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Dolphins vs Chargers Odds - Improved San Diego defense tames Wildcat

Posted by D.J. Tomkins on 9/22/2009 11:01:00 AM
NFL latest linesSan Diego is one of the toughest sports betting choices to gauge in the entire league as they tend to not play to their potential, or else they get bad luck with injuries. Miami heads to the West Coast this Sunday to take on the Chargers, but the Chargers will make a statement in this game - especially on defense - and shut down the Wildcat offense of the Dolphins.

Dolphins vs Chargers odds: Chargers -6.5 (Total: 43)

  • WHAT: NFL Week 3 odds
  • WHEN: Sunday, September 27, 4:15 PM ET
  • WHERE: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
  • KEY STAT: Miami has won four straight in San Diego
  • PICK: San Diego -6.5

Dolphins vs Chargers odds maker breakdown: The Storyline
The Dolphins (0-2) are still looking for their first win of the season after giving away a home game against Indianapolis, in which their offense was on the field for over 45 minutes, but some suspect play-calling and clock management down the stretch hurt them. The Chargers (1-1) also stumbled down the stretch in a 31-26 loss to Baltimore, and they could very well be 0-2.

Dolphins vs Chargers odds maker breakdown: Offense
Miami’s Wildcat offense ran wild against the Colts, racking up 239 yards on the ground, led by Ronnie Brown’s 136 yards and a pair of scores. But they ran the worst two-minute offense we’ve seen in a long time down the stretch, and due to Chad Pennington’s lack of arm strength, big plays don’t happen that often.

The Chargers’ offense is fifth in the league, but they made a fatal mistake against the Ravens, calling a run play right up the middle on a fourth-and-2 but they failed to block Baltimore’s Ray Lewis. This took the shine off a career day for Philip Rivers, who threw for 436 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also picked off twice. The ground game is struggling badly as the Chargers are 30th in the league on the ground. LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt, and Darren Sproles is averaging under 3.0 yards per carry.

Betting Edge: Chargers

Dolphins vs Chargers odds maker breakdown: Defense
Miami couldn’t stop Peyton Manning on Monday night, even with being on the field for only 15 minutes. This isn’t a good sign when going up against Rivers and a very potent San Diego offense. The pass-rush duo of Joey Porter and Jason Taylor has yet to make a significant impact on Miami’s Super Bowl odds.

On the flip side, the Chargers have had troubles stopping the run so far this year, which plays into Miami’s Wildcat offense quite nicely. Shawne Merriman has yet to record a sack in his return to action, and he’s struggling with a groin injury. Merriman’s return was supposed to spark the Chargers, but they’ve been poor even by AFC West standards.

Betting Edge: Draw

Dolphins vs Chargers odds maker breakdown: Special Teams
Dan Carpenter missed a field goal against the Colts, and with guys like Davone Bess and Ted Ginn Jr. returning kicks and punts, Miami’s return game should really be much better than it is. Little things like this add up to low odds in your sportsbook.

The Chargers lead the league in kickoff returns, but are 29th in punt returns, and their coverage teams are average, at best. Kicker Nate Kaeding is perfect on five field-goal attempts so far, and Mike Scifres is fifth in the league in net punting.

Betting Edge: Chargers

Dolphins vs Chargers odds maker breakdown: Notable Injuries
The Dolphins come into this game relatively healthy, save for some injuries to bit-part players.

Tomlinson (ankle) and Merriman (groin) will practice this week to see if they can go against the Dolphins, while Shaun Phillips (groin) is also in a race to get healthy. The offensive line could be in trouble as well as Louis Vasquez (foot) and Nick Hardwick (ankle) may be out.

Betting Edge: Dolphins

Dolphins vs Chargers betting breakdown: Outlook and Pick
Miami has had the Chargers’ number in recent years, winning six in a row over San Diego, including a 17-10 win at home last year. The Dolphins kept Rivers quiet and the Wildcat ran wild on the Chargers, but this will be a different story. Miami will have to prove they can put the disappointment of last week behind them, but their secondary looked brutal and Rivers will go at them. If Phillips is healthy, that’s a boost to the run defense, and that means Pennington will be forced to beat the Chargers, which isn’t a good scenario for Miami.

Go with the under in this matchup, as the Chargers’ defense will keep the Dolphins at bay. San Diego are having their own troubles in the red zone as well, as they were 0-for-5 against the Ravens.

DJ’S PICK: Chargers -6.5; UNDER 43

For more online sports betting picks and tips en route to the Super Bowl, follow DJ in the Betting Edge at For additional info on the Dolphins vs Chargers matchup, check out our stats section.

D.J. Tomkins is one of's NFL experts.



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