Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns Pro Football Betting Preview

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 9/25/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Cleveland -1
Current Betting Line:  Cleveland -2
Opening Total:  40
Current Total:  41.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Miami Dolphins are 15-9 SU the last three years on the road

Miami has dropped the last three meetings against Cleveland, but will likely be glad to be on the road due to the team’s 15-9 record away from Sun Life Stadium under fourth-year head coach Tony Sparano.  The Dolphins dropped back-to-back home games to the New England Patriots (38-24) and Houston Texans (23-13), failing to cover the number as seven and three-point underdogs respectively.  The team has also been out-gained by 173 combined yards in the two opening efforts.  Miami is 16-18 ATS overall and 5-0 ATS as a road underdog of three points or less.

The Dolphins have been absolutely terrible against the pass this year, allowing Tom Brady to throw for 517 yards and then allowing Matt Schaub to complete 21 of 29 passes for 230 yards.  On the other side of the ball, quarterback Chad Henne needs to become more consistent, hitting on just 12 of 30 passes last week for 170 yards with a touchdown and interception.  The running game has been in good hands with Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas, but the team is quickly finding out once again that the former Heisman Trophy winner is not an every down back.

Cleveland went on the road and captured a 27-19 win as a one-point road favorite last week over the Indianapolis Colts.  The Browns are now looking to win at home after dropping a season-opening contest to the Cincinnati Bengals.  “It’s always important to have a good home record,” commented Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas.  “You want to win as many games as you can at home and get your home field advantage.”  Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron has improved the defensive unit over the first two weeks, as the team enters sixth in the league in allowing just 289.5 yards per game.  It’s quite an improvement from giving up 350.1 yards a year ago.  Cleveland is 3-3 ATS as a favorite and 3-2 ATS versus AFC East opponents.

The Browns beat the Dolphins in Miami last least season with a 23-yard field goal, which broke a 10-10 tie.  Cleveland has actually covered four straight meetings in the series, including as 5.5-point road underdogs last year.  First-year head coach Pat Shurmur has preached balance on the offensive side of the ball and got it last week, as the team passed 32 times and ran the ball 34.  The team is hoping that first-string running back Peyton Hillis isn’t suffering from a serious illness, as he left Friday’s practice, but many believe it was simply a precautionary measure.

Bettors will likely back the Dolphins due to their 9-2 ATS mark as a road underdog, while the Browns are 1-5 ATS overall.

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