Miami Dolphins (4-4) at Carolina Panthers (6-3)
The Dolphins are 4-4, but they have been one of the worst teams in the league this season. Their wins have come against the Chargers, who missed 2 field goals, both of which would have won the Chargers the game, the Titans, who were starting backup quarterback Matt Cassel, the Jets, by a field goal, and the Falcons, in a game in which the Falcons jumped out to a 17-0 lead and then took their foot off the gas with a Super Bowl rematch on deck. Meanwhile, their 4 losses have come by a combined 77 points. They have a -63 point differential and rank 29th in first down rate differential at -4.57%.
The Panthers are not quite as good as their 6-3 record either, as they are 4-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less, including a home game against the Falcons last week that they likely would have lost if not for a Julio Jones drop. The Panthers are in a good spot though, heading into the bye week, at home, against an easy opponent. Home favorites of 7+ are 49-28 ATS since 1989 before a regular season bye week when their opponent does not have a bye week on deck. The only reason I wouldn’t put money on the Panthers is because I don’t think we’re getting much line value with them at -9. I have this line calculated at -7.5. It’s a low confidence pick, but the Panthers are the smarter choice for pick ‘em purposes.
Carolina Panthers 23 Miami Dolphins 13
Pick against the spread: Carolina -9