Miami Dolphins (0-0) at Washington Redskins (0-0)
I hate making big plays on road favorites that are heavily backed by the public. Those always scream “trap game” to me. Whenever the public is heavily on a road favorite it’s usually for the wrong reason. That reason is that the lines can seem to be too low because homefield advantage is underestimated. Usually teams do about 6 points better at home than on the road, so, for example, when Green Bay is -7 in Chicago this week, that means they’d be -13 at home. People don’t understand that and jump on the 7 (the same thing is happening with Seattle -4 in St. Louis).
However, I’m going with the public on this one. I think the Dolphins are way better than most people realize and should have no problem beating the hapless Redskins by 4, if not a touchdown here to start the season. The Dolphins were arguably the best non-playoff team last season, finishing 10th in rate of moving the chains differential, and they should be even better this season. Now they’ve remade their receiving corps, gotten healthier on the offensive line, and added Ndamukong Suh on the defense. I have them winning the AFC East in a close fight over the Patriots and it’s not inconceivable they could be a top-5 team.
The Redskins are more talented this season too, adding Chris Culliver, Stephen Paea, and Terrence Knighton, but they have arguably the worst quarterback situation in the NFL. They’ve bungled the Robert Griffin situation so much that they’re now starting backup caliber quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has completed 59.0% of his passes for an average of 7.45 YPA, 18 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions in his career. The Dolphins should defeat them pretty easily. Go with the public on this one. They’re right, but for the wrong reason.
Miami Dolphins 27 Washington Redskins 13 Survivor Pick
Pick against the spread: Miami -3.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week