Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7) at Miami Dolphins (10-7)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 10, 2017, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Miami Dolphins -2.5 -- Over/Under: 47.5
Down in Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, September 10, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins will be meeting up in Week 1 NFL action.
The Buccaneers managed to go 1-3 in the preseason this year, bagging a win over the Jags in Week 2 and falling to the Bengals, Browns and Redskins in the other three games. In the fourth week, Tampa Bay fell 13-10, with Sefo Liufau going 16-of-28 for 170 yards, one TD and one pick.
In 2016, the Buccaneers showed some improvement, finishing 9-7 and second overall in the NFC South. Tampa reloaded with a few notable names for the 2017 season, including WR DeSean Jackson, DE Chris Baker and FS JJ Wilcox.
Over on the Dolphins’ side, they’re coming off a preseason in which they went 2-2 overall. Miami beat the Falcons in Week 1 and the Vikings in Week 4, and fell to the Ravens and Eagles in between. In that Vikings game, Miami won 30-9, with WR Jakeem Grant catching four passes for 141 yards and a TD.
The Dolphins managed to go 10-6 and earn a Wild Card bid to the playoffs in 2016. Miami’s hopes were dashed in that opening round, however, with a 30-12 loss to the Steelers. After a season-ending injury to QB Ryan Tannehill, Miami will be relying on Jay Cutler under center, along with new arrivals like OLB Lawrence Timmons and G Ted Larsen.
The Buccaneers are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall. Tampa Bay is also 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 1 and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in September.
Meanwhile, Miami is 4-0 ATS in their last four games in Week 1, and 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games. The Dolphins are also 1-5 ATS in their last six games in September and the over is 5-0 in the Dolphins’ last five home games.
Both these teams showed some major improvement in 2016, and both have a legitimate shot at a playoff berth in 2017. Miami probably has a harder road due to their QB situation, but Cutler should settle in among a pretty talented offense. In the early-going, however, I think the Buccaneers have the edge and I’ll take Tampa for the Week 1 win.