NFL Predictions Week 13: Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
Sunday, 12/4/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -3
Opening Total:  42.5
Current Total:  43
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Miami Dolphins need running back Reggie Bush to break out against the Oakland Raiders Sunday

Oakland sits atop the AFC West division and come in on a three-game win streak that includes a 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears as three-point home favorites last week.  The Raiders have played well on the road this season, going 4-1 in their first five games, covering the spread in all five of those contests.  From an offensive game plan standpoint, the team will want to try and loosen up the defense in throwing more on first down, as the Miami defense has held its last five opponents to 3.7 yards per carry or less.  Oakland is 6-1 ATS as an underdog this year and 20-14 ATS in that situation the last two-plus years.

The Raiders will likely be without star running back Darren McFadden, who has been out the past four games with a foot injury.  Oakland definitely needs him down the stretch after being held to a season-low 73 yards last Sunday, averaging 149.2 yards on the ground on the year.  Quarterback Carson Palmer is starting to get more comfortable in the offense, hitting seven different receivers in last week’s win, throwing for at least 299 yards in three of the past four weeks.

Miami had a few extra days off to stew over a 20-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys as seven-point road underdogs on Thanksgiving Day, which also snapped the team’s three-game win streak.  The Dolphins will need to concentrate on stopping a still potent Raiders rushing attack, as it still features Michael Bush, who is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has 614 rushing yards on the season.  The stop unit ranks seventh-best in the NFL in giving up just 97.5 rushing yards per game.  Miami is 2-0 ATS as a favorite this year and 6-8 ATS in the situation the last two-plus years.

The Dolphins have definitely been moving the ball offensively the past four games, with quarterback Matt Moore throwing for 288 yards and a touchdown versus the Cowboys last week.  His main target has been the always dangerous Brandon Marshall, who finished up with five catches for 103 yards.  Running backs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas will try and generate some yards on the ground, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry over the last five games.

Bettors will likely back the Dolphins due to their 5-0 ATS run, while the Raiders are 7-21-2 ATS as an underdog of three points or less.

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