Before the start of the NFL season, not many people would have identified the Miami Dolphins at home to the LA Chargers as a game that looked especially interesting. But this could be one of the weekend’s top clashes, with the Dolphins (5-3) heading into it on the back of a four-game winning streak and looking to cement their play-off hopes. The Chargers (2-6), meanwhile, have had a habit of blowing leads and losing close games, which makes them exiting to watch for neutrals, but less so for their fans.
Chargers lack killer instinct
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores surprised many after six games of the season with his decision to hand the offensive reins over to Tua Tagovailoa. The rookie quarterback has shown impressive maturity in taking over from Ryan Fitzpatrick, however, and the decision has paid off, with Miami winning their two games since the switch was made. Last weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, Tagovailoa completed 20 of 28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, with the Dolphins winning 33-31. He also rushed seven times for 35 yards. Despite those achievements, though, it is the Dolphins defense that reall deserves credit for their impressive showing so far this season. Miami have conceded the fourth-lowest amount of points in the NFL.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has also been an impressive performer in recent games, the Californian team have had real problems finishing teams off. They have lost to New Orleans Saints after leading 20-3, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after leading 24-7, and to the Denver Broncos after being ahead 24-3. They came very close to beating Las Vegas last weekend, but what looked to be a game-deciding touchdown pass from Herbert was overturned by match officials on review. Herbert is the key to them winning this weekend and re-injecting some momentum into their season. The quarterback has completed 67% of his passes for 2146 yards and 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Our Pick: Miami Dolphins to win by 1-6
Our tip for this game comes from 888Sport, who are offering odds of +330 on the Dolphins winning by one to six points. Miami are on something of a hot streak right now and this, combined with the Chargers’ tendency to throw away winning leads and lose by one to six points makes those odds look very tempting indeed to us. The Chargers’ defense is also not great – they have conceded an average of 27 points per game, which should give plenty of encouragement to Tagovailoa and his pals.
Our pick: Dolphins to win by 1-6 @ +330 with 888Sport
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