NFL Preseason Week 2 Predictions: Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Saturday, 8/16/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Tampa Bay -1
Current Betting Line:  Tampa Bay -2.5
Opening Total:  37.5
Current Total:  38.5
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to win their first preseason game under new head coach Lovie Smith
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to win their first preseason game under new head coach Lovie Smith

Miami suffered a 16-10 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons as three-point road underdogs last week, as it was outgained by a sizable 143-yard margin, which is important to consider when making your NFL predictions Saturday night in this affair at Raymond James Stadium.  The Dolphins are hoping that starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill turned the corner in Bill Lazor’s new offensive system after a 6-for-6 passing performance for 62 yards and a touchdown.

The Dolphins were a poor-tackling defense in 2013, and the exhibition opener offered more of the same, which caused head coach Joe Philbin to place a major focus on form tackling this week.  Miami received bad news just hours before last week’s game when starting safety Reshad Jones was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.  The secondary is certainly influx, with Jimmy Wilson getting some major reps in anticipation of filling Jones’ role in the early going.

Tampa Bay will also be searching for its first win of the preseason, as it dropped a 16-10 decision to the Jacksonville Jaguars as 2.5-point underdogs, while going UNDER the betting total of 35.5.  Buccaneers starting quarterback Josh McCown didn’t look comfortable in his debut, which could cause head coach Lovie Smith to rethink his depth chart at the position down the line, especially with Mike Glennon being motivated to regain the role.  The former NC State star was 11 for 19 for 140 yards and a touchdown.

The Buccaneers need to create a pass rush under Smith’s defense, which should be one of the strengths of the team with Michael Johnson and Adrian Clayborn on the outside and Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald on the inside.  Tampa Bay expects to play most of its starters into the second quarter in this affair, while it also anticipates having its full secondary intact with Alterraun Verner and Dashon Goldson working their way back from injury.

Sports bettors will likely back the Buccaneers due to the Dolphins being 1-9 ATS in preseason play during the Philbin era.

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