Mike McDaniel is one of the favorites to be named NFL Coach of the Year. The Miami Dolphins are likely to have their best season since 2008, and they have an outside shot of winning 12 games or more for the first time since 1990. This is the best offense we’ve seen in south Florida since Dan Marino was under center, and that’s why the Dolphins are road favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
The Los Angeles Chargers are one game outside the playoff picture following their loss to Las Vegas last week. They are looking to get back into the hunt, but they have yet to beat a team with a winning record this season. That bodes well for the Miami Dolphins as they head to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California for Sunday Night Football on December 11, 2022, at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
NFL Week 14 Betting Odds
Miami Dolphins -3
Los Angeles Chargers +3
Money Line: Dolphins -160, Chargers +140
We’ve seen some movement since the NFL betting odds for this game were released on Sunday evening. Initially, the Miami Dolphins were only a 2.5-point favorite, but that number has fully crossed three to reach 3.5. The total has slightly risen too after it opened at 51.5 a few nights ago.
The Miami Dolphins have the most explosive passing game in the NFL with Tua Tagovailoa throwing the ball to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They are averaging 8.1 YPA as a team, but Tagovailoa is averaging 9.0 YPA and has thrown for 21 touchdowns with five interceptions. Hill currently leads the NFL with 96 receptions and 1,379 receiving yards, while Waddle has 57 receptions for 972 yards. Unfortunately, Waddle is coming off his worst game of the season with one catch for nine yards off five targets, and he is questionable to play on Sunday night with a leg injury.
Waddle isn’t the only player that is banged up as left tackle Terron Armstead is questionable. Starting left guard Liam Eichenberg and right tackle Austin Jackson are on injured reserve and blocking tight end Durham Smythe is questionable too. That could hamper the effectiveness of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. in the ground game, but the Los Angeles Chargers do have the worst run defense in the league.
Miami is allowing 24.1 PPG and 344.0 YPG. The Dolphins have a slightly below average defense as while the front seven has been alright, the secondary has struggled without Byron Jones. Melvin Ingram has made a difference as a situational pass rusher.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert is having another fine year under center for the Los Angeles Chargers. He was the third quarterback taken in the 2020 NFL Draft behind Joe Burrow and Tagovailoa, and he outperformed Tagovailoa by a sizeable amount until this season. Herbert is completing 66.7% of his passes for 3,339 yards (6.5 YPA) with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His overall stats aren’t great, but that doesn’t take into account the lack of a solid run game and the absence of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams for a considerable amount of the season.
This ground game is likely to struggle again as left tackle Rashawn Slater is still on injured reserve, and offensive linemen Corey Linsley, Zion Johnson, and Trey Pipkins III are all questionable to play. Mike Williams has seen one target since October 23 as he has missed several games with an ankle injury, so Josh Palmer is the No. 1 receiver ahead of Williams and Keenan Allen. That has led to Austin Ekeler playing an outsized role in this offense. Ekeler has run for 589 yards (4.3 YPC) and seven touchdowns, and he has 85 receptions for 564 yards and five touchdowns in the passing game.
The Chargers have the worst run defense in the league because their defensive line is banged up. Four players are on injured reserve, and that doesn’t include star linebacker Joey Bosa. Top cornerback J.C. Jackson only played a couple games before suffering a season-ending injury, and top defensive back Derwin James is questionable with a quad issue.
Dolphins at Chargers Free Pick
The Dolphins should bounce back from last week’s loss to San Francisco with a big win on Sunday night Football over the Los Angeles Chargers.
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