Miami Dolphins (4-4 SU, 3-3-2 ATS, 3-5 O/U) at Carolina Panthers (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS, 4-5 O/U)
When and Where: Sunday, Nov. 13, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C., 8:30pmET
Line: Carolina -9
Miami dropped to 4-4 after losing on Sunday night to Oakland, 27-24 at home. The Panthers edged Atlanta, 20-17 at home to improve to 6-3 in the NFC South. They now trail 6-2 New Orleans by a half game and are in pretty good shape for a wild card spot. These teams face each other on Monday night in a non-conference game.
Cutler returns for Dolphins
Even though the Dolphins fell to the Raiders, the good news is that Jay Cutler is back healthy. Cutler, who missed the Baltimore debacle (40-0 loss) with a ribs injury, returned to face the Raiders after getting a 10-day rest. He completed 32 of 42 for 311 yards and three touchdowns with no picks against Oakland. Yet the Dolphins got behind 13-9 at halftime after a Giorgio Tavecchio 53-yard field goal as time expired. Oakland increased the lead to 20-9 on a Marshawn Lynch 22-yard run. Miami answered back with a 6-yard pass from Cutler to Jarvis Landry, but Lynch clinched it on a 3-yard TD run with 4:37 left.
This was a disappointing result for Miami, who traded Jay Ajayi (465 yards) to Philadelphia for a fourth-round pick. Kenyan Drake took over as the prime back and had mixed results with 69 yards on just nine carries but also had a fumble. Miami also struggled with penalties, committing 11 for 107 yards. They allowed 295 passing yards and 84 rushing yards to the Raiders. On the season, Miami ranks 31st in the league in total offense at 270.2 yards per game, 32nd in points per game (14.5ppg) and 30th in rushing yards (77.6ypg). On defense, they are allowing just 315.4 yards per game (10th) and 94 rushing yards (7th). Cutler is having a mediocre season with 1,306 yards passing (87.4 QB rating) with 10 TDs and five picks in seven games.
Defense leads Panthers
Carolina hasn’t scored over 30 points since Oct. 1 when they edged New England on the road, 33-30. They didn’t exactly improve their offense when they traded away Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo before the trade deadline last week. They could have used Benjamin against Atlanta. Quarterback Cam Newton completed 13 of 24 for just 137 yards with no TDs. Benjamin had 32 catches for 475 yards with two TDs and became the prime target with TE Greg Olsen (foot) out injured.
The Panthers found themselves down 10-0 against the Falcons last Sunday in the first quarter before scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 14-10 halftime lead. Two Graham Gano field goals put Carolina up 20-10 before Atlanta scored a late touchdown to make it a 3-point game. After those first 10 points, the Panthers defense was outstanding, especially against the run. They held the Falcons to just rushing yards on 18 carries. On the other side, the Panthers ran for 201 yards, including 86 from Newton and 66 from rookie Christian McCaffrey, who also scored his first rushing TD of the year. McCaffrey has been a disappointment as a runner with just 183 yards (2.9ypc) on 64 carries, but does have 54 catches for 406 yards with two TDs. He might see more action as a runner after starter Jonathan Stewart fumbled twice against the Falcons. Newton has 341 rushing yards with four TDs and has 1,978 passing yards with 10 TDs and 11 INTs (78.4 QB Rating). The offense ranks 21st in total yards (313.1ypg) and 24th in passing yards per game (24th). On defense, they rank first in total yards allowed (274.1ypg) and second against the run (78.4ypg).
- 4-1 ATS last 5 after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- 1-4 ATS last 5 home games.
- 2-5 ATS last 7 in Week 10.
Miami is 5-0 ATS last 5 in this series. That doesn’t matter a whole lot because these teams haven’t faced each other since 2013. But what does matter is Carolina’s offense or lack thereof. I just wouldn’t lay that many points against a pretty good quarterback and group of receivers. The Panthers’ offense is just very limited right now until they get Olsen back in late November.
Miami is the lowest-scoring team in the NFL. Carolina has the league’s best overall defense. Go Over right? No, even though this NFL season has been wacky, to say the least. Miami is 13-4 Under last 17 in Week 10 and Carolina is 9-2-1 Under last 12 after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.