Miami Dolphins (6-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)
This line suggests that those two teams are even, with Pittsburgh favored by 3 at home, because 3 is the standard adjustment for home field advantage. I don’t think that’s true. The Steelers started the year 0-4 because of serious turnover battle problems (-9), but that kind of thing usually evens out and the Steelers are +5 in turnovers since then. As a result, they are 5-3 since their bye and they played good football in two of their losses and easily could have won (@ Oakland, @ Baltimore).
They are moving the chains at a 75% rate, as opposed to 74% for their opponents, a differential that ranks 13th in the NFL. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are moving the chains at a 71% rate, as opposed to 74% for their opponents, as they’ve had major offensive line problems and their retooled defense has not lived up to expectations. That ranks 21st in the NFL. That suggests this line should be somewhere around 5.5 instead.
The Dolphins are also in a bad spot as non-divisional road underdogs before being divisional home underdogs, as they head home to face the Patriots next week. Teams are 52-78 ATS in that spot. They’ll probably be too distracted to compete on the road against a superior football team. Going off of that, teams are 60-101 ATS before being home underdogs of 3.5 or more since 2010. Also, fun fact, Dolphins are 17-27 ATS since 1989 before playing the Patriots. It’s not, on its own, a reason to take the Steelers, but it’s worth noting. The Steelers are also rested off of a Thursday night game. I like the Steelers chances here as long as they are only laying a field goal.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23 Miami Dolphins 13
Pick against spread: Pittsburgh -3