The Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints conclude the NFL’s Week 16 schedule on Monday Night Football. New Orleans opened as a 3-point favorite over the visiting Dolphins, and but with news that rookie Ian Book will start at QB for the New Orleans, the point spread has flipped. As of Sunday morning, Miami is a 2.5-point favorite at BetMGM and -3 with reduced juice at FanDuel.
The total, too, is on the move, dipping to 37.5 from an opener of 40. Should the number hold at 37.5, it will be the lowest over/under through 16 weeks of the 2021 NFL season.
Miami Dolphins (7-7, 7-6-1) at New Orleans Saints (7-7, 7-7 ATS)
Time: 8:15 p.m. EST
BetMGM Line: Dolphins -2.5 (37.5)
The skinny: Both teams are on the outside looking in regarding the postseason and desperate for a victory as they close out Week 16.
Facts: The point total is the lowest posted this year. In 1993, the Saints were part of another low number when it was 29.5 for a game in Philly, the shortest in the league the past 46 years. The Eagles won, 37-26.
The Saints are coming off their fourth straight regular-season win over Tom Brady and the Bucs, 9-0. It came with coach Sean Payton isolating because of a positive COVID test. It was their first shutout victory since the last time they played the Dolphins, a 20-0 win in London in 2017.
Miami and QB Tua Tagovailoa will be going for their seventh straight victory, a streak that includes a 22-10 prime-time home victory against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens as an 8.5-point dog.
Analysis: Saints QB Taysom Hill has been less than impressive since taking over as the starter three weeks ago, twice completing less than half his throws. In that win over the Bucs, New Orleans had only 11 first downs and was 3-for-16 attempting to convert on third downs.
It doesn’t help either that he’s been without both of his starting offensive tackles, who have been questionable each week for what seems like eternity.
Editor’s update: Both Hill and Trevor Siemian entered COVID protocol, and neither is expected to play. Ian Book, a rookie out of Notre Dame, gets the nod in their absence.
The defense, meanwhile, benefited immensely with mid-game injuries to top Tampa Bay receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, and a hamstring injury to bulldozing RB Leonard Fournette.
Anyway, after all that, the Dolphins have been playing more well-rounded ball and this week they welcome back star rookie WR Jaylen Waddle, who missed last week’s 31-24 win over the Jets because of COVID protocol.
There has been no home-field edge this season for the Saints, who are 1-4 in the Superdome including dismal losses to the Giants and Falcons.
Dolphins at Saints Pick
Dolphins 24, Saints 20 (editor’s note: this pick was made when Miami was a 3-point dog)
Last week: 9-7 ATS, 10-6 SU
Season total: 106-115-3 (.480) ATS; 136-87-1 (.610) SU