Oakland Raiders (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 O/U) vs. Miami Dolphins (4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS, 2-5 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. EST
The Line: Oakland Raiders -2.5. Total: 44.
The Oakland Raiders have lost five of their last six games heading into a road date with the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday night. Oakland started the season 2-0 but its stretch of poor form includes setbacks against Washington, Denver, Baltimore, the Chargers, and Buffalo. The Dolphins had down three in a row before getting blown out by the Ravens in London last weekend.
Raiders’ running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game by the NFL after he ran on the field in the second quarter of a win over the Chiefs on Oct. 19. Lynch missed last week’s 34-14 loss to Buffalo, during which running back DeAndre Washington lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown just prior to halftime and Jamize Olawale suffered a hamstring injury. Oakland gained just 54 yards on the ground on 14 carries against the Bills. Olawale scored a touchdown but exited after carrying the ball just twice. Washington finished with 26 yards on six attempts.
Lynch was reinstated to the 53-man roster and joined the Raiders on Tuesday. But will he provide a boost to the struggling offense? Maybe not. The veteran is averaging a career-low 3.7 yards per carry since coming out of retirement to join Oakland this season. Lynch has 266 rushing yards this season and two touchdowns.
The worst offense in football
“We’re the worst offense in football,” Miami head coach Adam Gase said last week when asked if he is tempted to play guys who may not be the most talented on the team in order to send a message to the current group that is struggling. “It’s hard to go lower than that…. I wouldn’t say I’m tempted to do anything. I’m going to play the guys that know what to do. The fan-base might not like it, but oh well…. I’m pissed. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the offense being awful. Guys need to get their heads right. The coaching staff needs to do a better job because obviously our players not knowing is a direct reflection on them.”
Gase is correct in his assessment that the Dolphins have the worst offense in football–and it’s not even close. They are averaging 252.4 yards per game, which is almost 35 yards less than second-to-last Cincinnati. Miami, which is scoring a mere 13.1 points per contest, is 30th in the NFL in passing offense and 31st in rushing offense. The latter category may not improve anytime soon because running back Jay Ajayi was traded to the NFL-leading Eagles on Tuesday.
The Oakland Raiders are:
- 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 overall
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games
- 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous game
The Miami Dolphins are:
- 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games against teams with losing records
- 15-43-2 ATS in their last 60 home games against teams with losing road records
- 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game
The Raiders are reeling, but at least they return Lynch this week. Even better news is that they are going up against Miami, which does not appear to be as good as its 4-3 record suggests. In addition to their abysmal offense, the Dolphins are second-to-last in rushing defense. That may be just what the doctor ordered for Lynch to get untracked this season. The Dolphins are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 against losing opponents, 15-43-2 ATS in their last 60 at home against opponents with losing road records, 5-16 ATS in their last 21 after allowing more than 30 points in their previous outing, and 5-12 ATS in their last 17 after scoring less than 15 points in their previous outing. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Oakland Raiders -2.5
Without any help from the running game, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr has struggled just a bit in 2017 after being an MVP candidate last season. Carr is averaging 228.9 passing yards per game with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. As for Miami’s offense, it won’t be getting any better with Ajayi now in in Philadelphia. The under is 6-2 in the Raiders’ last eight on the road. It is also 6-2 in the Dolphins’ last eight overall, 5-1 in their last six on grass, 4-0 in their last four after scoring less than 15 points in their previous outing, 4-1 in their last five following a loss, and 4-1 in their last five after gaining less than 250 yards of offense in their previous outing. Look for this one to stay under the total.