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Over/Under for Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Rams: Week 11 Best Bet

Who: Miami Dolphins (5-4) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-5)
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Los Angeles, California
When: Sunday, November 20, 2016. 4:05 PM (EST)
Over/Under: 40.5 at the Bovada Sportsbook

Two NFL teams in two of the flashiest cities in the United States square off on Sunday. It’s the Miami Dolphins heading to Los Angeles, for only the fifth home game played in the new LA Memorial Coliseum.

The Rams have been one of the league’s most painful teams to watch this season. After the Rams
moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995, they enjoyed the great success of the Kurt Warner era, making it to two Super Bowls and winning one.

By 2005, however, both Kurt Warner and star running back Marshall Faulk were not on the roster, and the Rams slid into a 10-year stretch of mediocrity. Done in St. Louis, the Rams headed back to California this season for sunnier pastures and larger viewing audiences in Los Angeles.

On the other side of the ball, the Miami Dolphins have not fared much better during that same stretch, with only one playoff appearance in the last 14 seasons.

These two floundering franchises go head to head on Sunday, and while it doesn’t shape up to be a very exciting game, there’s certainly some value to be found for the intrepid sports gambler. Let’s take a look at each team specifically and see what we can find.

Jay Ajayi and the New-Look Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins have developed a bit of a reputation as one of the “bad boy” teams in the league, with a lot of attitude and a lot of penalties over the last few seasons. The recent acquisition of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh added to the attitude, but didn’t necessarily help the defense until recently.

Starting with the Steelers game in Week 6, the Dolphins defense has started to match the attitude with real results, and the team has enjoyed a four game win streak. However, quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s questionable ability to provide passing offense was aided during this stretch by the fact that two opponents – the Jets and Chargers – were ranked 29th and 31st, respectively, in passing yards allowed.

If the Dolphins offense is going to be able to keep their improving defense off the field long enough to score points, it will be on the back of their new star running back Jay Ajayi. Ajayi has averaged 24 carries over the Dolphins 4-game win streak, after averaging less than 8 carries per game in the previous four games, in which the Dolphins went 1-3.

Jared Goff Will Not Help: The LA Rams Cannot Score Points

Nine times this season the Rams have gone an entire half of football without scoring a touchdown. That’s thirty minutes of football, no touchdowns – a difficult feat to accomplish, and yet the Rams, through nine games, average one half per game where they are unable to get into the end zone.

And while the quarterback change from Case Keenum to Jared Goff will certainly mollify the furious fan base, the problem is not just isolated to a particular unit: When you are in the bottom two of the league in both points and yards, you know that your problems run deep. Like twenty years ago, when they moved from LA to St. Louis, they need a few years to rebuild the roster and develop some skill players.

However, despite their deep-seated offensive woes, the Rams are still 4-5. While it’s hard to credit Jeff Fischer for anything, the fact of the matter is that the defense and special teams have been very strong. The Rams’ punter is their most exciting player to watch: Last Sunday I watched a highlight on my iPhone of him kicking a ball standing on his own 8-yard line that was caught in the air by the opposing player without bouncing on his own 10.

Why I’m Betting the UNDER for Dolphins/Rams

The Dolphins rushing attack ranked 6th in the league & certainly has the potential to run roughshod over the identity-less Rams. Ajayi has averaged over 150 yards in the last four games, and certainly has the potential every play to break a long run. Furthermore, the Miami front seven will likely tee off against the rookie QB and try to rattle him early, so turnovers are much more likely than touchdowns for Los Angeles.

However, while the Rams cannot score on offense, they do have a stout defense and control field
position very well. I look for the Dolphins to go up early and preserve their lead with long, rush-heavy, smash-mouth drives that chew up large stretches of clock.

I predict the final score of this game to be 24-6 Dolphins on top of the Los Angeles Rams, and to stay well below the 40.5 over/under line.

I recommend strongly that interested parties take the under for this matchup at the Bovada sportsbook.

David HeinenThis article was written by David Heinen

David Heinen is a freelance psychology writer by day, inveterate NFL junkie by night. Born and raised on the Green Bay Packers, David is a die-hard Cheesehead, not to mention a cheese enthusiast in his spare time.


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