Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins: 2016 Week 5 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-3)

The Dolphins are 3.5 point favorites here at home against the Titans, but have a much tougher game on deck, as they have to turn around and host the Pittsburgh Steelers. The early line has them as 4.5 point underdogs. Teams are 51-95 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 4, including 7-19 ATS as favorites, as tough upcoming home games tend to serve as a distraction. Meanwhile, the Titans turn around and host the Browns in arguably the easiest game of their season, a game in which they’re expected to be 5.5 point favorites. With an easy game on deck, they should be completely focused for an opponent who might not be. That’s historically been the case, as underdogs are 82-57 ATS since 2012 before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs.

The Titans are also in their second of two road games, which helps. Teams are 131-98 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 106-66 ATS when it’s their 2nd of 2 road games. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 231-233 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.53 points per game, as opposed to 331-451 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 2.81 points per game.

As long as this line is 3.5, this is my Pick of the Week. About 1 in 4 games are decided by 3 points or fewer, including 1 in 6 games by exactly 3 points. Because of the frequency of 3-point games, this line suggests the Dolphins are a significantly better team than the Titans, which I don’t agree with. This line should be 3 at the most, before you even take into account all of the situational factors involved in this game and the fact that the Dolphins have had little to no homefield advantage in recent years (5-12 ATS at home since 2014, including 3-8 ATS as home favorites). I actually have the Titans as a little bit better than the Dolphins, who could easily be 0-4 right now if not for 3 missed field goals in regulation by the Browns week 3. The Titans are a big play and the money line at +150 isn’t a bad idea either, since this game seems like at least a toss up. Worst case scenario, it’s tough to see the Dolphins winning by more than a field goal.

Tennessee Titans 17 Miami Dolphins 16 Upset Pick +150

Pick against the spread: Tennessee +3.5

Confidence: Pick of the Week

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