Betting News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 Leveraging Tails: Bet on the explosive Miami Dolphins to make quick work of the Tennessee Titans

2RXCY1N Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1), Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) and Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) celebrate Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (not shown) scoring a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

• QB Tua Tagovailoa 325+ passing yards & Miami Dolphins -13.5 (+425): If we look at the last seven weeks of the season, the gap between these two franchises has only widened. The Titans have struggled on offense over this period, while the Dolphins have maintained their terrific offense and fielded a more dominant defense.

• There will be plenty of volume for Tua and company: The Titans are a pass funnel, as they are far better defending against the run than the pass, tilting their opponents to the air.

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Many bettors place wagers in multiple markets — spreads, totals, teasers, props, etc. — where they generally get oriented by following a bottom-up approach: “Which spreads do I like?” or “Which totals stand out this week?”

However, the goal in this space is to follow a top-down approach. We will take a deep dive into one game a week and consider how bettors can best apply a specific theory on a team, player or trend and capitalize on it in the betting market.

Some bets will track more traditional markets, but we will more often look to maximize our upside in the multitude of different markets offered by sportsbooks.

QB Tua Tagovailoa 325+ passing yards & Miami Dolphins -13.5 (+425)

• There is no wonder why the Miami Dolphins are huge favorites in Week 14: The Dolphins offense has been dominant, and the Titans have struggled in all departments.

• However, the full season's sample lacks critical context, as Will Levis has taken over from Ryan Tannehill at quarterback for the Titans, and both teams have evolved as the season has progressed.

• If we look at the last seven weeks of the season, the gap between these two franchises has only widened. The Titans have really struggled on offense over this period, while the Dolphins have maintained their terrific offense and fielded a more dominant defense.

• The Dolphins defense is actually underrated relative to pricing. Markets are currently pricing the group somewhere in between their full-season production and their play in recent weeks.

• I’d argue that the Dolphins' recent performances are far more indicative of the group's true potential. We should not be surprised that the team is improving under a new defensive coordinator as the season goes on, but the recent return of star cornerback Jalen Ramsey has finally allowed the secondary to return to full strength.

• Ramsey is the NFL's ninth-highest-graded cornerback since his return in Week 8. His presence in the lineup has allowed Kader Kohou to slide back into the slot, where he ranks top-10 in preventing separation. It has also meant that Xavien Howard now gets to play against opposing teams' secondary receivers, and Howard ranks in the 85th percentile in preventing separation in this role.

• Further, the Dolphins' pass rush has produced a top-five pressure rate despite ranking in the middle of the back in quick-pressure rate.

Matchup Angle 1

• This leads us to our first matchup angle — the Dolphins' ability to create perfect coverage and Levis’ inability to create big plays against perfect coverage.

• The Dolphins rank top-10 in perfect coverage rate, where Levis has struggled mightily.

• Levis leads the league in sacks on plays where the defense perfectly covers the receivers, and he has been weakest at creating positive outcomes on those plays.

• Couple that with Levis’ play under pressure — he is bottom 10 in sack rate and EPA on these plays — and this figures to be a long day for Tennessee.

Matchup Angle 2

• The Dolphins are obviously one of the most explosive units in the NFL, having posted a league-best explosive drive rate. But the team plays slow and runs often, generally leaving them with a lower passing volume.

• That said, the Titans are a serious pass funnel, as they are far better defending the run than the pass, tilting their opponents to the air.

• Couple that with the expected mismatch for Levis against the Dolphins defense, and there should be an uptick in volume — especially passing volume — for the Dolphins in a great matchup for them.

• While deep passing alts are usually not associated with huge wins, I’m more than comfortable betting on Tagovailoa and the Dolphins to handily beat the Titans through the air.

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