Game: Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Date & Time: Monday October 28st, 2019, 8:15 (EST)
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers -14.5, O/U: 44
TV Channel: ESPN
NFL Season ATS Record: 25-19-2
Nick Ballistreri gives his MNF preview as the 0-6 Dolphins travel to Heinz Field take on the 2-4 Steelers.
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Preview
The Miami Dolphins are in the middle of one of the most obvious tank-jobs in NFL history. To put it simply: the Dolphins feel it is more beneficial to lose games this season than win. They want to accumulate as much draft capital as possible, and build towards the future.
To this point, their tanking plan has been a resounding success. The Dolphins are 0-6, but recently, they have been keeping games competitive enough to keep fans entertained. Two weeks ago, the Dolphins lost to the Redskins 17-16, in a game where they missed a 2-point conversion for the victory. Sigh of relief for all Dolphins fans. Last week, they were in a one-score game with Buffalo until the Bills returned an onside kick for a touchdown. Again, they’re not winning, but they have been competitive recently.
The Steelers are 2-4, and with the exception of their opening weekend shellacking at the hands of the Patriots, they have been highly competitive in every game. They are coming of a well-deserved bye week, coming after beating the LA Chargers on Sunday Night Football, 24-17 in Week 6.
Once Ben Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending injury, most of the hope for the Steelers this season was lost. Things got worse when backup QB, Mason Rudolph, got hurt as well, leaving the Steelers to their third-string QB. They survived this with a win against the Chargers, and now welcome Rudolph back with open arms.
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Spread Prediction
The Steelers are 14.5 point favorites at home in this Monday Night Football matchup. It is rare to see a 2-win team favored this heavily but again, the Dolphins are no common foe. The Steelers on paper should dominate this game.
However, there is a reason these games are played on the field, not on paper. Yes, the Dolphins are overmatched talent-wise. This is especially evidenced with the Dolphins trading one of their star defenders, Minkah Fitzpatrick, to the Steelers a few weeks back.
But the Dolphins have a tough group. In recent games, they have been fighting to the end, and they are again starting Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB in this one. Fitzpatrick has been around the block in this league, and while he may not possess the talent of some other QB’s, one thing is for sure: he has heart.
Fitzpatrick will play his heart out until the final whistle. I expect the Steelers to ride James Connor and even JuJu Smith-Schuster to a relatively easy victory, but I don’t expect them to cover 14.5 points. The Dolphins will keep this one competitive until at least the 4th quarter, and if Fitzpatrick can connect on some deep balls to Preston Williams or Davante Parker, this one could get interesting.
However, I don’t expect that to happen. The Steelers are going to win this game, but not by 15 points. Dolphins +14.5 is my pick.