The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins both had pretty damned awful 2017 campaigns. The Bucs floundered to a dismal 5-11 record despite entering the 2017 season with some really high hopes after going 9-7 in 2016. At least the Miami Dolphins can say they had a good reason for going 6-10 last season after losing starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill in training camp.
Now both Florida-based franchises are looking to get back in the playoffs in 2018, even though I don’t have a whole lot of belief that either will. If you’re looking for some NFL preseason betting value, then let’s get to my expert pick on this Week 1 Inter-Conference clash.
Buccaneers v Dolphins NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds
When: Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM ETWhere: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FloridaLive Stream: NFL Game PassNFL Odds: Miami -1.5 / Total: 34.5
Why Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Why bet on Tampa Bay in this contest? Well, because they have the better quarterbacks (I guess) and more talent at the skill positions. Jameis Winston went 3-10 as a starter last season and Dirk Koetter looked like a guy that basically lost control of his team in my mind. Tampa Bay ranked 18th in scoring (20.9 ppg) and an even more uninspiring 24th in points allowed (23.9 ppg).
Tampa Bay is 3-5 in eight preseason games under Koetter. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely play for a bit in this affair before giving way to Ryan Griffin and backups, Austin Allen. It doesn’t bode well that Koetter has already gone on record to say that neither quarterback has a chance of surpassing Fitzpatrick.
- Average Score For: 20.94
- Total Yards: 363.50
- Pass Yards: 273
- Rush Yards: 90.50
- Average Score Against: 23.88
- Total Yards: 378.06
- Pass Yards: 260.56
- Rush Yards: 117.50
Why Bet on the Miami Dolphins?
Why bet on the Dolphins in this Week 1 preseason opener? The best reason is that they’re playing at home. Miami made a seriously foolish decision to add mediocre veteran Jay Cutler last season and it certainly didn’t pay any dividends as the Fins finished the 2017 season ranked a pitiful 28th in scoring (17.6 ppg) and awful 29t in points allowed (24.6 ppg).
Now, with Tannehill back in the fold, Miami is expecting better things on offense, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen with the team jettisoning both, Pro Bowler running back Jay Ajayi and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Yes, they added Danny Amendola and Frank Gore in free agency, but the fact of the matter is that both players are well past their respective primes. More importantly, the Fins added the completely awful Brock Osweiler to be the backup to Tannehill with the mediocre David Fales and Bryce Petty battling it out for the third string job.
- Average Score For: 17.56
- Total Yards: 307.69
- Pass Yards: 220.94
- Rush Yards: 86.75
- Average Score Against: 24.56
- Total Yards: 335.69
- Pass Yards: 225.19
- Rush Yards: 110.50
Expert Analysis and Predictions Buccaneers v Dolphins
This game should be completely and utterly awful. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Tannehill won’t play more than one series if that and Brock Osweiler is so bad he could make a football fan go blind. This game will come down to who plays better between Ryan Griffin and David Fales and Austin Allen and Bryce Petty and that just shouldn’t excite anyone.
For me, I believe the best play in this Week 1 preseason matchup is to play the under 34.5 total points. A bunch of awful quarterbacks that likely won’t produce a bunch of points will be on the field and that should keep the final score in this one relatively low – unless all of these signal-callers start throwing pick sixes.
NFL Preseason Week 1 Pick: Under 34.5 Total Points