The Miami Dolphins (4-3) are heading to the Motor City to match up against the Detroit Lions in Week 8.
The Dolphins are coming off a 16-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Lions hope to bounce back from a 24-6 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.
Here’s everything you need to know about the NFL odds for Sunday’s matchup between the Dolphins and Lions — the point spread, moneyline, total Over/Under and a pick from our betting expert (with all NFL odds via FOX Bet).
RELATED: Week 8 lines, odds
Dolphins at Lions (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)
Point spread: Dolphins -3.5 (Dolphins favored to win by more than 3.5 points, otherwise Lions cover)
Moneyline: Dolphins -182 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $15.49 total); Lions +140 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $24 total)
Total scoring over/under: 50.5 points scored by both teams combined
Insights from FOX Sports Gambling Expert Warren Sharp:
Last week we discussed how the Dolphins offense was more efficient than given credit because of the brutal schedule of defenses they faced and the fact that backup QBs played half of their games on the season, and, even worse, backups of backups.
The Dolphins game was closer than expected, largely on account of the offense turtling up in the second half and playing ultra-conservative in an effort to keep Tua healthy in a prime-time game once the game was won.
The Dolphins had five drives in the first half and didn’t punt once. In those first five drives, they had the following pass rates:
When they passed the ball, they were outstanding.
But in the second half, playing with a lead, they massively changed course and essentially only passed on third down when they absolutely needed to:
And that’s despite the fact that these plays were not efficient at all.
First down runs averaged -0.28 EPA/att and 2.3 YPC. All early-down runs averaged -0.22 EPA/rush and 3.3 YPC.
What was a great sign, however, was that Tua came out of the gates playing really well. Most quarterbacks off multi-week layoffs have to shake off early rust, but Tua led three-straight scoring drives.
Now, a week after his first start, playing in a non-National TV 1 p.m. kickoff, Tua finally gets to face a bad defense.
In his first three starts of the season, Tua played nothing but top-10 defenses: Buffalo, Baltimore and New England. Last week was a game against No. 14 Pittsburgh, with his former coach calling the defense against him.
Tua never played an average defense, and he never played a below-average defense… until now.
The Lions rank No. 31 defensively and are No. 31 vs. the pass and No. 29 vs. the run.
Detroit employs a coverage scheme akin to what Tua faced a lot in practice from the Dolphins – a blitz-heavy scheme (fifth highest) that runs a ton of man coverage (second highest). This should help him a ton.
Additionally, Tua has been great against these schemes.
Against man coverage, he averages +0.25 EPA/att and 8.3 YPA. Those rank sixth and eighth in the NFL.
Most teams haven’t been ballsy enough to use man coverage against the speed of this WR corps, with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
In Weeks 1 and 2, the Patriots and Ravens used it on a combined 24 dropbacks.
Tua went 18-of-21, 85% completions for 11.2 YPA, 4 TDs and 0 INTs while averaging +0.80 EPA/att and 71% success. After that, teams didn’t play it against the Dolphins very often.
But the Lions?
They tried twice to play a zone-heavy scheme – once vs. Carson Wentz and once against Geno Smith.
Wentz had one of his best days as a pro in years: 337 yards, 7.3 YPA, 3 TD, 1 INT and 65% completions.
Smith threw for 320 yards on just 30 attempts while averaging 10.7 YPA, 2 TD and 0 INT in his second-best output of the season.
Clearly, the Lions are in a pickle. When they try to use zone, they aren’t great, but they can’t use too much man vs. Tua, or these receivers will eat them alive.
We should also mention Mike McDaniel was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers against this Aaron Glenn Lions defense in Week 1 of 2021. The 49ers led 31-10 at halftime, and the Lions clawed back, as they always do, to a final score of 41-33.
This looks like a good spot for the Dolphins offense. And with the way the Lions offense pushes things, a backdoor will be open for this game to get over the total, but I don’t see enough value to play the full game Over at 51 points.
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