NFL Preseason Week 1 Picks: Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons
Friday, 8/8/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Atlanta -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Atlanta -3
Opening Total:  37
Current Total:  37
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Miami Dolphins need QB Ryan Tannehill to step in 2014
The Miami Dolphins need QB Ryan Tannehill to step in 2014

Miami has compiled a 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS record in exhibition play under third-year head coach Joe Philbin, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL picks, especially since the team plans on starting five new players on the offensive line.  Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was relatively sharp in last Saturday’s scrimmage, as he completed 15 of 27 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.  The offense should be more balanced this year with the addition of Knowshown Moreno to join Lamar Miller in the backfield, while he has two capable weapons in Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace on the outside.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has made it be known that Philbin is on the hot season entering the 2014 campaign, as he wants to see some improvement last season’s 8-8 record.  Miami’s offense will likely improve with first-year coordinator Bill Lazor, who learned a lot of new principles as a member of Chip Kelly’s coaching staff in Philadelphia.  On the other side of the ball, the squad has tremendous depth on the offensive line, with the group being led by Pro Bowler Cameron Wake.

Atlanta needs to get the running game to open up its explosive passing attack this season, but there’s certainly optimism surrounding the offensive line that’s coached by Mike Tice, as he’s been raving about rookie tackle Jake Matthews.  The Falcons ranked 29th in the league last season in rushing yards, but they could improve on that number in a big way if former St. Louis Rams star Steven Jackson can move past a hamstring injury.  It’s important to point out that the franchise is 7-17 SU and 9-13-2 ATS in preseason play during the Mike Smith era.

The Falcons are expecting to play franchise quarterback Matt Ryan for just a single series, while wide receiver Julio Jones is likely out due to his recovery from a broken foot.  Atlanta will likely send out T.J. Yates for the bulk of the snaps under center, as Smith is anxious to see what type of player the team traded for during the offseason.

Sports bettors will likely play the UNDER, as both sides possess an offensive front that will need time to gel.

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