Week 7 provides us with an AFC showdown under the bright lights in Miami, as the Dolphins play host to Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returns to the lineup for the first time since suffering his concussion vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, and he will face a Steelers defense that gets pressure at one of the lowest rates in the NFL despite blitzing at a top-10 rate.
Miami is looking to snap a three-game losing streak, as this once 3-0 team is now at .500 and in third place in the AFC East. The Steelers got back on track with their upset win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, but still reside in last place in the AFC North with a 2-4 record. Pickett suffered a concussion last week, but he has cleared protocol and will get the start Sunday. Both the Dolphins and Steelers are fighting to show that they are better than their record indicates. Who will win this battle on Sunday night?
Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch Sunday's matchup.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Oct. 23 | Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Florida)
TV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Dolphins -7.5, O/U 45.5
- Steelers: WR Steven Sims (hamstring) OUT; CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) DOUBTFUL; CB James Pierre (hip/knee) QUESTIONABLE
- Dolphins: CB Keion Crossen (knee) DOUBTFUL; T Terron Armstead (toe), CB Xavien Howard (groin), CB Kader Kohou (obligue), T Greg Little (Achilles), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (back), TE Durham Smythe (hamstring), QB Skylar Thompson (right thumb), WR Jaylen Waddle (shoulder), DT Christian Wilkins (hand) QUESTIONABLE
Sims will miss Sunday's game after having an 89-yard kickoff return during last Sunday's win over the Buccaneers. Witherspoon was limited on Wednesday and Friday after being a full participant during Thursday's practice. Pierre was limited during the last two practices after not starting the week on the injury report.
The Dolphins have a host of players on this week's injury report. Armstead was limited Friday but did not practice Wednesday and Thursday. Howard was limited at the start and end of the week while being a full participant Thursday. Waddle was limited all week.
This line opened at MIA -4 on Monday, May 16. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the line reopened at MIA -6. Last Saturday, it rose to MIA -7, and then rose a half-point to MIA -7.5 on Friday.
The pick: Steelers +7.5. First of all, I think the Dolphins win on Sunday night, and I would throw the ML in with other selections for a same-game parlay. However, when it comes to the points, I think I'm going to take Pittsburgh to cover. This was not one of my top five picks of the week, but I think it's hard not to side with the underdog here. Two of Miami's three wins have come by four or fewer points. Pittsburgh actually has some momentum going for itself after that home win against Tampa Bay despite not having virtually its entire secondary. Maybe this is the week where Pickett shines and George Pickens goes crazy. Dolphins win, Steelers cover.
The total opened at 44.5 on Monday, May 16. It reopened at 42.5 on Tuesday, Oct. 11, but then began to rise. It reached 43 on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 43.5 on Oct. 14, 44.5 the next day and then finally 45 on Sunday, Oct. 16. The total actually dropped to 44 on Monday, but bounced back up during the week, and reached its height at 45.5 on Friday.
The pick: Under 45.5. I don't have a best bet for the total, but the lean is to the Under. The Dolphins average 21.8 points per game, and the Steelers average 16.2 points per game -- which actually ranks third-worst in the NFL. Both teams are 2-4 to the Over.
Kenny Pickett props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +159, Under -224)
Passing yards: 226.5 (Over -139, Under +102)
Passing attempts: 33.5 (Over -115, Under -119)
Passing completions: 20.5 (Over -129, Under -106)
Longest passing completion: 33.5 (Over -113, Under -121)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -184, Under +133)
Give me Pickett's Over on passing yards, as that line feels too low. Pickett threw for 327 yards in his first career start against Buffalo. I will also be taking a flier on his Over for passing touchdowns. Pickett has thrown just one score in three games, but that +159 juice is enticing. I would stay away from his passing attempts. There's a lean to the Over on Pickett's completions, but the -129 will probably lead me to not bet it. Add Pickett to record at least one interception in a same-game parlay.
Tua Tagovailoa props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -127, Under -108)
Passing yards: 248.5 (Over -145, Under +106)
Passing attempts: 31.5 (Over -123, Under -111)
Passing completions: 21.5 (Over -133, Under -103)
Longest passing completion: 37.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +106, Under -145)
First of all, I love Tagovailoa to throw a pick Sunday night. He's averaging about one per game, he's had a couple weeks off and I imagine Minkah Fitzpatrick is going to do everything he can to pick off a pass against his former team. At plus money, I'm taking it. I have zero read on Tagovailoa's passing yards number, as he's been all over the board this year. He threw for 270 yards in Week 1, 469 in Week 2 and 186 in Week 3. I'll probably just avoid it. I'll lean to the Under on passing attempts, but won't play his completions.
Najee Harris rushing yards: Over 43.5 (+102). I get that Harris hasn't been torching defenses this season on the ground, but this line looks low. The Dolphins allow 104.7 rushing yards per game. Can Harris not get to 50 on Sunday night?
George Pickens receptions: Over 3.5 (-151). Yeah it's juicy, but that's because this line is wrong. Pickens caught three passes last week when Pickett was knocked out early, but he caught six passes in both Week 4 and Week 5. I think Pickett likes this guy, and I understand why. Pickens' O/U receiving yards is 42.5. I like the Over there, too.
Mike Gesicki receiving yards: Over 20.5 (-119). I know that Gesicki's name has come up in trade talks and that he's not the most consistent fantasy football start, but he caught two touchdowns last Sunday. Additionally, he's caught a pass that went for at least 18 yards in each of the last three matchups. I think this line is just too low.