Monday Night Football Picks: Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints

Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints
Monday, 9/30/13, 8:40 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  New Orleans -5.5
Current Betting Line:  New Orleans -7
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  48.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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The New Orleans Saints have enjoyed great success on Monday Night Football under head coach Sean Payton

Miami is 3-0 for the first time since 2002, as it comes off a 27-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons as three-point home favorites, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.  The Dolphins have been out-gained in all three of their games, which can’t be ignored when making your pro football picks Monday night.  “We have a special team,” commented Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline.  Offensively, the team is being led by second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has completed 66.4 percent of his passes.  Miami is 1-8 SU and 5-3-1 ATS as underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points the last two-plus seasons.

Since the NFL started Monday Night Football in 1970, no team has appeared in the game more often than the Dolphins, which can’t be ignored when looking over the pro football odds page.  Miami must do a better job of protecting Tannehill in what figures to be the most hostile environment the team has faced this year, as he’s been sacked an NFL-high 14 times through three weeks.  The running game is also averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.

New Orleans has also won its first three games of the 2013 campaign, with the defense allowing just 295.7 yards per game after surrendering an NFL-worst 440.1 yards a season ago.  The Saints made some major changes on that side of the ball, including the addition of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.  The franchise is 10-2 when being featured on this primetime telecast under head coach Sean Payton, including wins in the last eight by an average score of 36-20.  New Orleans is 8-1 SUATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 5-4 in that situation.

The Saints are led offensively by the play of signal-caller Drew Brees, who has thrown for at least 300 yards in eight consecutive games—averaging 358.1 yards and completing 18 touchdowns during that stretch.  Defensively, New Orleans ranks sixth in the league at 29.5 percent in sacking or putting opposing quarterbacks under duress, which is a big part of Ryan’s game plan on a weekly basis as a coordinator.

Sports bettors will likely back the Saints due to their 4-0 ATS mark on Mondays.

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