't get much right could be left chasing their tails.
The Dolphins and Jets both look to keep moving forward. That should lead to a big effort from both teams at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday. I look for both offenses to be crisp, as both defenses struggle some. In a close game, I anticipate more points than normal, with this one going over. I'm taking the over at 44.5 points.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting over in the Jets vs. Dolphins game at 44.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the New York vs. Miami game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!