Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins Matchup Preview (11/7/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins Matchup Preview (11/7/21)
The Dolphins’ pre-season win total closed at 9.5 while the Texans closed at 3.5. However, at the halfway point, the Dolphins and Texans have the same 1-7 record.
Miami was due for regression, but this was entirely unexpected. The Dolphins have played awful on defense, awful on offense, and their franchise quarterback isn’t shaping up to be what Dolphin fans expected.
Meanwhile, the Texans have slightly overperformed expectations. They’ve been frisky at times, and have played hard despite losing Tyrod Taylor to injury. Davis Mills isn’t likely to be a long-term option for Houston — or anyone else for that matter — but he’s shown promise at times.
However, it’s uncertain who will be the starter for the Texans this week, as Taylor is inching closer to return. Either way, Miami is still nearly a touchdown favorite.
But is it worth laying the points with the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon?
Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins Betting Odds
In short, the Dolphins shouldn’t be laying seven points against anybody.
While the Texans rank 32nd in scoring offense and 31st in scoring defense, the Dolphins aren’t far ahead, ranking 28th in points per game and 29th in points per game allowed. The Texans rank 31st in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, but the Dolphins rank 27th. While Miami is slightly better from an offensive efficiency standpoint, they’re almost equal from a defensive efficiency standpoint.
Given how similar these two teams are, I’ll always bet the one catching more than six points.
Plus, given the relative ineffectiveness of these two offenses — particularly at the quarterback position — this total has opened at just 46. With a total as low as that, taking the points is always a smart move.
Finally, if the Texans do announce that Taylor is playing on Sunday, this line will be cut in half. I’ll feel really good about my Texans ticket then.
My Predictions: Houston Texans +6.5 (-105 at DraftKings)
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Date: Sunday, November 7
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
TV Coverage: FOX
Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins Live Stream
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Houston Texans: Hardy Nickerson (O), Christian Kirksey (O), Tyrod Taylor (P)
Miami Dolphins: Jerome Baker (Q), DeVante Parker (O), Tua Tagovailoa (Q)
Houston Texans Analysis
The Texans are bad, but at least competitive at times.
Houston is 4-4 against the spread (ATS) despite their 1-7 record. They pulled off a miracle cover last week, scoring 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on their way to covering +16.5 in the 38-22 loss. Mills tossed for 300 yards in the game, the second time he’s done so this season.
However, outside of those two unexpectedly impressive performances, Mills has been expectedly bad.
Among 35 quarterbacks that have dropped back at least 75 times this season, Mills grades out as PFF’s sixth-worst. He’s made 11 Turnover Worthy Plays this season, resulting in eight interceptions.
Hopefully, Taylor will come back as soon as possible.
The Texans are terrible at all three levels on defense. The front seven ranks 30th in Rush Defense DVOA and 30th in PFF’s coverage grades. They’ve allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL at the third-most yards per carry, and have allowed the third-most total yards.
All-in-all, the Texans are scoring less than 15 points per game while allowing over 30. It’s hard to be that bad, but the Watson-less roster has accomplished it.
Houston Texans Depth Chart
Miami Dolphins Analysis
While the world is eager to blame Tua Tagovailoa for the Dolphins’ struggles, the defense has allowed the most yards in the NFL this season.
They rank 25th in pass defense DVOA, 26th in rush defense DVOA, and grade out at 28th in PFF’s tackling grades. Last season, the Dolphins defense was bailed out by an unsustainable positive turnover margin, but that unit was at least average on defense. Our team expected regression, but this is insanity.
While Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert have been studs of the 2020 NFL quarterback class, Tagovailoa has been the biggest disappointment. He averages just over 200 yards per game and doesn’t drive the ball down the field, averaging just 6.3 yards per attempt and attempting only 14 passes 20+ yards downfield.
He’s also made just five Big Time Throws to seven Turnover Worthy Plays. It’s no wonder the Dolphins are pursuing a trade for Deshaun Watson.
All-in-all, the Dolphins are scoring just 17 points per game while allowing 29. Since they came into the season with rather high expectations, Miami is also a lousy 2-8 ATS and is one of the least-profitable betting teams in the NFL.
Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins Daily Fantasy Picks
Both offenses are anemic and filled with underperforming skill players. However, there’s one player that has continued to produce despite the pathetic team surrounding him.
Brandin Cooks is on pace for his sixth 1000-yard season, and he has already had one with three different teams. This year, Cooks has accumulated 30% of Houston’s Target Marketshare. He’s been targeted 70 times and managed 51 receptions on the season, for 11.5 yards per reception. No other Houston skill player has more than 20 receptions.
Therefore, if Taylor or Mills are looking down the field, it’s almost certain they’re looking at Cooks. He’s recorded five receptions in seven of his eight games this season.
Meanwhile, Miami ranks 20th in pass defense DVOA vs. #1 WRs. Cooks is in for another huge day with a great matchup.
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