Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Dolphins at Steelers, Monday, Oct. 28, 8:15 p.m. ET
The Steelers have had a chance to rest their bumps and bruises over the bye week. That means Mason Rudolph has cleared concussion protocol, James Conner has rested his previously troublesome knee, Jaylen Samuels has overcome his own knee issues, and James Washington‘s shoulder has healed after he missed Week 6. Pittsburgh’s one notable potential absence could be linebacker T.J. Watt, who’s dealing with an abdomen injury. Watt’s backup Anthony Chickillo is also going to miss the contest due to his placement on the Reserve/Commission Exempt list following an off-field incident. Pittsburgh could therefore be potentially thin at linebacker.
The Dolphins surprisingly gave the Bills a competitive game in Week 7 at New Era Field, one where they flashed some unprecedented balance on offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick carried over the momentum he generated in Week 6 spot duty against the Redskins by throwing for 282 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Preston Williams continued his development with a 6-82 line. DeVante Parker was able to get into the end zone for the third straight game. Then, second-year back Mark Walton rushed for an efficient and team-leading 66 rushing yards on 14 carries. Walton may have taken the reins of the backfield for good with the performance, especially with Kenyan Drake the subject of heavy trade rumors.
On the other side, Mason Rudolph‘s development was temporarily short-circuited by the concussion he suffered in Week 5 against the Ravens. Yet, this matchup is about one of the more inviting he could draw in terms of a bounce-back opportunity. The Dolphins should have cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) and safety Bobby McCain (shoulder), although neither might be at 100 percent. Then, Reshad Jones (chest) missed a second straight day of practice Friday and is therefore trending downward. Then again, Pittsburgh has an even better matchup on the ground. Not only are Conner and Samuels back to health, but the Dolphins also check in allowing 160.8 rushing yards per game, including the second most (176.0) of any team on the road.
The Steelers have more vulnerabilities to attack on the Dolphins’ end than Miami has against Pittsburgh’s much more solid defense. But, coach Mike Tomlin might still be relatively conservative with Rudolph, due both to his inexperience, and, to a lesser exent, because the young QB is coming off injury. Therefore, I could see this as a slow-developing advantage for Pittsburgh that they eventually extend to about 10-to-12 points by game’s end.
The Steelers began as 15.5-point favorites before on FanDuel Sportsbook. That number has subsequently been bet down to 14. The Dolphins continued to show improvement by giving the Bills a competitive game in Week 7 before falling by 10 points, following a Week 6 slim one-point home defeat at the hands of the Redskins.
The Dolphins are 2-4 (33.3 percent) against the spread this season. That includes a 1-1 mark (50.0 percent) as an away team specifically. Miami is also 1-3 (25.0 percent) ATS against AFC opponents this season.
Then, the Steelers are 4-2 (66.7 percent) versus the number in 2019. That includes a 2-1 (66.7 percent) tally as a home team. Pittsburgh is 3-1 (75.0 percent) ATS against AFC opponents this season.
While the Steelers are clearly the more talented team overall, I see the spread as still being a bit on the bloated side. That leans me toward the Dolphins sliding in under the number.
The Lean: Dolphins +14 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
While neither team is going to be confused for an offensive powerhouse, each has some talented pieces. Fitzpatrick is capable of playing well for weeks at a time and Miami may have found some balance in the offense with Walton. Meanwhile, the Steelers should have their chances both on the ground and through the air against Miami.
The Over is 2-4 (33.3 percent) in the Dolphins’ games this season, including 1-1 in their away games. In turn, the Over is also 2-4 (33.3 percent) in the Steelers’ games this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) in their home games.
Neither team is likely to blow the other out of the water, but I can see enough points for the 43-point total to be eclipsed.
The Lean: Over 43.0 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bet
Dolphins +14.5 and Over 42.5 points (+260 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
This is the prop that stands out to me based on my belief the Dolphins pull off a cover and the game goes over 43 points. Miami appears to be getting more cohesive offensively and their most recent game finished with a total of 52. The Fins have also lost each of their last two games by less than Monday night’s projected spread. Meanwhile, the Steelers have seen half of their six games go over Monday night’s projected total.