Miami Dolphins vs. San Diego Chargers Preview
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
When: Sunday, November 13, 2016, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
The Miami Dolphins extended their streak Sunday, winning their third straight game in a 27-23 victory versus division rival New York Jets. A playoff spot is still miles away, especially in the Patriots-dominated AFC East, but that string of wins should provide the ‘Fins with some good momentum for the second half of the season.
As expected, the coaching staff is starting to put an emphasis on the run, thanks in large part to Jay Ajayi’s emergence. The second-year back now has 529 rushing yards on 6.7 yards per carry in his last three games, along with four running scores. Ajayi is lifting this team with his play, and it’s probably not a coincidence that the Dolphins haven’t lost since his sudden explosion in Week 6.
With running being more of the focus, Ryan Tannehill’s numbers from the streak are lower compared to his previous five games, particularly in passing yards, which are less than 53 yards per game. However, it’s probably for the better, because aside from Ajayi’s rise, the QB is also being more efficient in his throws, as he has increased his completion percentage by four percent.
On defense, the unit is doing a good job on containing the pass, ranking 10th in the NFL with 226.5 yards allowed per game. They are, however, making up for it by giving up 136.1 yards per game on the ground, which is 27th in the league.
The Dolphins are 0-5 SU (1-4) in their last five games on the road.
Betting on the San Diego Chargers (-3.5)
Much like the Dolphins, the Chargers are also getting a big help from their starting RB. Melvin Gordon provided a great sequel to his 111-yard game in Week 8 with a masterful 196-rushing yard performance (along with 65 receiving yards) against the ninth-ranked run defense of the Titans Sunday afternoon. Now winners in three of their past four, things are looking brighter for the Bolts, who had a stretch of fourth quarter collapses earlier in the season.
Philip Rivers was efficient in the Tennessee game, completing 24 of 33 passes for 275 yards and two TDs. The veteran QB distributed the ball well, with four of his guys garnering 55 or more yards, highlighted by the five receptions for 75 yards by 36-year-old tight end Antonio Gates.
The Chargers are not known for having a great secondary (27th in pass defense this year), but that unit was a key part in their recent win, as safety Dwight Lowery and cornerback Brandon Flowers returned a fumble and an interception for touchdowns, respectively. Flowers’ score came in the final five minutes of the game, just when Marcus Mariota was about to drive the Titans for a potential game-tying TD.
The run defense, on the other hand, will look to prove that they are truly the 10th-best in the league. It appeared to be effective against DeMarco Murray, as they held him to a pedestrian 51 rushing yards on 3.6 yards per carry. Against Ajayi, who’s on quite a roll, the matchup should be one of the week’s most fascinating.
San Diego is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games at home.
The Chargers win (-3.5), 35-30.
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