Sunday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) at Miami Dolphins (3-3)
Opening Spread: Dolphins -7
Opening Game Total: 44
Opening Team Totals: Dolphins (25.5), Steelers (18.5)
Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns
The Line Report
- This line opened as Dolphins -7.
- This line has moved to Dolphins -7.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Dolphins -7.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Dolphins -7.
- This total opened at 44 points.
- This total has moved to 44.5 points.
Dolphins: Out: CB Byron Jones; Questionable: WR Jaylen Waddle, LT Terron Armstead, RT Greg Little, DL Christian Wilkins, DL Emmanuel Ogbah, CB Xavien Howard, CB Kader Kohou
Steelers: IR: Edge T.J. Watt; Doubtful: CB Ahkello Witherspoon
The Dolphins Offense vs. Steelers Defense
Without T.J. Watt, the Steelers are a fringe top-ten front with a high-end interior. I have Miami’s offensive line right on the border of average and below average. I’m not concerned with Pittsburgh’s edge rush here, but the Steelers’ defensive interior has an edge in this matchup.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Dolphins are 3-3 against the spread this season.
- The Dolphins are 2-4 on overs this season.
- Tua Tagovailoa is 17-9-1 against the spread in his career.
- Tua Tagovailoa is 10-17 on overs in his career.
- Mike McDaniel is 3-3 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Mike McDaniel is 2-4 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Dolphins are scoring 21.8 points per game, which is 18th in the league.
- Miami is second in the league in yards passing per game and 30th in yards rushing.
- Miami is 3-0 in games that Tua Tagovailoa started and finished. The Dolphins have been on a three-game skid since Tua was knocked out against the Bengals in Week 4.
- Tua leads the league in yards per attempt, while teammate Teddy Bridgewater is second.
- Tua is ninth in air yards per attempt, while Bridgewater is seventh.
- Miami has been aggressive on offense regardless of who its quarterback is.
- Per the Edge, over the last three games Raheem Mostert has 47 carries and eight targets. Over that same span Chase Edmonds has eight carries and four targets.
- Tyreek Hill leads the league in yards receiving (701), he’s second in receptions (50), he’s sixth in target share (30.8%), and he’s ninth in air yards share (38.6%).
- I am 100% aligned with our scouting department on Tyreek Hill being the best wide receiver in football.
- Jaylen Waddle has 30 receptions for 533 yards receiving with a 22.4% target share and a 28.2% air yards share.
- Mike Gesicki is coming off six catches for 69 yards receiving and two scores against the Vikings last week. Consider Gesicki an inconsistent option in fantasy with a meager 8.9% target share that is capable of spike weeks like he had against the Vikings.
- Per TruMedia, Tyreek Hill has played 172 snaps on the perimeter and 92 in the slot.
- Jaylen Waddle has played 223 snaps on the perimeter and 54 in the slot.
- The Steelers have allowed 24.3 points per game, which is 22nd in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Steelers have allowed the 11th-most yards rushing per game and the 15th-most yards receiving per game to running backs.
- Pittsburgh has given up the most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this season.
- Pittsburgh has given up the sixth-most PPR points per game to perimeter wide receivers and the most to wide receivers lined up in the slot.
- The Steelers have allowed the 22nd-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Steelers Offense vs. Dolphins Defense
Pittsburgh has a bottom-tier offensive line. I have Miami’s front on the border of an average and below average unit. Miami has a few of its defensive linemen on the injury report. If the Dolphins enter this game at full strength in that phase, I’m giving their front a slight advantage over Pittsburgh in the trenches.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Steelers are 2-3-1 against the spread this season.
- The Steelers are 2-4 on overs this season.
- Kenny Pickett is 1-2 against the spread in his career.
- Kenny Pickett is 1-2 on overs in his career.
- Mike Tomlin is 125-117-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Mike Tomlin is 108-136-3 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Steelers are scoring 16.2 points per game, which is 30th in the league.
- Pittsburgh is 24th in the league in yards passing per game and 28th in yards rushing.
- Kenny Pickett has faced at least an above average front while playing behind a bottom-tier offensive line in each of his three NFL appearances. This matchup will be the first time Pickett faces an average front as a pro.
- Per the Edge, Najee Harris has 264 yards rushing while averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
- Diontae Johnson has double-digit targets in four-of-six games.
- Chase Claypool maxed out at 35 yards receiving through the Steelers’ first four games. He’s had 50 and then 91 over the last two with 16 total targets.
- George Pickens has a range of six-to-eight targets over the last four games. Pickens has a 14.5 ADOT, indicating that he’s used as more of a downfield threat than Johnson or Claypool.
- Among tight ends Pat Freiermuth is ninth in target share (18%) and tenth in air yards share (14.1%).
- Per TruMedia, Pat Freiermuth has played 164 snaps as an in-line tight end, seven on the perimeter, and 49 in the slot.
- The Dolphins have allowed 25.8 points per game, which is 27th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Dolphins have allowed the third-fewest yards rushing per game and the fourth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Miami has given up the 11th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Dolphins have allowed the 14th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Dolphins have allowed the tenth-most PPR points per game to tight ends lined up in the slot.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Dolphins vs. Steelers
This is an interesting matchup between two teams with unexpectedly inconsistent defenses, top-ten wide receiver groups, and that have already had to start multiple quarterbacks this season. Neither team can afford a loss in the highly competitive AFC.
A bet on the Dolphins is a bet on Tua Tagovailoa returning to action and elevating Miami’s talented offense. The Dolphins are 3-0 in games that Tua has started and finished, while they are 0-3 in games that he’s either missed or left early without returning. We’ve already witnessed the ceiling of this offense when it’s at full strength during their 42-38 come-from-behind win over the Ravens back in Week 2. You don’t necessarily need a ceiling game from Miami’s offense, but its biggest advantage against every opponent is the game-breaking speed brought by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Miami’s defense is in a good position in this game as well, as its front will have a rare advantage against the Steelers’ bottom-tier offensive line. To that end, this game could realistically mimic the Dolphins’ 20-7 victory over the Patriots on opening day from a game flow perspective. My biggest concern with a Dolphins bet is that cornerback Byron Jones is still out and Xavien Howard remains on the injury report. The Steelers have a complete, talented skill group that is capable of exploiting an injury-impacted secondary like Miami’s.
A bet on the Steelers is a bet on Kenny Pickett in his fourth NFL start. There’s been more good than bad in Pickett’s first three NFL starts, but he’s still an inexperienced quarterback playing behind a bottom-tier offensive line. If you’re betting on the Steelers, you’re betting on Pickett’s ability to keep pace with Miami’s offense. You’re also betting on the Steelers’ interior defensive line exploiting its edge against Miami’s interior offensive line. Pittsburgh beat Tom Brady’s Buccaneers last week behind a similar advantage. Last week’s upset win over Brady’s Bucs is my biggest concern with a Steelers bet here, as you’ll be betting on an inconsistent Steelers team coming off an emotional win against a superior opponent. Expecting this group to play above expectations two weeks in a row is not impossible for a Mike Tomlin operation, but it’s a big ask.
Awards Market Ramifications: Mike McDaniel is a fading Coach of the Year candidate. Tyreek Hill is an Offensive Player of the Year candidate. Kenny Pickett has a path in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I’m going to take the Dolphins in winner pools, though the Steelers make for an interesting differentiator option in large field tournaments. I intend to have both the Bengals and Chargers ahead of the Dolphins in my confidence pool rankings, which I expect will have me a little lower than consensus on Miami.
Spread Pool: I was surprised that Miami opened as a full 7-point favorite against the Steelers. That said, I don’t really want to bet on Pittsburgh coming off its upset victory over Tom Brady’s Buccaneers last week. In ATS pools where you have to pick every game, I’m leaning toward the Steelers’ side when you can get them at +7.5. If your pool has Miami -6.5, I’d take the Dolphins in those instances. But I’m not betting this game directly or playing it in tournament entries.
Survivor Pool: Miami is a reasonable survivor pool consideration this week. However, with a number of strong options on the slate, I’m going to pass on them due to Pittsburgh’s interior line play advantage and Tua making his first start in weeks.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 21-9
Props 2022: 19-12
WATCH MORE: Tua Has to Give it Everything He Has This Week