Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins - 8/10/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Atlanta Falcons (13-6) at Miami Dolphins (10-7)
NFL Football: Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Hard Rock Stadium)
The Line: Miami Dolphins -2 -- Over/Under: 39 See the Latest Odds
On Thursday down in Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium, we’ve got Week 1 preseason NFL action coming between the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins.
The Falcons are coming off a successful 2016 regular season that saw them finish at 11-5 and first place in the NFC South. Atlanta rolled through the playoffs, beating the Seahawks in the Divisional Round and the Packers in the NFC Championship. All of that work was dashed in the Super Bowl, however, as the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter to fall to the Patriots 34-28.
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In 2017, third-year Falcons head coach Dan Quinn will be looking to put the Super Bowl failure behind the team with some early successes. Atlanta made a few notable additions in the offseason by signing DE Jack Crawford and DT Dontari Poe, but also lost some WR depth with the departures of Aldrich Robinson and Eric Weems.
Taking the helm of the offense in Atlanta once again is QB Matt Ryan, who boasts an elite WR target in Julio Jones. WR Mohamed Sanu will have to carry a heavier load this year, while Devonta Freeman handles the No. 1 RB duties.
Over on the Dolphins’ side, they’re fresh off a 2016 season that saw them finish 10-6. Miami started out 1-4 but finished 9-2 on the way to a Wild Card berth and second place in the AFC East. The Dolphins lost in the first round to the Steelers 30-12.
Miami head coach Adam Gase returns for his second season, presiding over a roster with a few new faces. LB Lawrence Timmons and G Ted Larsen join up alongside QB Jay Cutler, while the team will be without Earl Mitchell, Dion Jordan, Dion Sims, Mario Williams and TJ Yates.
It’s looking like Miami could very well be without QB Ryan Tannehill this season, hence the Cutler signing. Top WRs Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills may have to get used to a change, while Jay Ajayi returns for RB duties.
We’ve got a few injury situations to keep an eye on for both teams. The Dolphins will be without Ted Larsen and Rashawn Scott here, while notable questionable designations include Tannehill, Ajayi and Mike Pouncey. As for the Falcons, they’re sitting on a host of questionables including Jake Reed, Ryan Schraeder and Sean Weatherspoon.
The Falcons are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games and 6-1 ATS in their last seven Thursday games. Atlanta is also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on grass, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games and the over is 5-0 in the Dolphins’ last five home games. The under is 8-0-1 in Miami’s last nine Thursday games and the over is 6-1 in Miami’s last seven games overall.
Looking at the depth charts here, it appears Atlanta has the edge at the key positions. The Falcons are a little light at WR, but make up for it with experienced QBs Matt Schlub and Matt Simms. Miami does have Matt Moore, but Cutler is likely not up to speed yet. After the Super Bowl shocker, the Falcons need to come out of the gate strong, so I’ll take Atlanta for the cover and win.