When there’s a big favorite on one side, sometimes it can be challenging to identify the game script. Sunday’s (12/3/23) game between the Dolphins and Commanders provides us with a fascinating betting opportunity. Star players like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Christian Wilkins for Miami will try to outpace NFL passing yardage leader Sam Howell. Let’s figure out who will rack up the stats and pick some Dolphins vs. Commanders player props.
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Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Player Prop Picks
The Dolphins could unleash a classic air assault in this one, but will they take their foot off of the gas pedal? And if not, can the pass-happy Commanders keep pace regardless? Let’s see how this unique dynamic could play out.
Tyreek Hill Anytime Touchdown (-140)
This might seem too straightforward of a pick, but the odds are still right at just -140. Hill has scored almost every week in what has been a tremendously productive season, as he’s played in just two games in which he didn’t score, meaning he’s hit this prop nine times this year.
It’s hard to imagine that streak ending against Washington, which ranks dead last in both DVOA and EPA against the pass. They’re 12th in success rate, meaning that most snaps go well for them. But given the other metrics, we can surmise that the ones that go poorly have a way of turning into true disasters; big, explosive plays.
Enter Hill, perhaps the greatest, most explosive big-play receiver of all time. His speed is completely unparalleled, and we see it on display just about every week. He’s had a catch of 40 or more yards in five games, and one of 35 or longer in an additional two. He’s uniquely equipped to take advantage of Washington’s biggest weakness, and all it takes is one play. he doesn’t have to play a full game to hit this prop, he can chip in early on in a Miami blowout and give us a sweat-free cash.
Sam Howell Over 264.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Yes, the Miami defense has continued to improve as the season has progressed, but this is still a great situational play. The Commanders are underdogs by almost a double-digit margin; they should be playing from behind, and thus throwing the football frequently.
Under Eric Bienemy, the Commanders love to put the ball in the air whether or not they’re fighting against long odds, as they’re the most pass-heavy team in football with 67.8% of their offensive snaps so far this season being dropbacks. On any given day, Howell has the potential to drop back 40 or more times. He has done so in each of his past six games. With the likelihood that his team falls behind, this game should be no exception.
Due in large part to Bienemy’s aggressive play calling, Howell is actually the NFL passing yardage leader, with 3,339 yards accumulated thus far. That’s an average of 278.3, well above this number, and as we’ve already established, his volume should be even greater than average against Miami. He’s been over 300 yards in four of his past five outings, and accumulated 256 in the other; just a completion or two away from hitting this over. This game should contribute to that trend, as he’ll be dropping back early and often in what could be a big loss to a solid Dolphins team.
Jaylen Waddle Over 64.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
While Hill is of course the top receiving threat in Miami, Waddle has just as much of an ability to have a great game against this subpar Washington pass defense. His yardage prop is set around 40 yards lower than his teammate’s, providing us with some excellent value. He isn’t quite the big-play threat that Hill is, but he still has blazing-fast burst speed, and actually led the NFL with 18.1 yards per reception last year.
This number is a bit deflated after a rougher statistical start to the year for Waddle as he’s dealt with some injuries, but it’s looking like he may be back. He put up 114 yards in a great performance against a very solid Jets pass defense this week, so he’ll look to build on that against a much weaker Washington unit, especially if Hill draws a lot of defensive attention.
Christian Wilkins Over 0.25 Sack (+115)
Yes, Wilkins is an interior D-lineman. But he’s performed very well in a very egalitarian Miami pass rush, which has been excellent of late as it’s shot up to fourth in the league in pressure rate while still blitzing at the 27th-highest rate. That means it’s all been the doing of the linemen and edge rushers, rather than linebackers and defensive backs stealing the stats.
Wilkins is actually a half-sack ahead of edge rusher Bradley Chubb on the team sacks list, yet Chubb has even-money odds to clear 0.75 sacks, compared to Wilkins’ plus-money odds to get over 0.25. The Clemson product has been on fire of late with 5.5 of his 6.5 sacks coming in his past seven games, and he should have plenty of opportunities to add to that tally, as Washington is expected to be dropping back at an extremely high rate.
The Commanders interior O-line has also been absolutely horrible in pass protection. Sam Cosmi has been somehow been by far the best starter with a pedestrian PFF pass blocking grade of just 67.3, as guard Chris Paul and center Tyler Larsen are sitting at ridiculous marks of 32.6 and 27.1, respectively. Miami should be able to consistently get after Howell, who has been sacked more than anyone else in the NFL, and given this positional weakness, Wilkins should be the one to arrive first, especially with Jaelan Phillips now out for the year.