By Abraham Gutierrez
On paper, the (1-0) Miami Dolphins are expected to dismantle the lowly (0-1) Jacksonville Jaguars when the two sides meet Sunday afternoon at EverBank Field. But if last week's 17-10 win over the Redskins is any indication, expecting the Fins to cover a point spread when facing inferior competition might be a task not apt for those with a heart condition.
Conventional wisdom suggests that Joe Philbin and the Fins should improve to 2-0 even tangling with Gus Bradley's felines. However, the key question for this game becomes: By how much will Miami defeat Jacksonville? Before analyzing all the data available for this lopsided matchup, it's worth taking a look at the meat and potatoes of this NFL Week 2 clash.
NFL Week 2 Point Spreads
According to NFL oddsmakers, the Dolphins (-6) are currently listed as betting favorites over the Jaguars (+6) by a pair of field goals. The OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 41 points, and alternate money lines for straight-up betting go as follows: Miami Dolphins (-280) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (+230).
Head-to-Head ATS Trends
In this category, there are a number of statistics that suggest the Dolphins should yield a winning bet (against the spread) come Sunday afternoon. The first piece of information to note is that the betting "favorite" comes in with a 5-1-1 record in the last seven meetings between Miami and Jacksonville.
Recent trends also denote that the Fins are capable of performing well in Jags territory. This is evident by the fact that Miami is 3-1-1 in its last five ATS games played in Jacksonville, and 4-1 in the last five meetings overall. Finally, being away from home seems to be part of the winning formula in this matchup, as the road team is 4-1 the last five times the Fins and Jags have crossed paths.
Judging by the general ATS consensus, gamblers aren't timid at all about putting their hard-earned money on Miami in spite of last week's near disaster. In fact, as of Thursday morning, an overwhelming 77 percent of the action favors the Dolphins to cover at -6. Meanwhile, naysayers are detected at only 23 percent for this game, which is the percentage of the betting population that likes the Jaguars with a +6-point cushion.
Dolphins Recent ATS Trends To Consider
Thus far, everything points to a rather painless six-point cover by the visiting Miami Dolphins, right? Wrong. This is where things get very interesting, as the Fins have some ATS tendencies that could come back to bite those who bet on them.
The first stat to take into account is Miami's ATS record in its last 10, Week 2 games, which currently stands at 3-7. As stated above, this club also has the tendency to play down to the level of its competition, illustrated by a 2-6 ATS mark in its last eight games versus teams with losing records.
The Dolphins are also 1-5 in their last six ATS games overall, and a whopping 1-6 after accumulating less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game. Finally, the worst stat of them all: Miami's 0-4 record in its last four games versus fellow American Football Conference ballclubs. On a bright note, pro-Dolphin bettors can hang their hats on the fact that Jacksonville hasn't exactly set the world on fire against the spread either as of late.
The following ATS trends show that the Jaguars are far from a smart wager in this Week 2 showdown, making the decision to take Miami a no-brainer: Jacksonville is 18-38-1 in its last 57 home games, 11-24-2 versus teams with winning records, 8-22 in its last 30 September games, 0-8 in Week 2, and finally, the Jags are winless in their last four home games against a team with a winning road record.
2015 NFL Picks Week 2: Miami Dolphins -6
Abe Gutierrez's passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers) and CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com. and other online publications.
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