There are those who believe that the Miami Dolphins will win only one game in 2019. Then there are those who believe this team can win more games than anyone's expecting. Who's right? Only time will tell, and the emergence (or failure) of Josh Rosen will likely have a lot to do with how bettors decide to approach the season.
With the recent increase in sports betting, trying to figure out how to make a profit isn't as easy as just deciding who will win week in and week out, there's way more to it than that. That's what this primer is meant to do: give an idea of what kind of bets there are to make and what works best for anyone looking to place a bet.
But this is where things get interesting. If the Dolphins are truly as bad as everyone is predicting, then betting on Miami any given week could potentially lead to big winnings if the gamble pays off. However, what sort of things should factor into making that decision?
Young defense developing
If there's anything to really look forward to in 2019, it's the growth of a young defense. The Dolphins have young players who are emerging as potential superstars, as well as Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard, who himself is also a young player in his own right.
Take into account the play of Jerome Baker, and apparent hidden gem Sam Eguavoen. Between those two, Miami has a linebacker duo who can go from sideline to sideline, cover running backs and tight ends, and shoot gaps in pass rush. All these traits were displayed in the preseason, and could give opposing offenses a reason to respect the Dolphins defense.
Then you have Minkah Fitzpatrick, who's projected to play in his best spot, at slot cornerback. True, it moved Bobby McCain to free safety, but with the exception of a few moments where his physical limitations got exposed, McCain has handled the transition admirably, while Fitzpatrick gets to focus on becoming the playmaker he was at Alabama.
The only true weak point for Miami is the pass rush. Charles Harris has shown improvement, but he's still nowhere close to meeting the expectations placed on him as a first round draft pick. As for Tank Carradine and Nate Orchard, they have something to offer as depth players, but not as true starting material. The Dolphins pass rush will have to be schemed in order to be effective, unless Miami does something drastic like trade for Texans rusher Jadeveon Clowney.
Offense trying to adapt
This should come as a surprise to no one, but the offense is not firing on all cylinders. Once again, Miami's offensive line is a disaster, and the scheme has to adapt to the inability to protect the quarterback and open up holes for running backs. That isn't easy to do no matter who's in charge.
Rookies Michael Deiter and Shaq Calhoun have struggled at the two guard positions. Frankly, that's putting it mildly. However, they are young and learning. Perhaps in time, they will figure it out. But for right now things are going to be difficult for the Dolphins to put points on the board. That should be taken into account if one wants to place a bet.
However, things are not hopeless. The weapons Miami has at their disposal are fairly impressive. Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage are a good duo of running backs, while Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, and up and comer Preston Williams is a corps loaded with potential.
Truly, this offense hinges on how well the quarterback, whether it's Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick, adapts to pressure they'll be facing. The weapons can bail them out of jams if necessary, but they'll have to improvise around the pocket a lot for the team to find success scoring points.
A lot of losses the Dolphins have suffered over the past several years have been due to coaching that was...less than ideal. But so far, this new coaching staff has done more good than harm. Philosophies are being put into place that demand excellence, but don't come off as arrogant.
Brian Flores can do himself a favor by naming Rosen the starter at quarterback, since he's outplayed the veteran Fitzpatrick this preseason. From the very beginning, Flores has said that the best player will start, and that appears to be Rosen at this point, based on performance.
The offense and the defense's new schemes and how they're executed will have a lot to do with how bets should be placed on the Dolphins in 2019. Perhaps, it would be safer to bet small until there's some idea of how the team is going to come together. With their first regular season game being against the Baltimore Ravens, that's a huge first challenge.
Maybe you're not much of a betting person, but it's always a good idea to learn more about how the NFL views things from different perspectives. There's a reason Las Vegas always puts odds on teams. And scarily enough, they're right more often than not. If that's the case, maybe there's something to be gained by keeping an eye on these sorts of things.
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