Raiders To Get Back On Track By Beating Dolphins

Cooper needs to shine for Oakland

The Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins are facing a crucial junction in their respective seasons. Both sides were playoff teams last term, but are now in a desperate battle to ensure they’re in contention at the end of the campaign.

Oakland ended a four-match losing run in a last-ditch win over Kansas City Chiefs. However, that progress was halted in a hammering at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Jack del Rio’s men are 3-5 in their campaign and desperately need to find their form to keep their wildcard ambitions alive.

Derek Carr has had problems with consistency this term, while Marshawn Lynch has not provided an answer at running back. The offense was the strength of the team last season and has not been able to carry them forward in 2017.

The Dolphins issues on offense have plagued their season. Ryan Tannehill’s injury during pre-season was a hammer blow for the club. His replacement Jay Cutler has struggled and missed the clash against the Baltimore Ravens last time out.

Miami were simply awful against the Ravens, losing 40-0 at M&T Bank Stadium. Backup Matt Moore threw two pick-sixes, while the offense failed to put a point on the board. Head coach Adam Gase responded by trading away running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Gase’s men have to improve otherwise it will be a lost season for the club, with ageing veterans on defense. The competition in the AFC East is stiff and they need a victory to keep them in the mix in the division.

We’ll now break down the two sides and look at the contest using the latest betting odds.

Miami Dolphins

Cutler needs to fire for Miami

Credit: AP Photo

The Dolphins need to get themselves back on track immediately after their horror-show against the Ravens. Gase has had 10 days to get his team back on track, but they need to resolve their issues on offense on the field.

Matters have been made slightly harder by the decision to trade away Ajayi. The 25-year-old was the club’s leading running back, but a difference in philosophy between coach and player resulted in his departure. Kenyan Drake will be promoted into the starting role, and he will have to hit the ground running.

Since Tannehill’s injury in pre-season, the Dolphins have tried to plug the gap with Cutler. He sustained a rib injury against the New York Jets as Moore led his side to a comeback win. However, Moore was horrendous against the Ravens, and should make way for Cutler once again.

Cutler needs to find his form in the pocket as the offense has been too hit and miss this term. There is talent in the receiving corps, but without a competent quarterback the unit will continue to struggle.

As a result, there is greater pressure on the defense to respond. The 40-point loss was not their fault and they have performed well enough as a group to keep their side in matches. Cameron Wake has led the way with six sacks, while Andre Branch has notched three to aid the veteran in the pass-rush.

Their statistics have been impressive as they’re ranked seventh in the NFL in yards allowed. However, they need to force more turnovers than the six they’ve yielded thus far in the campaign.

Oakland Raiders

Cooper needs to shine for Oakland

The Raiders were meant to be a contender for the Super Bowl, but at week nine of the campaign they’re at an impasse. Del Rio’s men took a step in the right direction with a win over the Chiefs on the last play of the game. They had momentum on their side heading into their contest with the Bills.

However, Oakland were a disaster on offense as turnovers cost them, while their defense could not hold up against LeSean McCoy. They were hammered in a 34-14 defeat on the road, dropping back to 3-5. The nature of the AFC this term means that they’re not out of the running for the playoffs.

Del Rio’s men need a response against the Dolphins, with the first point of priority to get Carr back to his best. The quarterback has been struggling with a back injury, but was on point against the Chiefs. His two interceptions against the Bills led to his team’s downfall.

Operating with a poor defense, Carr cannot afford to make mistakes with the regularity he is committing them at the moment. Lynch was meant to ease the pressure on the quarterback, but he was suspended last time out for his actions during the Chiefs game. The running back has not enjoyed the success many predicted he would have behind the Raiders’ offensive line.

He needs to find a way to break out otherwise the offense will be extremely predictable. Amari Cooper has found life in recent weeks and he needs to maintain that form until the end of the campaign.

Defensively, outside of Khalil Mack, the Raiders have been putrid. The unit is ranked near the bottom of the league in almost every category and has to improve to sustain a semblance of a playoff challenge.

Betting Options

The Raiders have talent, but have not found the balance they need to find their form this season. However, facing Cutler and the Dolphins could be the perfect remedy to their woes. Miami have struggled to move the ball all season and if Oakland’s defense cannot stop them, they’re not going to be able to halt anyone this term.

Carr and company should have the edge in the passing game over the Dolphins’ defense. Should Wake be held in check by the offensive line – Carr should have time to find Michael Crabtree and Cooper down the field.

As a result, back the Raiders at odds of -154   with ComeOn as they have the talent to edge the contest. However, take the Dolphins for the +2.5 spread at +106   with 888Sport due to the Raiders’ defensive issues.

After a down week, take Oakland to score over 23.5 points at odds of -110   with Betway. Cooper has start to find his form this season and expect him to find the endzone anytime at odds of +163   with Bet365.

Tips Summary

Oakland Raiders To Beat Miami Dolphins
Sunday 5th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 6th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -154

Take +2.5 Points On Miami Dolphins
Sunday 5th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 6th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: +106

Oakland Raiders To Score Over 23.5 Points
Sunday 5th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 6th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -110

Amari Cooper To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 5th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 6th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: +163