New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins Free Pick 9/30/13
Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0)
NFL Football: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
The Line: New Orleans Saints -6.5 -- Over/Under: 47 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN HD
The Miami Dolphins look to stay perfect on the season Monday night when the Dolphins face off against the Saints in the Superdome.
The New Orleans Saints are sitting at a perfect 3-0 this season, and this team is rolling right now with Sean Payton back at the helm. The Saints got an impressive win against the Falcons to open the season, and then survived a nail biter in Tampa, beating the Bucs 16-14. The Saints were backing home last Sunday, and took care of business, beating the Cards 31-7. One thing that has surprised me somewhat with the Saints this season is how often they are throwing the ball. Now I know the Saints always put up big numbers through the air, but Payton loves the ground game, and right now the Saints are throwing over 65 percent of the time. A lot of that has to do with the inability to get the ground game going, which could be an issue later on in the season. Right now the Saints are averaging just 3.5 yards per rush on the year, and just over 85 yards per game on the ground. New Orleans has been a head in games as well, so you would expect that number to be higher, and the fact that it isn’t has to be a concern. That being said, the Saints are always going to put up points when you have Brees behind center and Jimmy Graham at the tight end spot. Graham is once again proving that he is an impossible matchup for defenses and once again Graham is lighting the league up.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Dolphins are a perfect 3-0 to start the season, just like their opponent here, the New Orleans Saints. The Dolphins also have had a tough road to 3-0, having to beat the Colts in Indy and the Falcons at home last weekend. Ryan Tannehill is really starting to come into his own at the quarterback spot, and is starting to get mentioned more and more in NFL circles as a big time up and coming quarterback. The Dolphins have a very stout defense, which is allowing just 17.7 points per game, and consider that the Dolphins have went up against Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck, that is impressive. Miami is getting it done with solid line play and a very good defense, but like the Saints, the ground game has struggled. Miami is averaging just over 70 yards per game on the ground and 3.2 yards per carry on the year. Lamar Miller is the feature back for the Dolphins, and Miller needs to start contributing more on offense, or this undefeated mark won’t last long. The Dolphins are also one of the most efficient teams in the league, scoring touchdowns on 87.5 percent of the red zone chances, and converting third downs at an astonishing 50 percent clip currently. A testament to just how good Tannehill is becoming.
As a road underdog of 3.5-7 points, the Dolphins are 4-2 against the spread in their last six, and in their last ten games played on turf, Miami is 7-3 against the number. The Saints are 15-4 against the spread the past three seasons at home, and when a home favorite of 3.5-7 points, the Saints are an impressive 8-1 against the number.
I’m going to have to take the Dolphins in this spot. I know the current line value is on the Saints at -6.5, but I don’t think that the number seven will come into play here. On a neutral field I have this game set at pick’em, and even though the Superdome is a tough place to play, I don’t think it’s worth a touchdown to the Saints. I do think New Orleans will get the outright win in this spot, however if you are able, and getting good value, putting a small wager on the money line for the Dolphins, may not be a bad choice. But to be safe, I’d just take the six and a half with Miami here.