The Miami Dolphins (2-0) will look to stay undefeated on Sunday afternoon when they host the winless Oakland Raiders (0-2). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on Sunday, September 24th at Hard Rock Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Dolphins as 3.5-point home favorites. That line has remained basically unchanged, as Miami is currently available at -3. The total for this matchup is 43.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 3 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Dolphins vs Raiders Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Despite leading for most of the game, Oakland lost a heartbreaker last weekend in Denver to fall to 0-2 in the season. It looked like the Raiders were about to get their first win of the “Jon Gruden” era, as the silver and black were up 19-7 in the 3rd quarter. The Broncos battled back in the 4th quarter, however, and ultimately kicked a 36 yard field goal with just 10 seconds left on the clock to win the game. There were some positives for the Raiders though, especially the improved play of QB Derek Carr who completed 29/32 passing attempts for 298 yards and a touchdown. WR Amari Cooper rebounded nicely after a horrible game against the Rams in Week 1, catching ten passes for 116 yards. Despite ranking 10th overall in total yards, Oakland is almost dead last in the league in points per game, averaging just 16.0 (28th).
The Raiders have looked below average on defense, especially against the run where they are ranked 30th in the NFL (154.0 yards rushing allowed per game). Oakland is also giving up an average of 26.5 points per game, which is 23rd overall.
Miami improved to 2-0 on the season last weekend with an impressive divisional road win over the New York Jets. The Dolphins have struggled on both sides of the ball statistically, but have still managed to find a way to grind out victories in consecutive weeks. QB Ryan Tannehill has a QB rating of 104.9, which is 8th best in the NFL. Tannehill has thrown for almost 400 yards while adding four touchdowns through the air as well. Miami has looked especially good on the ground, especially Kenyan Drake who found the end zone in Week 2 for just the 6th time in his career. As a whole, this Dolphins offense heads into this Week 3 matchup against Oakland ranked 26th in total offense, 6th in rushing, and 15th in scoring.
The Dolphins have been pretty inconsistent, performing well in some categories and struggling in others. They have been fantastic against the run (8th) and scoring defense where they are allowing opponents to score an average of just 16.0 points per game (4th). However, they have really struggled against the pass, where they are currently ranked just 22nd.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Miami -3
I’m pretty surprised that this spread is so small, especially with the Dolphins playing at home. Miami has yet to lose a game so far this season, while the Raiders are still in search of their first win. Yes, the Dolphins haven’t looked like Super Bowl contenders but they have found ways to win tight ball games which is certainly noteworthy. Oakland played much better in Week 2 than they did during their Week 1 dud against the LA Rams, but there are still a lot of question marks – especially on defense where they are clearly missing Khalil Mack immensely. I think Miami offers a ton of value in this particular spot, especially with the emergence of Kenyan Drake at running back.
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The Dolphins are an impressive 4-1-1 ATS over their past six games following an ATS win. Oakland, on the other hand, is just 3-7-1 ATS in their last eleven games against the AFC. They are also a brutal 4-10-2 ATS in their last sixteen games overall.
While many experts seem to be sold on the Raiders finally winning their first game on the road on Sunday, I’m just not buying it. Miami is pretty lucky to be sitting at 2-0, but Oakland has looked below average for consecutive weeks and just blew a huge lead in a divisional game in the 4th quarter. I do expect Carr to have another solid game for the Raiders against a mediocre Dolphins secondary but I don’t think Oakland will be able to slow down Tannehill and Drake enough to pull off the road upset. I’ll take the Dolphins to scrape out another narrow victory at home.