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NFL Week 1 – Dolphins vs. Texans Pick Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 1st, 2012 | 70 Comments

Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans Pick Against the SpreadWe’re back with another season of NFL picks against the spread. We already have our Giants vs. Cowboys pick posted and we’re going to see what is on tap for Sunday, September 9, 2012. Before we can into the pick for this game, remember to sign up for the pick ‘em league before kickoff for your chance to win a free custom NFL Shop t-shirt.

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ HOUSTON TEXANS (-10)

I’m very high on the Texans this year. The Texans defense ranked 2nd in yards allows and 4th in points allowed last season. Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator can take credit for that as the Texans ranked 30th and 29th respectively in those categories in 2010.

Despite the loss of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, the Texans should still have one of the better defenses in this league. They were able to add Bradie James to pair up with Brian Cushing to shore up their linebacking corp. Sophomore DE J.J. Watt, who had an amazing rookie campaign, is receiving a ton of phrase from Wade Phillips, who went as far as saying that this guy is a future Hall of Famer. The Texans also have one of the best sets of cornerbacks in the league with Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson (2010 1st-round pick).

Houston is 6-0 (4-2 ATS) against Miami in their last 6 games. The faced each other least season in week 2. The game was in Miami and the Texans won 23-13. In that game, Arian Foster was limited to 10 touches due to his hamstring injury and Ben Tate got the bulk of the carries. Tate rushed the ball 23 times for 103 yards. With a healthy Arian Foster, the Texans offense should be able to put up even more points when this one is played in Houston this year.

Miami stands to be one of the worst offensive teams in the league this year. QB Ryan Tannehill still has a lot to learn and will struggle throughout the season, especially with the lack of quality receivers on the Dolphins roster. Gone is the Dolphins sole receiving threat in Brandon Marshall, now with the Chicago Bears. The Dolphins offense will run through Reggie Bush and I have all the faith in the world on the Texans containing Bush.

I expect Tannehill to turn the ball over once or twice this game while the Texans running game takes care of business, moves the chains, and puts up points. I don’t expect Miami to score more than 10 points this game and believe that Texans are due for at least 20. This is one of the better plays this week. 75% of the public is taking the Texans against the spread and 67% of the experts at covers.com agree with this pick.

The over/under is set at 43. Considering that Miami’s offense should be non-existent in this game against the Texans defense, the under is the way to lean and is set generously high. If you think the spread is a bit too high for you, tease the Texans down to -3 and add 7 points to the over/under to make it 50. A 27-20 victory by the Texans would still give you a winning card.

UPDATE (9/6): I’m going with the teaser of Texans -3 and under 50 in this game. The public is riding the Texans and moved the spread to -10 to -12. I love the Texans, even with the high spread, but I saw the high over/under as an opportunity to tease the spread down and pair it with the under here 50. We know the Texans have one of the best defenses from 2011 and are facing one of the worst offenses in the league that lost their biggest offensive weapon (Brandon Marshall) and are relying on a rookie quarterback who has failed to impress anyone this preseason. All the Texans have to do is contain Reggie Bush and force Tannehill to throw check downs all game. I’m expecting 5-10 yard dink and dunks from the Miami offense, thus eating up clock. We also know the Texans are going to run the football with Arian Foster and eat the clock on their side while the coaching staff has faith in their defense to limit Miami. Miami’s run defense ranked 3rd last year behind San Francisco and Baltimore. One reason why I want to tease the spread down is because Miami’s defense has a chance to keep this one tight. This game should be an defensive tussle, and one that I see the Texans winning 24-10. With the spread at -12, it’s too close to call, but it leaves a comfortable cover with my teaser. The Texans faced Miami last year and defeated them 23-13 in Miami. Expect a similar outcome.

Prediction: Texans 24 – Dolphins 10

Pick Against the Spread: Texans -10 (Confidence: 8/10)

Over/Under Pick: Under 43 (Confidence: 6/10)

Teaser Pick: Texans -3/Under 50 (Confidence: 9/10)



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