Miami Dolphins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview and Picks - 10/10/2021

by James Q

Miami Dolphins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview and Picks - 10/10/2021

Game Time: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 10th, 2021 
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, Florida
Where to Watch: CBS

Opening NFL Odds at USA Sportsbooks

FanDuel:  Spread: Tampa -10;  : O/U 47.5
Caesars: Spread:  Tampa -10; : O/U 48
BetMGM:  Spread:  Tampa -10; : O/U 48

Season Record

Dolphins: 1-3 (AFC East)
Bucs:  3-1 (NFC South)

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Dolphins vs Bucs Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

The Dolphins are not having the season they imagined they would.  In the off-season much was made of the defense and supporting cast in Miami… if only they could get their quarterback right, they would be an easy playoff team.  Tua Tagovailoa was the 5th pick of the 2020 NFL draft after having led Alabama to two consecutive National Championship games.  Miami was happy to have him until he started to play.  Tua came out of college injured and needed time to mend and he seems much smaller in the pros than he did in college… His amazing throwing arm in college turns out to be average when compared to NFL QBs… also he struggled with learning the playbook in year one.  2021 would be different.  Only it isn’t, Tua is hurt again and the team is looking into moving on.  The Dolphins opened the season with a win over long-time division foes the New England Patriots 17-16.  Game 2 brought the another long-time division foe the Buffalo Bills who promptly spanked the Dolphins 35-0 (Tua got hurt early in this game).  Game 3 was closer (now with Jacoby Brissett playing QB) but the Las Vegas Raiders pulled it out 31-28.  Game 4 was a whimper of a loss to the Indianapolis Colts 27-17.  The Dolphins may have a trade up their sleeves to get a new quarterback or they may wait for Tua to return and take another bad season into another high draft pick.  Either way it is surely looking hopeless in Miami.

Football coaches are often worried about the emotional let down following a big win or a big rivalry win.  This last week on Sunday Night Football Tom Brady took his Super Bowl Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers and returned to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough Massachusetts to face his old team the New England Patriots and his old coach Bill Belichick.  Rob Gronkowski was returning too but injured and therefore couldn’t play.  The History of Brady and the Patriots came to life in the week-long build-up of coverage from every sports show radio and TV.  The Broadcast itself was a love letter to the Hall of Fame careers of Tom Brady and Bill Belichik complete with video package tributes and cheering ovations.  It may have been the most hyped game in OCT in decades… maybe ever.  Tom won, but thanks to the sharp play of Patriots’ rookie QB Mac Jones he didn’t cover the point spread.     The Buccaneers won Game 1 of the season against the Dallas Cowboys 31-29.  Game 2 was an easy win over the wilting Matty Ice led Atlanta Falcons 48-25. Game 3 was a loss to the firepower laden Los Angeles Rams 34-24. Game 4 was that Patriots game that finished with a final score of 19-17.

Offensive Analysis 

The Dolphins are scoring a measly 15.5 points per game on a paltry 277.8 yards per game.  Jacoby Brissett leads the team in completion percentage at 63.9%.  It’s a better mark than Tua had in the single game he played to open the season 54.8%... but Tua has the 1 win.   Running back Myles Gaskin brings in a small 35.5 yards per game.  Receivers DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle scrape together 110 yards per game combined.  It has been a desert with no oasis on offense so far.

The Buccaneers are scoring 30.5 points per game and netting 411 yards per game.  The are led by Hall of Famer, GOAT and candidate for multiple statues in his honor, QB Tom Brady. His 1,356 yards passing for 10 TDs and 2 interceptions are the stats of a much younger man.  RB Leonard Fournette rushes for 46 yards per game, but also catches another 31 yards per game.  WRs Chris Godwin and Mike Evans combine for 144 yards per game… while Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski combine for 128 yards per game.  Tom goes through his route progression and truly gives the ball to whoever is open.

Defensive Analysis

The Dolphins defense gives up 27.3 points per game (12 points more than the offense scores) and 388.3 yards per game.  They are ranked 26th, but since some of those 8 teams behind them have high scoring offenses and get in shootouts… The Dolphins are really more like bottom five.  

The Buccaneers are giving up 26.3 points per game on 375 yards per game.  They are ranked 22nd.  That’s not great for a team that expects another Super Bowl.


Dolphins vs Buccaneers Prediction

Our prediction for Sunday, October 10th is… Bucs 28 - Dolphins 13

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NFL Betting Trends

Miami is 7-3 ATS after 2 or more consecutive losses, the last 3 seasons.
Miami is 6-3 when playing a team with a winning record, the last 3 seasons.
Miami is 8-0 ATS in weeks 5-9 the last 3 seasons.
Tampa Bay is 6-12 ATS where the total is 42.5 - 49 pts, the last 3 seasons.
Tampa Bay is 6-2 ATS in non-conference games, the last 3 seasons.

Key Injuries

Miami:  CB Byron Jones (Quad) Questionable  * QB Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) Out
Tampa:  S Antoine Winfield Jr (concussion) Questionable * TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs) Quest

Players to Watch

Miami:  QB Jacoby Brissett.  It’s all up to him.  He is at best a career backup in the NFL and he needs to rise to this moment to secure future backup gigs.  If he can’t win or score enough to almost win before Tua returns his resume will have nothing on it.

Tampa Bay: QB Tom Brady.  Until Tom has played his last NFL game he will always be the center of attention of any broadcast.  The announcers will direct you to notice him.  The sideline reporters will clamour to get his comments.  The camera will follow him all the time.  He is the NFL version of Jordan and Jabaar rolled into one.  He is Gretsky and Lemiuex rolled into one.  He has 7 Super Bowl rings and is the all time passing leader for America’s number one sport by a longshot. He will be a cultural fixture in your life for the rest of your life.

Starting Lineups

Dolphins:  QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Myles Gaskin, TE Mike Gesicki, WR Devonte Parker, WR Malcolm Brown, WR Jaylen Waddle, 

Bucs:  QB Tom Brady, RB Leonard Fournette, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, WR Antonio Brown, TE Cameron Brate, 

Statistical Leaders

Passing: Tom Brady 1,356 yards
Rushing: Leonard Fournette 183 yards
Receiving: Chris Godwin  296 yards
Tackles:  Lavonte David  32
Interceptions:  Mike Edwards  2

Passing:  Jacoby Brissett  583 yards
Rushing:  Myles Gaskin  142 yards
Receiving:  DeVante Parker  242 yards
Tackles:  Jerome Baker  27
Interceptions:  Xavier Howard  1

Weather Forecast

Isolated Thunderstorms.  High of 83*.  Humidity 72%



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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