I’m trying to reverse engineer the odds for Dallas Cowboys (10-4) at the Miami Dolphins (10-14) Christmas Eve in NFL Week 16. Cowboys-Dolphins is a pick ’em in the Circa Million V football betting contest. Miami is a slight favorite across the board as of Friday.
The Dolphins get a boost for home-field advantage Sunday. Granted, Hard Rock Stadium isn’t a tough place for visitors to play. So let’s give the ‘Phins a 1.5-boost as the home team. Essentially, the market is saying Dallas is better than Miami at their current versions.
Well, the Dude doesn’t not abide.
Sure, the Dolphins have a sketchy injury report. They have two starting offensive linemen missing practice this week. Tyreek Hill missed Miami’s 30-0 vs. the New York Jets last week with an ankle injury.
But, Hill hasn’t been walking with a limp. I think Hill could’ve played last week if Miami needed him. Plus, Cowboys OG Zack Martin and LT Tyron Smith haven’t practiced this week either. One of Dallas’s biggest strength is its offensive line and both of these guys are future Hall of Famers.
So, I’m not seeing the case for the Cowboys. Let’s look at these teams’ best. Miami hung 70 on the Denver Broncos in September. Knowing what we know now about the Rams, Dallas’s best game is a 43-20 home win vs. LA in Week 8.
I have a lot of “yeah, but’s” for the Cowboys’ win over the Rams. Dallas was coming off of a bye. That was a different Rams team than the one that’s currently an NFC Wild Card seed. Rams WR Cooper Kupp was still getting his feet under him and they were missing RB Kyren Williams.
More importantly, the Cowboys are monsters at home and this game is in South Beach. They are 7-0 straight up (SU) and 6-1 against the spread (ATS) while scoring roughly 40 points per game (PPG). Dallas is 3-4 SU and ATS and scoring just 21.7 PPG.
Furthermore, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa is 16-2 SU & 13-5 ATS with +6.1 spread differential as a home favorite in his career. Miami is 6-1 SU with a +19.4 scoring margin and 5-2 ATS at home this season.
Florida Man, and fellow OutKick writer, Zach Dean winced when I predicted the Dolphins would crush the Cowboys Christmas Eve. Dean is a tortured ‘Phins fanatic who thinks I may have jinxed Miami with my confidence.
That said, Dallas is more cursed than the Dolphins and the Cowboys shrink in big games. Since hiring head coach Mike McCarthy, Dallas is 5-11 SU and ATS vs. non-divisional opponents with a winning record.
This leads to another point, which is the Cowboys have three embarrassing losses this year while the Dolphins have just two. They both lost at the Buffalo Bills this season. Miami got hammered 48-20 in Week 4 and Dallas lost last week 31-10.
However, the Bills were at full strength when they beat the Dolphins. Whereas Buffalo’s defense was missing two All-Pros (LB Matt Milano and Tre White) for its game vs. Dallas. The Bills put enough on film for Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel to use to pick apart the Cowboys.
Also, I’m buying stock in Miami’s defense with CB Jalen Ramsey playing. Ramsey made his debut for the Dolphins in Week 8. Since then, their defense leads the NFL in expected points added per play and ranks 2nd in success rate.
Everyone knew Miami’s defense would improve under 1st-year defensive coordinator Vic Fangio once Ramsey was back. That’s coming to fruition. The Dolphins have All-Pro talent on all three levels of their defense.
The bottom line is Miami has the better passing attack, coaching staff, and defense. And all we need is for the Dolphins to win at home. My only concern here is I’m TOO confident in Miami and maybe I’m missing something.
Miami will be one of my five NFL Week 16 Circa Million V football betting contest picks. I’m willing to RISK 2 units on DOLPHINS (-125) MONEYLINE at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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