Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at Miami Dolphins (4-6)
As I mentioned in the Tennessee/Jacksonville write up, one situation I love betting on is road favorites after a bye. It’s strong for divisional matchups, as teams are 22-3 ATS as divisional road favorites off a bye since 2002, but that trend is still 22-12 ATS for non-divisional matchups and 44-15 ATS overall, so it’s not like it’s not a huge factor in this game.
Whenever, I use that trend, I always check to make sure the team does deserve to be road favorites. Betting road favorites off a bye is great, but if you’re betting on a team that doesn’t deserve to be road favorites, it’s not so good. In order to do this, I use the two methods of computing line value. The rate of sustaining drives differential method says this line should be Seattle -2 and the yards per play differential method says this line should be Seattle -1.5. We’re getting a little bit of line value with the Dolphins +3, especially considering this line shifted 3 whole points in the past week just because Miami lost as dogs by 5 in Buffalo, but we do have confirmation that the Seahawks are deserving road favorites, so that powerful trend can be used, at least in usual cases.
However, this is not a usual case. Because these are the Seahawks, there is one other layer we have to look at. The Seahawks suck on the road. No team has a bigger home/road disparity over the past several years than the Seahawks, who are 32-14 ATS at home and 16-30 ATS on the road since 2007. In past picks, I’ve even mentioned that because the Seattle outscore opponents by an average of 4 points per game at home and get outscored by 8 points per game on the road, lines in their games should use 6 points for home field advantage, rather than 3, which would no longer make the Seahawks deserve road favorites.
On top of that, the Dolphins are rested as well, coming off a Thursday Night game. Teams are 116-96 ATS off a Thursday Night game on a Sunday since 1989. This game is also a 1 PM start on the East Coast, normally a bad situation for West Coast teams. The Seahawks are an especially bad 4-15 ATS on the East Coast at 1 PM. Since 2007, they aren’t awful as road favorites, going 4-5 ATS, but if you go back to just 2005, that becomes 6-11 ATS.
The last time they were road favorites off a bye, they failed to cover and in the division too, one of the three ATS losses in that situation since 2002. Further damning the Seahawks, they are even worse on the road off a bye, 2-6 ATS since 2002, and not off another road game, 11-22 ATS. The Dolphins are in a bad spot too though as non-divisional home dogs before being divisional home dogs, a situation teams are 11-22 ATS in since 2002. They could be caught looking forward to New England next week.
Overall, there’s a ton going on here. The Seahawks are deserving road favorites off a bye by traditional methods, but they’re a terrible road team, especially at 1 PM ET on the East Coast and the Dolphins are pretty rested as well and have a little bit of line value even before you factor in the Seahawks road troubles. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are also in a bad spot and could be caught looking forward to New England next week, though if the 4-6 Dolphins have any playoff ambitions, they pretty much need to win here, so maybe they won’t overlook them.
The public is also heavy on Seattle and because the odds makers need to make money back off a rough 3 week stretch, I’m going to make that the tiebreaker and take Miami, but it would be a zero unit pick if I did them and low in confidence pools. I wish we were getting 3.5 though. This one feels like it will be a push. Actually, if there were some way I could get 5:1 odds this game would be decided by exactly 3 points, I’d probably take that.
Public lean: Seattle (80% range)
Sharps lean: SEA 8 MIA 6
Final update: No change.
Seattle Seahawks 19 Miami Dolphins 16
Pick against spread: Miami +3 (-110) 1 unit