Just when it seemed as though the Miami Dolphins were destined to earn their first sports betting victory of the season, a cruel twist of fate stole that destiny from their grasp in the dying seconds of a 17-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns, leaving head coach Tony Sparano’s club at 0-3. With just 14 wins through his past 34 games there is little doubt that Sparano is now on the hot seat in Miami, and things could get worse with a trip to face another talented team in the San Diego Chargers this Sunday.
Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers
Sunday October 2, 2011 – 4:15 PM ET
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
NFL Betting Lines: San Diego Chargers - 7
If any group can sympathize with early season struggles, it is head coach Norv Turner and his Chargers. Slow starts have hurt San Diego in each of the past two years, and cost them a postseason position a year ago. Turner would now like to think those struggles are in the past as his team looks to earn their third win in four weeks this Sunday, but fans aren’t taking anything for granted on the west coast.
NFL Betting Preview: Miami Dolphins
For a team ranks 12th in total offense and third in total defense, the Dolphins could be the best team to start with three straight losses in recent memory. Quarterback Chad Henne has shown progress and still has the potential to be a solid NFL starter, and the Miami rushing attack ranks seventh, so the offense has been in pretty good shape. The problem so far has been the inability of the defense to stop some of the talented offenses they have faced, although there is no excuse for the Cleveland Browns scoring 17 after they held the Houston Texans to just 23 the week before. The Dolphins will need a strong effort from their defense and a little luck if they are going to be able to keep up with a talented San Diego team.
NFL Betting Preview: San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have managed to avoid another rough September in terms of wins and losses, but they still haven’t come close to reaching their potential as a team. San Diego’s two wins have come by an average of 5.5 points against the winless Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs, and they are going to have to play with more intensity on both sides of the ball if they are going to complete the first quarter of the season above the .500 mark. The Chargers have a ton of weapons on offense, but quarterback Phillip Rivers is going to have to do a better job of protecting the football after throwing four interceptions through the past two games. San Diego has had trouble stopping the run so far, and that usually leads to bigger problems.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
The Chargers have all the tools to be a Super Bowl contender, but they still haven’t proven that they can demonstrate that potential early on in the season, and they could be due for another upset against a Miami team desperate for a win before their bye. The Dolphins may not come out on top in a tough sportsbook promo
stadium, but they should be able to keep it close.
NFL Betting Pick: Miami Dolphins