In the first-ever Black Friday NFL game, the Miami Dolphins will be in New York to play the Jets, which is fitting since plenty of shoppers have likely found plenty of discounted Zach Wilson jerseys this week. With the former number two overall pick getting benched, the Jets will turn to Tim Boyle at quarterback, but even with the change, I’ll break down why I like the Dolphins to beat up on their division mate.
By beating the Raiders 20-13 last week, the Miami Dolphins continued their trend of beating teams without winning records. All seven of the Dolphins' wins have come against .500 or sub-.500 teams, and they used the Raiders to get back on track offensively following their poor performance against the Chiefs. Miami finished the game with 422 yards and a (1.48) EPA, but the true story of the game was their defense.
Miami forced three turnovers in the game while holding Las Vegas to just 36 rushing yards, which led to a season-high (15.77) EPA. With that performance, the Dolphins have held four straight opponents under 100 rush yards, and they are now ranked 7th in yards allowed per rush with an average of (3.8).
Pass-defense-wise, Miami has benefitted from getting Jalen Ramsey back in action, as he has already pulled in three interceptions in three games and has a 31.3% completion percentage against. The veteran poses as a tough matchup for Jets’ new starter, Tim Boyle, who has made three career starts and has a 3:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 120 passing attempts.
Boyle is taking over a Jets offense that has not posted a positive EPA since week five and has just two touchdowns over their last four games. One of the most intriguing factors in this game is whether not New York will try to establish the run or if they will throw Boyle right into the fire.
New York has two competent running backs in Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, but they rank 30th in rush attempts per game and have finished with under 100 rushing yards in four of their last five games. It won’t get any easier for New York to establish a run game this week either since the team will be without tackle Mekhi Becton.
As the Dolphins look to further solidify their position at the top of the AFC East division, they are listed as (-9.5) point road favorites, and I’ll be backing them to find success against another sub .500 team. The true strength of the Jets is their defense, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been susceptible to struggles against more potent offenses.
In their five games against teams that rank inside the top ten in offensive DVOA, they’ve finished with a negative EPA in three of them, including last week against Buffalo when they finished with a (-14.64) EPA. Now they need to face a Dolphins team that ranks 2nd in offensive DVOA and 1st in yards per play and per game. Teams have found a lot of success on the ground against the Jets, as they’ve allowed 130+ rush yards in three of their last four games.
Miami is second in the league in rushing yards per game, and 1st in yards per rush, so their dynamic offense could exploit the Jets on the ground. If their run game can lead them to a few scoring drives, it’s hard to imagine the Jets can stay in the game with a third-string quarterback with a 60.8% career completion percentage and an injured offensive line.
Miami Dolphins (-9.5)(-110) on PointsBet Sportsbook