The Miami Dolphins lost their third straight game last week. After a promising start to their 2021 season, a road win over the New England Patriots, the Dolphins hopes have fizzled with consecutive setbacks against the Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts.
This week, the Dolphins visit the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not exactly the matchup most teams would be looking for in hopes of ending a losing streak, but from a motivational perspective, it couldn’t be better.
Miami is not visiting this year’s champion, they are playing last year’s. The Buccaneers are the 2020 season champions, this is 2021, and the Buccaneers are on a path that is as predictable as flowers in the spring.
The Buccaneers are in an overrated position in both the football and betting worlds. They won the title last year, but they are counting on a 44-year-old quarterback who has noticeably not been as accurate in recent games than memory before this season recalls. Problems with the Buccaneers covering point spreads could be interpreted based on their opening game.
They hosted the Dallas Cowboys, and since the National Football League instituted the defending Super Bowl Champion hosting the season opener on Thursday night, the defending champs have done very well.
Super Bowl winners from the prior year opening at home on Thursday night are 14-2 straight up, including the Buccaneers narrow win and point spread loss to the Cowboys last month. The two losers were the New York Giants in 2012 and New England Patriots in 2017. The overall point spread record of defending champs at home in the opener is 9-4-3, with one of the losses coming in this year’s contest between the Cowboys and Buccaneers.
The only point spread the Buccaneers have covered over the first four weeks was against the Atlanta Falcons. Tom Brady and company were double-digit favorites, and had their lead cut to 28-25 in the second half before late mistakes by Atlanta opened the scoring lanes for the Patriots 48-25 win and cover.
The last two weeks, the Buccaneers lost to the Rams in Los Angeles and edged the Patriots in Foxboro. Now they come home as a double-digit favorite over a Dolphins team looking for some offensive rhythm.
After their opening win, Miami has been barely competitive in their three losses. Last week, after getting blasted by Buffalo and edged by Las Vegas, the Dolphins were favored for the first time this season against a winless Colts team. It was a terrible spot for Miami, and Indianapolis took advantage with a 27-17 victory.
Now the Dolphins move from their first favorite role, which they lost, to a double-digit underdog against an overpriced Buccaneers squad.
I like this a lot.
Qoxhi Picks: Miami Dolphins (+10) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers