Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints Betting Preview

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints Betting Preview

There will be playoff implications in both conferences on Monday night when the New Orleans Saints host the Miami Dolphins. Both teams are 7-7, meaning neither has much margin for error late in the season. The Dolphins are currently listed as 2.5-point road favorites, with the over/under set at 37.5 points.

Even though the Dolphins have won six in a row to get back into the playoff race, they have a lot of work to do. Miami needs a win on Monday just to get into a four-way tie for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. The good news is that a win also puts them just a game behind both the Bills and Patriots in the AFC East.

As for the Saints, a win would put them into a three-way tie with the 49ers and Eagles for the last two Wild Card spots in the NFC. Even with a loss, they’d be only a game behind those two teams with two games left to play. However, they would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with Philadelphia and need to keep it going after winning back-to-back games.

By the Book

The rash of injuries and illnesses within the Saints will force them to start Ian Book at quarterback on Monday. Book will likely make his NFL debut with a short-handed offensive line and perhaps one or two noticeable absences among his skill players. The good news is that Alvin Kamara is healthy if the Saints want to lean on him, although even with Kamara, New Orleans managed just three field goals and 212 total yards last week.

Of course, the New Orleans defense has been outstanding lately and should be full of confidence after shutting out Tom Brady and the Bucs last week. The Saints allowed just nine points against the Jets the previous week, meaning they haven’t allowed a touchdown in eight straight quarters. Even with some players likely to miss the game, the New Orleans defense still has some game-changers, especially in the secondary.

Dolphin Defense

Much like the Saints, the Dolphins have a chance to make the playoffs largely because of their defense. While the Miami defense had an off week against the Jets last week, they’ve allowed 10 points or less in four of their last six games. The Dolphins are sound at all three levels and are one of the best teams in the league at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

That leaves it up to Tua Tagovailoa to not lose the game for Miami. The second-year quarterback is still having some ups and downs, throwing two interceptions last week and three picks in his last four games. On the other hand, Tagovailoa has thrown seven touchdown passes during that stretch, with the Dolphins averaging 24.5 points per game during their six-game winning streak, which is an improvement on their season total.

Believe in D

There’s a lot that could go wrong with the Saints with an untested rookie starting at quarterback, but the New Orleans defense deserves the benefit of the doubt. The Saints have dominated defensively over the last two weeks, and that was on the road. With the Saints and their defense at home, they have a lot of value in this game as a home underdog.

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