Atlanta at Miami Preseason Week 3 Expert Pick & Odds
The Miami Dolphins are the only team in the NFL that won’t play a home preseason game. Oh, they are listed as the home team for the first time this preseason for Thursday’s game vs. Atlanta, but it’s being played in Orlando because the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium is being renovated — it will be ready for the start of the regular season. Miami is a slight favorite vs. Atlanta on NFL odds.
How to Bet on the Atlanta at Miami Preseason Week 3 Expert Pick, Odds & TV Info
When: Thursday, Aug. 25, 8 PM ET
Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando
Radio: Atlanta / Miami
Opening NFL Lines: Dolphins -2.5 (43.5)
Atlanta vs Miami Historic Betting Trends
Atlanta and Miami are just a short plane ride apart so these teams play frequently in the preseason. They did last year in Miami and the Dolphins won 13-9. Ryan Tannehill threw for 145 yards in less than a half. Tannehill, who played six series, went 15 for 19 with one score before leaving shortly before halftime with Miami leading 7-3. His touchdown pass covered 2 yards to Rishard Matthews. The Falcons ran 15 plays against Miami’s first-team defense, netting 33 yards passing and minus-1 rushing. QB Matt Ryan was 3 for 7 for 49 yards. Star Dolphins receiver Julio Jones didn’t play.
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Falcons are one of a handful of 2-0 teams in the preseason. They won Week 1 against Washington and then last Thursday won 24-13 in Cleveland despite allowing two TD passes to Robert Griffin III. Devonta Freeman scored on a 19-yard run to cap Atlanta’s first drive. Ryan played three series and completed 6 of 11 passes for 78 yards. Atlanta trailed 13-10 at halftime, but went ahead on Brandon Wilds’ 32-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The Falcons gained 498 yards, including 224 on the ground.
The Falcons are going to have a new kicker for this game after signing Shayne Graham on Monday. Nick Rose, who missed a field goal vs. the Browns, was waived in a corresponding move. Graham played five games with the Falcons last season, converting on 11-of- 13 attempts and all eight extra points. With Matt Bryant dealing with some leg tightness, Graham could handle kicking duties the rest of the preseason.
Coach Dan Quinn said he anticipates OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (shoulder) being full go vs. Miami. Beasley, the No. 8 pick in the NFL draft in 2015, played with a torn labrum in his right shoulder last season. And now he is recovering from an unrelated sprained AC joint in the same shoulder. The injury occurred last week in practice and led to the outside linebacker missing the second preseason game. S Kemal Ishmael (shoulder) and RB Terron Ward (ankle) both out vs. the Dolphins.
Why Bet on Miami?
The Dolphins looked very good in opening the preseason with a 27-10 win at the Giants but then lost last Friday in Dallas, 41-14. Tannehill, who played late into the first half with the Dolphins trying to move past a rough opener for the first-team offense, had scoring passes of 13 and 3 yards to Kenny Stills. Tannehill led another drive inside the 5 that ended on downs and finished 12 of 20 for 162 yards. Jay Ajayi and Arian Foster did little to settle things at running back. Ajayi carried six times for 19 yards and Foster had minus-5 yards on two carries in his Miami debut.
Miami’s second-round pick in this year’s draft, Xavien Howard, won’t play vs. Atlanta. Howard, coming off a knee injury that has sidelined him all training camp, said Sunday that he won’t make his preseason debut against the Falcons, but rather the Sept. 1 preseason finale against Tennessee. Howard was expected to offer Tony Lippett a stiff challenge to start opposite Byron Maxwell at cornerback.
Also, Miami center Mike Pouncey is done for the preseason with a hip injury and his Week 1 status is in question. A Pro Bowler in each of the last three seasons, Pouncey’s loss would be a major blow in Week 1 at Seattle. The Dolphins’ backup center is second-year undrafted free agent Anthony Steen. Also out this week is rookie running back Kenyan Drake due to a hamstring injury. Drake has been sidelined since Aug. 5 with the problem.
My Expert Pick
Take the Falcons and the under on NFL lines.