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NFL Betting: Saints, Dolphins Meet In Battle Of The Unbeatens In The Big Easy

Posted by Stan Simmons on 9/28/2013 8:44:28 AM

The New Orleans Saints expected to be 3-0 at this point in the season. Maybe the Miami Dolphins did as well, but it’s clear that Miami is the far bigger surprise in 2013.

Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints – Monday, September 30

Betting line: Saints -7

Why Miami Will Win

This is a fascinating online sports betting setup, in that a 3-0 team is having to prove itself on a national stage before a lot of critics who are still a little bit uncertain (if not very uncertain) about this team’s legitimacy. Miami’s offense has not been prolific through three games, but it has made enough plays to win, especially last week against a good Atlanta Falcon team which very nearly made the Super Bowl last season. Young quarterback Ryan Tannehill is showing signs of rounding into form and becoming an above-average NFL signal caller. A last-minute drive to beat Matt Ryan and the Falcons will certainly elevate one’s reputation in the world of professional football. There are plenty of signs that the Dolphins, despite not winning games in blowouts, are becoming an AFC playoff team and a genuine Super Bowl contender.

Want to know what is perhaps the biggest reason why Miami is coming of age as a football team? The Dolphins just don’t make a lot of mistakes, and they force the opposition to play clean football to beat them. Miami was able to get away with 10 penalties in week one against a very bad Cleveland Browns team, but head coach Joe Philbin got his team’s attention after that sloppy performance. Miami has committed just two penalties (total) in the last two games, and for just 13 yards, too. The Dolphins haven’t committed any of the kinds of penalties that can get a team a loss. The absence of defensive pass interference penalties on long, downfield throws is one big reason the Dolphins’ defense has not given way against the likes of Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Matt Ryan of the Falcons. If Miami continues to avoid mistakes, it will continue to play and win close games against good teams.

Why New Orleans Will Win

The Saints have more firepower than Miami. It has to be said that the Dolphins were outgained last week against Atlanta. The Dolphins were playing that game uphill for most of the day. They were extremely resilient, but they did not control the line of scrimmage for most of the first three and a half quarters. The Dolphins’ offense is doing what it needs to do in big moments, but it is not very consistent on a drive-to-drive basis. This pattern of playing just well enough to win isn’t sustainable. Miami will be a factor this season, but will it be good enough to take down New Orleans on the road, especially now that the Saints’ offense appears to be hitting its stride? Probably not.

Who Will Win

For a bettor, this is a tricky game. New Orleans deserves a bettor’s trust, but Miami has shown an ability to play very consistently on defense and not allow many big plays. The Dolphins have found a winning template, and once a team gets to that point, it can be hard to knock off. The Saints will probably win this game, but they won’t win by more than six points. Take the Dolphins against the spread.

NFL Betting Pick: Dolphins +7

Get the latest inside skinny on the NFL’s week four lines at the best betting site on the web.


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