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Tua Tagovailoa
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Tua, Dolphins defense worth a wager at Arizona

by Sam Panayotovich
Updated On: November 5, 2020, 5:16 pm ET

The Miami Dolphins are still a pretty well-kept secret for sports bettors. 

They've covered five of their seven games and they've done it with a very, very good defense. Brian Flores is building a beastly unit and he's doing it the Belichick way. 

I wrote this two months ago on Rotoworld

Flores set out to improve the Dolphins Defense by building it from the back to the front. It's a strategy that not many minds (outside of New England) even think about. This is why Miami spent plenty of money to bring back corner Xavien Howard. And it's why they ponied up for corner Byron Jones and linebacker Kyle Van Noy in free agency. I wouldn't be surprised if Miami's defense was Top 10 in the NFL this year. 

Football Outsiders currently ranks Miami as the third best unit in the league against the pass. Their secondary is so good that it effectively makes the pass rush stronger. And two of the Dolphins' last three wins came against offensive wizards Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay. Not too shabby.

Miami heads to the desert this weekend to take on the Arizona Cardinals. PointsBet Sportsbook is dealing Arizona -4.5 with a total of 48.5.

The Birds have an electric quarterback in Kyler Murray and they're flying high off the bye after a primetime win over then-undefeated Seattle on national television. But respected money has shown in the market for Miami. The opening number was actually Arizona -6 and the 6s disappeared almost immediately.

It's tough to pick an NFL game early in the week with the mounting uncertainties around the league. All reports are mostly good so far though out of South Beach. The only person on the injury report that didn't practice Thursday is running back Matt Breida. I've always believed that running backs are a dime a dozen anyway. No offense, Matt. 

For me, it's about rolling with a blossoming team that's really starting to find its mojo. And now that the future of the franchise Tua Tagovailoa is under center, the future feels a lot closer than it was a year ago. Miami has the personnel to keep this game close and because of the way the game unfolded last week, they didn't have to show much with Tua. That'll happen when you go up 28-7 against the Rams. I expect to see a lot more wrinkles from the Samoan Sensation on Sunday. 

One Vegas bookmaker told me he only has Arizona 1.5 points better on a neutral field. And we know that home field isn't worth three like it used to be – especially not in 2020. I'm feeling Miami yet again and I'll gladly take the points. 

Play on the Dolphins +4.5. 

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Sam Panayotovich

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst from the South Side of Chicago. He'll probably pick against your favorite team a lot. Follow him @spshoot