Miami Dolphins (6-4) at Denver Broncos (7-3)
The Broncos suffered a shocking loss in St. Louis last Sunday, losing 22-7 as 10 point road favorites. However, that was a very fluky loss and the Broncos played a lot better than the final score suggested. The Broncos had more first downs (21 and 16) and an equal amount of offensive touchdowns (1), as the Rams were overly reliant on a +2 turnover margin. The Broncos moved the chains at a 68.75% rate, as opposed to 60.71% for the Rams. On the season, the Broncos are still first in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 77.62% rate, as opposed to 70.09% for their opponents, a differential of 7.52%.
Despite that, we’re still getting significant line value with the Dolphins as the Dolphins are better than their 6-4 record suggests. Their +69 point differential is actual the same as Denver’s. All 6 of their wins have come by 13 points or more and two of their losses came by 4 points or less against two very solid teams (Green Bay, Detroit). They rank 3rd in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 74.47% rate, as opposed to 68.44% for their opponents, a differential of 6.03%. This line is way too high, especially with Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas in doubt for the Broncos this week.
On top of that, the Dolphins have a much easier game up next, as they head to New York to play the Jets, while the Broncos have to go to Kansas City for one of their toughest games of the season. The Broncos have a way bigger distraction on the horizon, which is going to make it much harder for them to cover here. Teams are 86-106 ATS since 2002 as non-divisional home favorites before being divisional road underdogs since 2002. Conversely, teams are 40-31 ATS since 1989 as non-divisional road underdogs before being divisional road favorites.
Combining the two, teams are 100-61 ATS since 2010 as underdogs before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs, including 36-13 ATS since 2002 as road underdogs before being road favorites when their opponents will next be road underdogs. Going off of that, teams are 85-57 ATS since 2012 before being road favorites of 3 or more and 54-33 ATS before being road favorites of 4 or more. The Dolphins will almost definitely be favored by 4 or more next week in New York against the Jets. As long as the line is more than a touchdown, this is my Pick of the Week.
Denver Broncos 23 Miami Dolphins 20
Pick against the spread: Miami +7.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week