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Dolphins vs Panthers Betting Odds - In battle of two rushing juggernauts, Panthers have passing edge

Posted by Stan Simmons on 11/16/2009 1:20:53 PM
NFL linesThe Dolphins vs Panthers odds are a tricky NFL betting matchup to handicap. Carolina is playing better football than Miami right now, but it does its damage running the ball, and the Dolphins have a stout run defense. The Panthers have a great pass defense but they can’t stop the run and the Dolphins run very well. Could an upset be in the cards?

Dolphins vs Panthers Odds: Panthers -3.5
WHAT: NFL betting
WHEN: Thursday, November 19, 8:20 p.m. ET
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC
KEY STAT: Dolphins rank 30th in passing offense and 27th in passing defense
PICK: Panthers -3.5

Dolphins vs Panthers odds maker breakdown: The Storyline
Each at 4-5 for the season, the Dolphins and Panthers are determined to get taken seriously. Neither team wants to quit the playoff race. Of the two, the Panthers are making the bigger impression on sportsbook bettors after beating Arizona and Atlanta in recent weeks.

Dolphins vs Panthers odds maker breakdown: Offense
The Dolphins and Panthers are virtual mirror images offensively. Neither team passes the ball well; Chad Henne has a great arm but he’s still raw and doesn’t have a legitimate No. 1 or even No. 2-caliber receiver. Jake Delhomme is, well, Jake Delhomme. Both teams run the ball like crazy, however. The Panthers and Dolphins rank third and fourth in the NFL in rushing yards, respectively, and both teams use a tandem approach for success. Miami has Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams while Carolina has DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

Unfortunately for Dolphin fans, Brown sprained his ankle badly last week and is awaiting MRI results. He’s almost certainly out this week. His injury, coupled with the fact that Delhomme at least has Steve Smith as a target, gives Carolina the offensive edge.

Betting Edge: Panthers

Dolphins vs Panthers odds maker breakdown: Defense
The Dolphins stuff the run thanks to a tough front seven led by Joey Porter. They cancel out their stout run “D,” however, with their No. 27 pass defense. Their secondary regularly gets torched for big plays, so Steve Smith may have a nice night. Miami does rush the passer well so it could hurry Delhomme into some bad throws.

Carolina defends the pass extremely well, ranking fourth in the NFL with just 186.4 yards allowed per game. Miami clearly won’t accomplish anything through the air. The problem for Carolina is that the Dolphins never attempt many passes anyway. They’re a run-first team thanks to the wildcat and they’ll definitely try to exploit Carolina’s 25th-ranked run “D.” Since each team does one thing well and one thing poorly on defense, there’s no clear advantage for either side.

Betting Edge: Draw

Dolphins vs Panthers odds for total: 43.5
Though we’ll probably see many mistakes from both quarterbacks, the Dolphins and Panthers’ knack for getting gouged on the ground and allowing big plays puts each of them in the NFL’s bottom third in points allowed per game. Don’t be surprised if the total creeps over the 45-point mark. I’d bet the over.

Pick: Over 43.5

Dolphins vs Panthers odds maker breakdown: Notable Injuries
On one hand, the loss of linebacker Thomas Davis really hurt Carolina’s already-weak run defense. On the other hand, playing without Ronnie Brown makes Miami far less dangerous. Arguably, Brown is more crucial to his team’s success, so the Dolphins will feel the sting more than the Panthers will.

Betting Edge: Panthers

Dolphins vs Panthers betting breakdown: Outlook and Pick
Two flawed teams with identical records amount to a difficult online betting decision, but the edge goes to the Panthers for several reasons: (a) They’re playing at home; (b) they’ve beaten some legit teams in recent weeks; (c) They’re running the ball extremely well and are healthier than Miami in that regard; and (d) Steve Smith at least gives them a chance at doing some damage in the passing game. Go with the Panthers to cover in the Thursday nighter.

STAN’S PICK: Panthers -3.5

Sports betting fans should check the sportsbook daily for updated Dolphins vs Panthers odds leading up to Thursday’s game. For more football betting analysis, keep reading the Betting Edge.



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