Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Preview: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (12/3/23)
The Washington Commanders (4-8) play host to the Miami Dolphins (8-3) on Sunday (12/3/23) at 1 p.m. EST in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season. The Dolphins are heavy betting favorites at -9.5 against the spread, while the over/under is set at 49.5 total points. This article provides Dolphins vs. Commanders analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the Dolphins -9.5.
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Prediction & Best Bet
The Miami Dolphins have made a habit of beating up on bad opponents this season, and it seems the Washington Commanders are poised to be their next victim.
The Dolphins lead the league in total offense and they are second in points scored this season. They are first in passing offense and second in rushing offense, and they are fourth and second, respectively, in passing DVOA and rushing DVOA. They are one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and now they face a Commanders defense that is nearly dead last in almost every statistical category.
The Commanders’ defense is 31st in DVOA and 32nd in EPA per play. They are also allowing the most points per game in the league (29.2) and the fourth-most yards (377.7). They are dead last in both DVOA and EPA against the pass and they’re allowing the third-most passing yards and the second-most net yards per pass attempt.
Would it surprise anyone if the Dolphins scored 70 points again this week against this defense? OK, maybe that would be a little surprising… but just a little!
If you haven’t already seen where we’re going with this, we love the Dolphins at -9.5 in this matchup. That’s a big number to cover on the road, even with a great matchup. ut the Commanders are 0-4-1 against the spread at home this season, while the Dolphins are 3-2 ATS on the road. The Dolphins are also 4-1 ATS this season when they are favored by more than a touchdown.
With the way we expect the Dolphins to be able to move the ball in this game, it would also be tempting to take the over. But that number is a bit too high at 50 total points. Miami’s defense has been solid this season, and while the loss of Jaelan Phillips will certainly hurt, we expect them to do a good job against the Sam Howell-led offense. The Dolphins alone could score enough points to push the total over 50, but we don’t want to count on that and would prefer just to lay the points.
The one caveat with this pick is the status of Tyreek Hill, who injured his ankle last week against the Jets and missed the first practice of the week. If Hill were to miss this game, we would still lean toward the Dolphins but would be more hesitant to lay so many points on the road. Assuming Hill returns to practice at some point this week, we would have no concerns with his status for the game or its impact on this pick.
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Prediction & Best Bet: Dolphins win 31-17 | Best Bet: Dolphins -9.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Betting Odds
This game opened with the Dolphins as -7.5 favorites at some sportsbooks and has quickly jumped up to Dolphins -9.5. It’s worth monitoring whether it reaches the key number of 10, which feels unlikely but is certainly possible.
The over/under opened at 49.5 and has been as high 50.5, but is sitting right at 50 as of this writing.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Dolphins winning 30-20.
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Key Injuries
The Dolphins have several key starters that have missed at least one practice this week and should be monitored, including WR Tyreek Hill, RB Raheem Mostert, RT Kendall Lamm and S Jevon Holland. It’s also worth monitoring if RB De’Von Achane will return after missing the last six games (save for one snap). The Commanders are in better shape injury-wise as only CB Emmanuel Forbes is at risk of missing this game.
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Dolphins vs. Commanders below.
Miami Dolphins WRs vs. Washington Commanders secondary
As noted above, the Commanders’ pass defense is the worst in the league by advanced metrics like DVOA and EPA, while the Dolphins have one of the most explosive aerial attacks in the league and rank top 4 in both DVOA and EPA through the air. A huge reason for that is two of the most explosive WRs in the league in Tyreek Hill (assuming he’s healthy) and Jaylen Waddle.
The Commanders have struggled on the back end partially because of the disappointing performance by 1st round pick Emmanuel Forbes, who has allowed a 118.2 pass rating when targeted this season. Forbes was benched a few games into the season and is questionable to play in this game. The starting tandem of Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St. Juste is average at best, and at a severe mismatch against Hill and Waddle.
Expect the Dolphins to make some big plays through the air in this game en route to building a big lead.
Washington Commanders’ offensive line vs. Miami Dolphins’ pass rush
The Dolphins’ pass rush suffered a major blow with the injury to star OLB Jaelan Phillips on Black Friday against the Jets. Phillips was tied for the team lead with 6.5 sacks and was top 20 in the league among edge rushers in ESPN’s pass rush win rate. In his absence, Miami will rely even more on OLB Bradley Chubb (6 sacks) and DT Christian Wilkins (6.5) to generate pressure.
The Commanders have yielded the second-most sacks in the league at 55 and have allowed sacks at the third-highest rate (10.2% of passing snaps). When Sam Howell has time to throw and gets rid of the ball quickly, he can be effective, but that often has not been the case this season. The Commanders also throw the ball at the highest rate in the league (67.8% of plays), which makes it even more important for them to protect the passer.