Miami Dolphins (6-3) at Denver Broncos (3-6)
Spread: Dolphins -4
The Miami Dolphins take a five-game winning streak into Denver to take on the Broncos Sunday, with kickoff set for 2:05 p.m. at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos have lost three of their past four games and are 1-3 at home. The AFC East looked out of reach for the Dolphins after they lost three of their first four games , but they’d be tied with the Buffalo Bills for the division lead with a win Sunday.
Denver returns home after losing two straight road games by a combined score of 71-39. The Broncos had five turnovers in their Week 10 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders (37-12), which puts them atop the league with 21 (-13 turnover differential ranks second). Drew Lock threw four more interceptions last week to extend his streak to five games with at least one interception. Lock has more picks (10) than touchdown passes (7) and Denver leads the league with 16 interceptions.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins rank fourth in takeaways (15), fumbles recovered (seven) and turnover differential (+5). They’ve allowed the fifth-fewest points per game (20.2) and they’re eighth in pass DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). Interceptions haven’t been an issue for rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as he enters with a 5:0 TD:INT ratio. He’s yet to throw for more than 248 yards in a game and he’s only averaging 129.8 passing yards per game, but he has a perfect 3-0 record to start his NFL career.
Look for both teams to run the football as Miami and Denver are tied for the 10th-most rushing yards allowed per game (128). Denver will need more from Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay, with Lock playing through a rib injury. Gordon’s averaging 30 rushing yards per game over his last three contests and Lindsay only has 25 rushing yards in his last two games (12 carries).
Prediction: 21-17 Miami
Gordon’s been underwhelming this season, but the 47.5 prop is too low. Gordon’s averaging 54.9 rushing yards per game and I truly think the Broncos will look to establish the run. Miami’s 4.7 yards allowed per carry are tied for the seventh-most. The Broncos’ young receiving corps will have its hands full with Xavien Howard, Byron Jones and Nik Needham, so look for Gordon to get involved through the air as well.