Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints Previews and Picks 12/27/2021

by James Q

Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints Previews and Picks 12/27/2021

 
Game Time:  8:15 PM ET, Monday, December 27th, 2021
Venue: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Where to Watch:  ESPN
 

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

FanDuel: point spread: Saints -3: O/U 38.5 points
BetMGM: Saints -3; O/U 38.5 points
Caesars: Saints -3.5; O/U 39 points
 

Season Record

Dolphins: 7-7, 3rd place AFC East
Saints: 7-7, 2nd place NFC South

The Miami Dolphins are confusing.  They started the season awful… the city and the team was down on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.  In fact everyone thought Tua Tagovailoa stinks so bad that Miami was actively trying to get the quarterback in Houston who isn’t playing because of 30-something accusations of sexual misconduct that may have been criminal/inappropriate/insulting/abusive from 30-something massage therapists.  Ultimately Miami didn’t pull the trigger on a massive trade because they have no idea if that guy in Houston will ever be out of trouble enough to actually play him… let alone the blowback they would get nationally and locally for bringing him in.  Still the reason the discussion was out there was because everyone thinks Tua stinks.  Too small, too injured, too slow, not a big enough arm, didn’t fully learn the playbook last year.  Then the lowly Dolphins did something odd… they won 6 of their last 6 games dating back to Nov 21st!  They went from worst team to .500 on the season with a three game shot of maybe making the playoffs.  Is Tua the reason?... No.  During that massive winning streak they are on they beat the New York Jets, the New York Giants, the Carolina Panthers, the New York Jets again, the Baltimore Ravens without their star quarterback, and the lowly lowly aforementioned Houston Texans.  In other words the Dolphins and Tua probably still stink… they just ran into a string of the absolute worst teams in the league… the only bad team missing from that list is the Detroit Lions.  The only victim here is the Dolphins draft assets.

The Saints entered the season with some intrigue at the Quarterback position.  Longtime QB and future HOFer Drew Brees slid into retirement.  The Saints had 3 guys who were worth a look on the roster QB Trevor Siemian, QB Jameis Winston, and QB/FB/TE/HB/? Taysom Hill.
They gave all three guys their day in the sun and it turns out… all three can get injured and all three aren’t good quarterbacks.  Not to make this prediction page all about gloom and doom but we have discussed five quarterbacks who can’t play and the best among them can’t play because of legal issues.  The Saints are on a two-game winning streak against the New York Jets (shocker!) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tom Brady’s worst game in 12 years…. and should be favored in this one… but ultimately they have to ask themselves if the playoffs are in reach?  Either way they will be in the quarterback market at both draft time and during the FA frenzy that is about to ensue this coming offseason.


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Miami Dolphins vs New orleans Saints Preview and Analysis

RECENT FORM
The Dolphins are 7-7 on the season, but 7-6-1 ATS.  They have logged 6 Overs and 8 Unders.  They are 2-3 in road games.  During this six game win streak the Dolphins are 2 Over and 4 Under.
 
The Saints are 7-7 on the season and 7-7 ATS.  They have notched 6 Overs and 8 Unders.  They are a disastrous 1-4 in home games.
 

Offensive Analysis  

The Dolphins are 22nd in points with 20.4 per game, 23rd in yards per game with 314.7 per.  It breaks down to 16th in passing yards (228.1) and 28th in rushing yards (86.6).  

The Saints are 17th in points per game with 22.4 per game, 26th in yards per game with 311.7.  It breaks down to 30th (yes, they have had some trouble at quarterback) in passing with 194.6 per game and 15th in rushing with 117.1 yards per game.


Defensive Analysis

The Dolphins defense has been keeping the anemic offense in games.  They are ranked 18th which while not good can beat the Jets, Giants, and Texans without much help.  They allow 349.1.  They are average at defending the pass, but fantastically 7th in the league at defending the run.  The Dolphins’ defense gets a boost from their nose for the ball… they are ranked 8th in takeaways at 22 so far.

The Saints have a good defense.  They are 13th overall while giving up 336.9 ypg.  They are 18th in passing yards defense and a wonderful 5th in rushing yards defense… An outsider might even say that if they had a quarterback at the start of the season that could keep the job… they would have 3-4 more wins.  They are 6th in stopping points while only allowing 20.4.


Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints Prediction

Our prediction for Monday, December 27th is… Saints 27 - Dolphins 17


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NFL Betting Trends

Miami is 8-3 ATS in December games the last 3 seasons.
Miami is 4-2 ATs off a win against a division rival over the last 3 seasons.
The Saints are 2-4 ATS as a favorite this season.
The Saints are 1-4 in home games this season.
 

Key Injuries

Dolphins: 6 guys are Questionable, WR Allen Hurns (wrist) Out ** T Larnel Coleman (knee) Out ** CB Justin Coleman (covid) Out ** WR Will Fuller V (finger) Out ** 5 other guys are out indefinitely and have been since before the winning streak.

Saints: WR Juwan Johnson (covid) Out ** T Ryan Ramczyk (knee) ** TE Garrett Griffin (hamstring) Out ** DE Payton Turner (shoulder) Out ** None of those guys are impact players… the other players on the list have missed the two-game winning streak.

 

Starting Lineups

Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, RB Duke Johnson, WR Albert Wilson, WR DeVante Parker, TE Durham Smythe, TE Mike Gesicki, LT Liam Eichenberg, LG Austin Jackson, C Michael Dieter, RG Robert Hunt, RT Jesse Davis

Saints: QB Taysom Hill, RB Alvin Kamara, WR Marquez Callaway, WR Tre’quan Smith, WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, TE Juwan Johnson, LT James Hurst, LG Calvin Throckmorton, C Erik McCoy, RG Cesar Ruiz, RT Jordan Mills

Statistical Leaders

Dolphins
Touchdowns: Tua Tagovailoa 3
Rushing Yards: Myles Gaskin 580
Passing Yards: Tua Tagovailoa 2,141
Receiving Yards: Jaylen Waddle 849
Sacks: Jaelan Phillips 8.5
Interceptions: Xavian Howard 4

Saints
Touchdowns: Taysom Hill 5
Rushing Yards: Alvin Kamara 668
Receiving Yards: Marquez Callaway 555
Passing Yards: Jameis Winston 1170
Sacks: Marcus Davenport 6.5
Interceptions: P.J. Williams 3
 

Weather Forecast

Partly Cloudy.  77* for the high… 67* by kickoff.  Wind at 9 mph.


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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