It’s a battle of underperforming teams in the AFC East for tonight’s Monday Night Football affair, as the New York Jets (2-3) look to bounce back from a string of tough road losses, while the visiting Miami Dolphins (0-4) still chase their first win of the season into Week 6 of the NFL Football calendar year. The host New York Jets have suffered three straight losses at the hands of very tough competition on the road in the last three weeks, dropping games to Oakland, Baltimore and New England, teams with a combined 13-4 record. That has certainly played havoc with the Jets hopes of making a run for the playoffs this year, as sitting in a division under the New England Patriots and the upstart Buffalo Bills looks to be a challenging task to overcome even if the Jets’ offense and defense was clicking on all cylinders. While the Jets’ previously much-envied defense has been able to contain the passing game as expected with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie on the corners (5th in passing D allowing just 203 yards/game), the rushing defense has been simply atrocious, allowing 134.8 yards to opposing running backs, ranking 28th in the league. In their losses at Oakland, Baltimore and New England, the Jets simply had no running equal to the likes of Darren McFadden, Ray Rice and BenJarvus Green-Ellis respectively, as the running back tandem of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson have continued to be completely ineffective at a combined 3.3 yards/carry so far this season.
Though the Miami Dolphins are hurting themselves, coming into tonight’s match-up without a win and without their season-starting quarterback Chad Henne, who is done for the season with a separated left shoulder. The reins get passed to perennial back-up Matt Moore, who certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in any Dolphins fans, however at least history will be working with the Dolphins in this match-up to help them towards a possible road win tonight, as Miami comes into the contest having won 3 straight against the Jets, and 4 of their last 5 meetings. Adding in the fact that Matt Moore actually looks to be behind the better offense in this match-up, with the tandem of Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush being more productive than the Jets’ pair of backs, and star wide-out Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess perfectly capable at the receiver slot, and the Dolphins may not actually be that bad of a match-up offensively against the Jets. That is, so long as the score stays similar to last year’s meeting, in a 10-6 win for Miami at New York, considering the Dolphins inability to score touchdowns. With their awful pass defense (31st in the league giving up 307 yards a game), and their lack of scoring, posting a league-low 69 points in 4 games played, these two areas could very easily spell another loss for the Dolphins against a desperate Jets team that has to improve at home in order to avoid facing the wrath of their very vocal fanbase, and simply has to get better on offense themselves especially against a team giving up more than 400 yards of total offense per outing.
Betting Lines for Monday Night Football, Miami vs. New York
The betting lines at Intertops.eu Sportsbook have already started shifting this morning to further favor the Jets, who are sitting at -340 odds to win on the money line while Miami comes into tonight’s match-up as -275 underdogs on the road. What may stand out most for sports betting fans tonight however, is the 41.5 points set up for the over/under, which given the facts that the last meeting between these two teams ended with just 16 points scored, Miami averages only 17.25 points/game this year, and that the Jets typically struggle to score against their AFC East foes, may be the best sportsbook betting option for this match-up, at -110 odds taking the under wager. Also worth checking out here is the points spread, which gives Miami a touchdown to work with (+7 points at -110 odds), as in a game with so much on the line for these two teams’ seasons, there is little doubt that this should be a close, low scoring game that may come down to just a field goal difference at the end of the 4th quarter. That is of course if Miami can find a way to generate more than one touchdown tonight…
Our Pick to Win:
It’s going to be an ugly game folks. Between Mark Sanchez and Matt Moore, expect little in the passing game as Sanchez has been less-than-stellar with an 80.4 passer rating, 56 percent completion rate, and an 8:5 TD to INT ratio. With the Jets likely to focus more on getting their ground game back in order tonight to control possession time, even the terrible Miami secondary might get a little bit of a break in this match-up, which could be highly beneficial if their defensive line can hold the Jets’ rush in check. I fully expect neither offense to generate much on the ground however, as Miami has yet to score a rushing TD this season, and the Jets have just two thus far. So where does the scoring come from tonight? The kickers. Because it’s going to be that type of game. With the Jets able to shut down the Miami offense with relative ease tonight, look for a New York win, 17-10.