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Carolina Panthers vs. Miami Dolphins Odds & Game Pick (2021)

by November 27, 2021
Tua Tagovailoa

Among the NFL action in Sunday’s early afternoon window this week is a cross-conference battle between the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins. Both teams enter currently resting on the fringes of the playoff picture in their respective conferences. While both organizations have more of an eye towards the future than this season, a win would certainly be most welcome to close out the month of November. The NFL betting odds give the visitors a slight edge and also expect this game to be a defensive slugfest.

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Details

Opening Lines: Panthers -1; O/U 43.5
Current Lines: Panthers -2; O/U 42
Location: Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, FL
Start Time: 1 p.m. EDT
TV: FOX
Last Meeting: November 13, 2017 — The Panthers defeated the Dolphins 45-21 in Charlotte.

Overview

After starting the season off 3-0, the Panthers have now lost six of their last eight games coming into Sunday’s NFL betting contest. After throttling a shorthanded Arizona Cardinals team on the road two weeks ago, Carolina lost a heartbreaker to the Washington Football Team at home last week. Of course, the big headline surrounding the team these days is the return of former No. 1 overall draft pick and league MVP, Cam Newton. Last week’s loss certainly was no fault of Newton’s in his first start back with the Panthers. He accounted for three total touchdowns and actively got the team’s top two weapons, Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, involved. Even at this point in his career, Newton is a quarterback upgrade over Sam Darnold.

Where the Panthers have fallen off as the season has gone on is on defense. Particularly against the run, Carolina has gone from being a top-five adjusted defense to ranking outside the top-20. The trade acquisition to bring in Stephon Gilmore has helped keep the secondary sharp, but opponents have found success on the ground against the Panthers’ front. The offensive front has also struggled, giving up nearly 2.5 sacks per game. It will be interesting to see how the O-line holds up against the exotic defensive pressure packages of the Dolphins on Sunday.

The Dolphins’ season has followed almost the exact opposite trajectory of Carolina’s. After getting off to a 1-7 start, Miami enters this Week 12 NFL betting matchup on a three-game winning streak. Sure, two of those victories came over a pair of two-win teams. Even so, the Dolphins are clearly playing better football than they were earlier in the year. The defense has really taken a step forward. After containing the highly-regarded offense of the Buffalo Bills four weeks ago, the Dolphins have held each of their last three opponents to 17 or less. They have also forced seven turnovers during this winning streak. After being one of the best defenses at taking the ball away a season ago, Miami appears to be getting back to that.

After making a big statement on a national stage two weeks ago when he came on in relief, Tua Tagovailoa had another 273 yards passing and two touchdown strikes last Sunday. Rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle continues to be Tagovailoa’s go-to target. The former Alabama teammates connected eight times for 65 yards against the New York Jets last week. Tight end Mike Gesicki is also a tough task to contain. While Miami has struggled to run the ball with consistency this season, Myles Gaskin was quite productive in last week’s NFL betting win and cover. The Dolphins’ young offensive line continues to improve. If they can limit the Panthers’ pressure, the offense should be able to find ample success on Sunday.

Trends

  • Panthers are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
  • The total has gone under in 10 of the Panthers’ last 14 games.
  • Dolphins are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games.
  • Five of the Dolphins’ last six games have gone under the total.
  • Panthers are just 1-5 ATS in six previous head-to-head matchups against the Dolphins.

Bottom Line

Personally, the wrong team is favored in this Panthers vs. Dolphins NFL betting matchup. Yes, many are expecting Cam Newton to be the Panthers’ savior in a season that began with so much promise. While Newton is better than a healthy Sam Darnold, he is no longer the same player he used to be. Carolina has significant issues upfront on both sides of the ball. It is hard to trust the offensive line to hold up to the diverse pressure packages Miami likes to implement. Tough defense has been the catalyst to the Dolphins’ three-game winning streak. The unit should have another strong game on Sunday. Add in the tendency for Miami to play well at home and taking the points against a struggling team is the way to go.

Pick: Dolphins +2

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Henry John is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Henry, check out his archive and follow him @HankTimeHenry.

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