Two teams with playoff aspirations lock up on Monday Night Football as the Miami Dolphins (7-7) take on the New Orleans Saints (7-7).
Both of these teams have overcome rough patches of their seasons to be in the playoff hunt. For the Dolphins, they started the season 1-7 before stringing together six straight victories.
The Saints recently lost five games in a row, but they have now won back-to-back games over the Jets and Buccaneers.
Caesars Superdome in New Orleans will play host to this game Monday, with kickoff scheduled for 8:15 pm ET.
The Saints are 2-4 at the Superdome this season, while the Dolphins are 2-4 on the road this year.
Odds And Trends
The Dolphins are three-point favorites despite playing on the road. They are -168 on the moneyline, while New Orleans is +142. The over/under for total points is 37.
Miami is 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games. In their last seven games against New Orleans, they are just 2-5 against the spread.
The Dolphins are also just 1-4 in their last five games on the road. New Orleans is 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games; however, they are 4-2 in their last six home games against the Dolphins. In their last five games, the under has hit in four of them for New Orleans.
Dolphins Hope To Make It Seven In A Row
What seemed like a lost year has all of a sudden turned into a date with destiny for the Miami Dolphins. A win Monday night would put them into a playoff spot with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.
While a COVID outbreak for the Saints has helped the Dolphins, they can’t take this game lightly with how poorly they have played on the road. Of their six-game win streak, only one of their wins was on the road, a seven-point victory over the lowly New York Jets.
In their last three games, Miami ranks fifth in scoring, averaging 28 points over that span. Against a rock-solid Saints’ defense, though, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the rest of the offense will need to show up.
Defensively, the team is led by Jerome Baker (73 tackles), Jaelan Phillips (8.5 sacks), and Xavien Howard (eight interceptions).
Saints Need Defense To Step Up For Second Straight Week
For the first time in 15 years, Tom Brady was held scoreless last week at the hands of the Saints’ defense. With their shutout last week, the defense has propelled themselves up to fifth in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 20.4 points per game.
They rank fifth in rushing defense (allowing 96.6 yards per game on the ground) and 18th in passing defense (allowing 240.2 yards per game through the air).
The defensive leaders for New Orleans are Demario Davis (95 tackles), Marcus Davenport (6.5 sacks), and P.J. Williams (three interceptions). Given the team has 20 players on the COVID-19 list, including starting quarterback Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian, the defense will once again need to step up.
In fact, the offense will be led under center by Ian Book, who will be making his first career start. If New Orleans has any chance, they will need a solid performance by their defense and their run game (led by Alvin Kamara).
Hard To Bet On COVID-Ravaged Saints
At full strength and playing at home, this would probably be a game that the Saints would be favored in. However, with a quarterback making his first NFL start, this is tough to feel much confidence in New Orleans.
Don’t be mistaken; this won’t be easy for the Dolphins. The Saints showed last week just how imposing their defense can be, but still expect a healthier Dolphins team to steal this one on the road.
Take Miami to win.