The Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins have both gone through a lot of changes. The Panthers changed quarterbacks and brought back a familiar face, Cam Newton, to run the offense.
The Miami Dolphins were 1-7 and seemed to be completely buried in the playoff picture, but a three-game winning streak has revived hopes that they can still make a run at the postseason.
An intriguing matchup awaits on Sunday, so let’s take a look at this NFL game betting opportunities.
|Game: Panthers (5-6) at Dolphins (4-7)
Location: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
Time: 1 p.m. ET
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The last time these teams met was in 2017. The Panthers won, 45-21.
Next game: vs Falcons
The Panthers lost at home to the Washington Football Team, 27-21, in Cam Newton’s first game in Charlotte after returning to the Panther lineup. Newton wasn’t great, nor was he terrible.
He completed a high percentage of his passes but threw for only 189 yards, being limited to a lot of checkdowns and short throws. The big problem with Carolina in this game was third-down efficiency.
The Panthers’ offense converted just 2-of-9 third downs, enabling Washington to control the ball for over 35 minutes. Carolina had the ball for fewer than 25 minutes.
That made a real difference. Carolina could not contain Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who made the key plays when he needed to.
The Panthers have two players questionable: cornerback Rashaan Melvin and guard Dennis Daley. Cornerback Stanley Thomas-Oliver is out with a toe injury.
Next game: vs Giants
The Dolphins beat the Jets in New Jersey, 24-17. The Dolphins were 8-of-14 on third downs, a central key to their victory.
Multiple third-down conversions were the result not of great plays by the Dolphins, but by penalties from the Jets. Nevertheless, Miami cashed in those mistakes and did what it had to do in a divisional road game.
The worry for the Dolphins is that they might not win if their opponent doesn’t help them out. That’s true…but there are a lot of mediocre teams in the NFL, Carolina being one of them.
The Dolphins will be fine if they minimize their own mistakes and force opponents to be better. The Jets were not, and so Miami continued its winning streak. The Dolphins are red-hot and now have a real chance to climb back into the AFC playoff picture.
The Dolphins have cornerback Jamal Perry and linebacker Brennan Scarlett out, both with knee injuries. The most important injury for the Dolphins is to center Michael Dieter. He is listed as questionable with a foot injury.
Betting on the Game
This game is a toss-up. The Panthers will probably be better on third down than they were last week, and the Dolphins will probably be worse.
Regression to the mean gives the Panthers a slight advantage in a game that is too close to call.