The Dolphins (4-4 SU, 3-3-2 ATS) play their third consecutive game in primetime, but are 0-2 so far in their first two night contests with losses to the Ravens and Raiders. Following a 40-0 blowout at the hands of Baltimore, Miami hung with Oakland before falling short in a 27-24 setback. The Dolphins managed a push as three-point underdogs, while quarterback Jay Cutler put together his finest game of the season by completing 34-of-42 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns.
Miami picked up the push after trailing 27-16 in the fourth quarter as Cutler connected with tight end Julius Thomas on a 15-yard touchdown pass, followed up by a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to three. The Dolphins dropped to 6-2 in games decided by three points or less since the start of the 2016 season, while losing for the first time in this situation at Hard Rock Stadium.
Carolina (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) picked up its second straight divisional victory by rallying from a 10-0 deficit to knock off Atlanta, 20-17. The Panthers depended on their ground game to chew up the Falcons’ defense by racking up 201 yards rushing, including touchdowns by Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. Newton threw for only 137 yards, but rushed for 86 to help improve Carolina to 2-1 inside the NFC South following a dreadful 1-5 record within the division last season.
The Panthers own the league’s best defense from a yardage-per-game standpoint by limiting the opposition to an average of 274.1 yards a contest. However, Carolina yielded 355 yards in last week’s win over Atlanta, while getting outgained in three of the past four games. Five times this season, the Panthers have allowed 17 points or less, while going 2-2 in four games in which they allowed 24 points or more.
From a totals perspective, these teams have gone in opposite directions of late. Miami is riding a 3-0 streak to the OVER in the last three contests following five consecutive UNDERS to begin the season. Carolina put together four straight OVERS from Week 3 through Week 6, but the Panthers have cashed the UNDER in the last three contests. Last season, Carolina compiled a 5-2-1 mark to the UNDER at Bank of America Stadium, but are 2-2 to the UNDER in four home games in 2017.
Since Adam Gase took over as head coach prior to the 2016 season, the Dolphins have lost consecutive games four times. In the first three instances, Miami bounced back with a victory, beating Cleveland in Week 3 and Pittsburgh in Week 6 last season, while knocking off Tennessee in Week 5 this season. We’ll see if Miami can avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2015.
The Dolphins and Panthers have met up only five times since Carolina entered the league in 1995. Miami captured the first four matchups, including a 24-17 triumph as 3 ½-point underdogs in Charlotte back in 2009. Carolina won the most recent meeting in 2013 at Hard Rock Stadium, 20-16 as Newton hooked up with tight end Greg Olson on a one-yard touchdown pass in the final minute for the go-ahead score. Miami managed a cover as 4 ½-point underdogs, improving to 5-0 ATS lifetime against Carolina.
The Panthers have won four of six Monday night games since 2012, while splitting a pair of games last season. Carolina is 1-2 ATS at home in this span with the only cover coming in an exciting finish over New England, 24-20 in 2013 as three-point favorites. The Dolphins have yet to play a Monday night game this season, while last losing when taking the field on a Monday in a 2015 home loss to the Giants. Since 2010, the Dolphins own a dreadful 0-7 ATS mark in Monday night action, including an 0-4 ATS mark as an underdog.