When it comes to team turnarounds, it’s kind of hard to beat the Miami Dolphins, who have not only found themselves a new weapon but also changed the way they play. The result has been three straight victories, and they take that to the West Coast as they lace ’em up against the San Diego Chargers in an AFC game that begins its 4:05 PM ET at Qualcomm Stadium. Both of these teams are still in the wild-card hunt, and BetAnySports customers, while watching it live on CBS, can also engage in real-time wagering when they take advantage of what’s available through Live Betting Ultra.
The big gun now for the Dolphins is Jay Ajayi, who new coach Adam Gase was actually mad at in training camp. He not only did not get the opportunity to play in the season opener, he didn’t get on the plane as the team flew to Seattle. But because there weren’t any running backs who got the job done, Ajayi got a chance to be the featured back, and he has come through with flying colors. He has rushed for 529 yards in last three games, including back-to-back 200- yard efforts. And Arian Foster, the free-agent pickup in the off-season, who was sidelined much of the time with a groin injury, has decided to simply retire.
The Chargers have won three of their last four, and in three of their defeats they actually should have won, truth be told. They are unlucky enough to be in perhaps the NFL’s most competitive division (the AFC West), and as a result they have some ground to gain on the leaders with their 4-5 record. Last time out, they beat the Tennessee Titans and held DeMarco Murray to just 51 yards on the ground, which means Miami is going to be in for a challenge if they try to advance the ball through their infantry.
In the NFL betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, San Diego is the favorite:
San Diego Chargers -4.5
Miami Dolphins +4.5
Over 48.5 points -110
Under 48.5 points -110
One of the things that has been very critical to the transformation of Miami and its offense to more of a power game has been the health of the offensive line. When you take a look at center Maurkice Pouncey, with left guard Laremy Tunsil and left tackle Branden Albert, they are really stacked on that side. And that have been protecting Ryan Tannehill very well, which demonstrates that a good running game is a great deterrent to a pass rush. Tannehill, who has been sacked more times than any quarterback in the NFL since he came into the league, has been dumped only twice in the last three games, and has not thrown an interception.
Of course, the Dolphins are going to run first, because that is what has gotten them results in their consecutive wins against Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the New York Jets. But San Diego has done a pretty good job at containing opposing running attacks. In fact, only one team has topped 100 yards against them, and they give up just 3.8 yards per carry. There also rushing the passer better since Joey Bosa, the first-round draft choice who missed almost all of training camp in a contract dispute, has gotten himself into game shape.
BetAnySports customers know that Philip Rivers can probably make things happen regardless of who he has to work with. And he has been challenged lately, because a lot of his people have been going down with injury. He’s already lost Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen, and then there has been an injury to Dexter McCluster, the versatile running back. Travis Benjamin has been listed as doubtful for this game, and that is a big blow since he is a big-play receiver. And offensive tackle Orlando Franklin is questionable for this one. Melvin Gordon, the second-year running back who had so many problems in his rookie season with fumbling the football, enough that he landed in head coach Mike McCoy’s doghouse, has been coming on very strong of late. He had 111 yards against Denver, then came back with 196 against Tennessee. He’s got nine rushing touchdowns already, and that’s a big accomplishment, considering that he never crossed the goal line as a rookie.
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