Two of the top teams in the NFL square off on Sunday Night Football this week (10/22/23) when the Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) host the Miami Dolphins (5-1). With two high-powered offenses, this game has the highest over/under on the week 7 schedule at 51.5 points, while the Eagles are the betting favorite at -2.5 against the spread.
This article provides Dolphins vs. Eagles analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the Eagles team total over at 27.5 points.
Dolphins vs. Eagles Prediction & Best Bet
This game should be one of the best games of the season so far, with fascinating matchups all over the field.
These teams probably have the two best wide receiver tandems in the NFL right now, and both of them are facing banged up secondaries. The Dolphins could be missing top cornerback Xavien Howard and are still without Jalen Ramsey, while the Eagles could be missing both starting safeties and already lost slot CB Avonte Maddox for the season.
The two running backs in this game – Raheem Mostert and D’Andre Swift – have been two of the most explosive runners in the league this season, and both have been top 7 backs in terms of rushing yards and yards per carry this season.
It would be very easy to look at these explosive offenses and the injury questions in both secondaries and just hammer the over on 51.5 total points. That will probably end up being a good bet, but it’s not as obvious as it looks on the surface.
The Eagles should be able to run the ball effectively against the Dolphins’ defensive front. They are currently 2nd in the league in rushing, rushing DVOA, and rushing success rate and 3rd in rushing EPA. Meanwhile the Dolphins are 25th in rushing defense DVOA and EPA and 27th in success rate.
If the Eagles can use the run game to control the time of possession and dictate the pace of the game, that will limit the number of possessions, depress the scoring, and help to neutralize the Dolphins’ explosive offense. It’s a formula other teams have used against the Eagles over the last year and a half, and it makes some sense for the Eagles to employ it in this game.
That is the biggest hesitation we have with picking the over. It would certainly not be surprising if either or both offenses end up exploding for one of the wildest, highest-scoring games of the season. That’s what everyone wants and expects to see in this matchup. We would certainly take the over if we were betting it, but at such a high number, there are enough reasons to hesitate and go in a different direction for the best bet in this game.
Instead we like the Eagles team total over 27.5 (+105) as our best bet. In addition to being 25th in DVOA against the run, Miami is also 22nd against the pass and 27th overall defensively. The Eagles’ defense is more equipped to slow down the Dolphins’ offense than the other way around, mainly because of the line of scrimmage, as we discuss further below. Despite the Dolphins’ offensive prowess, we have more confidence in the Eagles’ offense given the respective defensive matchups.
If the over ends up hitting, it’s likely that both teams would go over their team totals (the Dolphins are at 24.5). So getting the Eagles’ team total at plus money is a better value than simply betting the game total.
If the under hits, that likely means the Eagles found a way to slow down the Dolphins and would favor them winning the game, and they could easily still score at least 28 points in that scenario. So there are multiple possible scenarios where the Eagles’ team total over 27.5 could hit, and the odds make it a solid value as the best bet in this game.
When it comes to picking a side, this matchup is too tight to feel confident either way, but we lean towards the Eagles at -2.5. Miami has had by far the easiest schedule so far this season. The combined record of the 5 teams they have beaten (Chargers, Patriots, Broncos, Giants, Panthers) is 5-24. Their game against the Bills was their only true test of the season, one they failed miserably. Until we see them beat a team of a similar caliber, we can’t bet against the defending NFC champs on their home field in primetime.
Dolphins vs. Eagles Prediction & Best Bet: Eagles win 31-27 | Best Bet: Eagles TT over 27.5 (+105)
Dolphins vs. Eagles Betting Odds
The spread in this game has not budged from Eagles -2.5 and it’s unlikely it will move much in either direction before kickoff. Sitting just under the key number of 3, this spread essentially pegs these teams as dead even and gives the Eagles the typical benefit for being at home.
The over/under of 51.5 is the highest total on the week 7 slate, which is not surprising given the caliber of the offenses in this game. There is some downward movement as the line opened at 52.5 and even reached 53.5 at some sportsbooks.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Eagles winning 27-24.
Dolphins vs. Eagles Key Injuries
Both teams have several key players on the injury report whose status is worth monitoring.
The Eagles got good news on Lane Johnson’s ankle injury that caused him to miss most of the week 6 game against the Jets. The injury was deemed a grade 1 sprain and it sounds like there is a good chance that Johnson will play this week, which would be great news for the Eagles. Also on offense, two of their top pass catchers – DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert – are worth monitoring, but both are expected to play.
On defense, the Eagles already have two starters in the secondary on IR – slot CB Avonte Maddox (out for the season) and S Justin Evans. They recently replaced Maddox with veteran Bradley Roby, but he’s expected to miss this game, as is their other starting safety Reed Blankenship. Top CB Darius Slay missed the Jets game but is trending towards returning this week, as are standout rookie DT Jalen Carter and rookie reserve safety Sydney Brown, who could replace Blankenship in the starting lineup.
The most important Dolphins injury to monitor is standout CB Xavien Howard, who sustained a groin injury last week and missed Wednesday’s practice but returned Thursday as a limited participant. The Dolphins just activated the 21-day window for their other star CB Jalen Ramsey, but he will not play in this game, so they could be down both starting corners if Howard misses this game.
On offense, the Dolphins’ only injury to monitor is center Connor McGovern, who has already missed 2 games this season. He is trending towards playing after returning to practice on Thursday. Notable Dolphins players on IR include All-Pro LT Terron Armstead and standout rookie RB DeVon Achane. RB Jeff Wilson is expected to be activated off IR this week and will make his season debut.
Dolphins vs. Eagles Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Dolphins vs. Eagles below.
Dolphins’ offensive line vs. Eagles’ defensive line
This matchup is probably the biggest mismatch in this game, even more than the WR-DB mismatches. The Dolphins’ offensive line has long been their Achilles heel, and they are still missing Terron Armstead and could be without Connor McGovern. The Eagles have one of the best and deepest defensive lines in the league, especially with stud rookie Jalen Carter expected to return after missing 1 game with an ankle injury.
This matchup is also the most important matchup to watch in this game, because the Eagles exploiting their advantage here is the biggest key for them winning the game and will also have the biggest impact on the total points scored. If they can dominate the line of scrimmage, they will be able to slow down Mostert with their top-ranked run defense and also get pressure on Tua Tagovailoa, which would mitigate some of the Dolphins’ elite speed on the outside.
“Speed can hurt you but physicality can hurt speed.”
How the Eagles plan on slowing the Dolphins attack. pic.twitter.com/5TMshvHI4V
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) October 19, 2023
Tagovailoa has been able to overcome any weakness in the offensive line by getting rid of the ball faster than any quarterback in the league. He leads the league with an average time to throw of 2.31 seconds. That is the biggest reason why he has only been sacked 6 times, which is tied for the fewest in the league.
But the Dolphins’ loss to the Bills showed that against an elite pass rush with solid coverage behind it, Tagovailoa can be vulnerable. Four of his 6 sacks came in that game when he had a season-low 2.59 seconds per throw. It’s no coincidence that was the Dolphins’ lone loss and lowest-scoring game of the season.
The Eagles’ defense is not on the same level as the Bills, particularly in the secondary, but they do have the right pieces to replicate some of what the Bills did against this offense.