The Raiders have been a revelation so far this season with outright wins as underdogs against the Ravens and the Steelers. Meanwhile, the Dolphins started the season with a good win against the Patriots before getting demolished by the Bills last week in a game in which Tua left with cracked ribs, causing him to miss the matchup with the Raiders. I think this is a perfect buy-low on the Dolphins with a backup QB off a blowout loss and a sell-high on the Raiders who have greatly exceeded expectations so far. It has been an emotional rollercoaster of a season so far for the Raiders who opened their new stadium to fans for the first time in Las Vegas on Monday Night Football when they beat the Ravens in a dramatic OT game. They then flew across the country on short rest to play the Steelers and won another close game as dogs. I think that could catch up to them here and they let down some against the Dolphins.
In terms of the Dolphins quarterback situation, I was never a Tua fan in the NFL and didn’t like backing him. Jacoby Brissett is nothing special but I think at worst he is a sidegrade from Tua and in this type of spot I might actually prefer Brissett. Brissett has a winning ATS record as a starter from his time with the Colts and adds some more experience to the offense than Tua brought. He also brings a unique running package around the goal line and in short yardage that he was used for as Rivers’ backup in Indy last year.
I think the Dolphins have the coaching edge here with Flores over Gruden as well. Since Flores took over in 2019, the Dolphins are the best ATS team in the NFL (61.8%) and since Gruden took over the Raiders in 2018, the Raiders are 23rd in the NFL ATS (48%). The Raiders also have injury issues of their own with Richie Incognito not being expected to return yet, Josh Jacobs expected to miss another week, and even though it was announced he should be 100% to play, Derek Carr had some lingering issues from the Steelers game that concerned Gruden early in the week. I think the Dolphins will be really tough defensively and can keep this game close the whole way against Vegas.