BetOnline customers may recall that just a few years ago, the Miami Dolphins were dumping players and stocking draft picks. That was in an effort to “rebuild,” while most observers called it “tanking.”
Well, now they have kind of reversed their situation. Instead of building for the future, they are in “win now” mode. That’s the clear message coming from the deals they made both in the off-season and before the trade deadline.
That includes the hiring of Mike McDaniel as head coach. He was the offensive coordinator in San Francisco. He was also the run game technician. He’s got himself a pretty electric thing going in the pass game. But the ground game may prove the key to making some noise in the playoffs. If they get there, that is.
They could take a step in that direction as they visit the Windy City for a date with the Chicago Bears. The kickoff is set for 1 PM ET at Soldier Field.
The Dolphins come into this game with a 5-3 record (3-4 ATS). And they are a game and a half behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East. The Bears are 3-5 (3-4-1 ATS). And they’re tied with the Green Bay Packers for second place in the NFC North, 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Vikings.
NFL Odds & Preview Dolphins vs. Bears
The Dolphins are the road favorites in this game, according to the folks at BetOnline
|Dolphins||-4½ ( -110 )||45½ ( -110 )||-210|
|Bears||+4½ ( -110 )||45½ ( -110 )||+175|
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NFL Odds & Preview – About the Chicago Bears
It’s been a season of ups and downs, but mostly downs. Last Sunday it was a mess on defense, as the Dallas Cowboys ran all over the place. Tony Pollard had 131 of Dallas’ 200 rushing yards as the Bears took a 49=-29 beating on the chin. This certainly dampened the mood after Chicago’s 33-14 win over New England the week before.
There were bright spots. The Bears had 240 yards on the ground, which, coupled with the 243 they had against the Pats, means we may be watching a monster take shape.
Right now Chicago leads the NFL with 188.4 rushing yards a game. That’s way out in front of the pack. And there is no reason to believe they won’t continue. After all, they run the ball on 59.9% of their plays, the highest percentage in the NFL.
And it starts with the quarterback. At this point, you wouldn’t be counting on Justin Fields to win a lot of games with his arm. But he’s been strong when running with the ball, with 424 yards and 5.6 per carry. Khalil Herbert is averaging 6.2 yards, and then there is also David Montgomery. So there is little doubt that this is the best part of their team.
NFL Odds & Preview – About the Miami Dolphins
McDaniel would love to have a great running attack. But the Dolphins are 28th in the NFL with 88 yards per game. McDaniel likes the idea of having people around him from his tenure with the Niners. Raheem Mostert is already part of the backfield. And now Jeff Wilson, who was doing pretty good work filling in for Elijah Mitchell in Frisco, has come in a trade.
Speaking of trades, the Dolphins clearly demonstrated how “all-in” they are by dealing for Bradley Chubb this week. He’ll give the weak pass rush a boost.
And as far as off-season trades are concerned, could they have done better than Tyreek Hill? After a 188-yard effort in Sunday’s 31-27 win over Detroit, he leads the NFL in receiving yards. Teammate Jaylen Waddle is in fourth position. Tua Tagovailoa is almost 70% accurate, and leads the NFL at nine yards per attempt. That’s an explosive air game.
NFL Odds & Preview – Our conclusion
The Bears aren’t going to do a lot of damage throwing the ball. It’s simply not going to happen at this stage of Fields’ career. But it’s very conceivable that Chicago is going to be able to most of what it wants running the ball. After all, not many have stopped them cold so far.
Of course, the Bears didn’t do themselves any favors by trading Roquan Smith, the NFL’s leading tackler. And Miami is really in rhythm with Tua and his star receivers. We think an OVER is entirely possible, and indeed probable.
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