Upset Special! Finnies Roll

The one silver lining to being a diehard Dolphins fan is that I've got a pretty good read on my team. I have a pretty good sense of the weird spots where they lose games they should win and win games they should lose (see my column on Fins @ Jets). Everything in the football universe would seem to point to the Falcons annihilating the Finnies. The Falcons are well-rested coming off their bye week. They've got to have a fire under their ass after a devastating loss to the Bills in Atlanta two weeks ago. No reason why they should lose this one. But one of these double-digit spreads is going down this week. I really can't see the Texans, Patriots or Broncos losing outright. Thus, by process of elimination, the Falcons get clipped. Close your eyes and ride with the Miami Dolphins ML.

If you're closely tied to the football world (and even if you're not, maybe) you've probably heard about the Dolphins (former) offensive line coach. I've got to imagine this will fire up the coaching staff, who've got to be embarrassed, as well as the players. And, I know it sounds crazy, but the Dolphins really aren't as bad as their offensive stats suggest. But, just to get it out of the way, the Dolphins rank dead last in the NFL in points per game, yards per game and passing yards per game (and second-to-last in rushing yards). You've got to imagine that this will eventually regress to the mean. The Dolphins offense really isn't that terrible. They won't be at the bottom by the end of the season.

While all the focus has rightfully been on the atrociousness of the Dolphins offense, the defense has quietly been holding down the fort-and this includes dealing with the incompetent turnovers of the offense. The Dolphins defense ranks seventh in yards allowed and fourth in the NFL in points allowed per games, ahead of the likes of elite defenses like the Seahawks and Broncos. They've got 10 sacks over four games and they know how to bring the heat on third down. There are questions in the secondary but if they can get to Matty Ice early and often and pick him off at least once, I think they can squeeze this one out.

Washington, Atlanta and Denver are all coming off the bye, are playing at home and are laying huge points. One of them is going to lose outright. Which one will it be? I'm betting on the Falcons even though Julio Jones is back practicing this week and it looks very much like he'll play. The Falcons always seem to play well in September and fall apart in the Fall.

I really would like the Fins a lot more in this one if Atlanta had beaten the Bills. But I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility here and the value is just too juicy. I know that on paper this pick makes no sense. And, to be honest, I think taking the eleven points or more makes sense. But sometimes you've got to take a shot, even if it's your own team. Finnies roll.