Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
I had the Dolphins as one of the best teams in the league going into the season. They were arguably the best non-playoff team in the league last season, finishing 10th in rate of moving the chains differential. Now they’re improved on the offensive line, improved in the receiving corps, and their defense is better thanks to the massive addition of Ndamukong Suh. They still have some issues at guard, cornerback, and safety, but I think they could be a top-5 team. They didn’t look like one in their first game of the season in Washington, in a 17-10 win that was much tougher than it should have been, but it’s possible they weren’t completely focused for the lowly Redskins and got caught in a much tougher road game than they expected as a result.
The Redskins will be big road favorites here again this week, as they go to Jacksonville. Jacksonville, much the opposite of the Dolphins, is one of the worst teams in the NFL. Already one of the least talented teams coming into the season, the Jaguars are banged up right now and expected to be without 4 starters/key contributors in this one, tight end Julius Thomas, safety John Cyprien, cornerback Dwayne Gratz, and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. They very much deserve to be 6.5 point home underdogs here.
The Jaguars also have a very tough game on deck, as they head to New England next week, where they will almost definitely be double digit underdogs. Teams are 50-89 ATS since 2010 before being underdogs of 10 points or more. That’s because when you have a game coming up like that it generally means one of two things. One, you have a very tough game coming up that serves as a distraction. Two, you really aren’t that good of a football team. I think it’s both in this situation. They’ll have to avoid sleepwalking again like they did last week, but I’m taking the Dolphins as long as this line is under a touchdown with good confidence.
Miami Dolphins 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 10
Pick against the spread: Miami -6.5