Seattle Seahawks vs Miami Dolphins Matchup Preview (10/4/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream
The Seahawks and Dolphins have had two very different starts to the season so far. Seattle sits at 3-0 and is an early favorite for the Super Bowl while Miami is an early favorite for a top five pick with a 1-2 record. The Seahawks are dealing with a litany of injuries at the moment including to Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, their top two running backs, as well as a handful of key defensive contributors in safety Jamal Adams, cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin, linebacker Jordyn Brooks, and defensive linemen Benson Mayowa and Poona Ford. However, as long as Russell Wilson is playing like the best offensive player in football, which he is so far, this Seattle team is going to be incredibly tough to beat. This game opened up with the Seahawks at about 7-point favorites, and I think they win by well over that margin despite all of their defensive injuries. The Dolphins have plenty to look forward to in the future with a young, talented roster and a culture-setting head coach, but it’s a tough ask for them to win this game even at home.
Date: Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, FL
TV Coverage: FOX
Seahawks vs Dolphins Live Stream
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Seattle Seahawks: S J. Adams (groin) D, LB J. Brooks (knee) D, RB C. Carson (knee) P, CB Q. Dunbar (knee) Q, CB N. Thorpe (hip) Q, S L. Hill (back) Q, S. Griffen (shoulder) Q, RB C. Hyde (shoulder) Q, OG D. Lewis (ankle) Q, OG M. Iupati (knee) Q, OT D. Brown (knee) Q, DE B. Mayow (groin) Q, DT P. Ford (groin) Q, LB C. Barton (quadriceps) Q,
Miami Dolphins: QB T. Tagovailoa (illness) Q, S K. Frazier (shoulder) Q, CB B. Jones (groin/Achilles) Q, S B. Jones (back) Q, S C. Fejedelem (pectoral) Q, CB X. Howard (knee) Q
Seattle Seahawks Analysis
Russell Wilson is one of the early favorites for MVP and for good reason with his early-season pace. Wilson is completing 76.7% of his passes for 925 yards and 14 touchdowns to 1 interception so far. That would be a 16-game pace of just under 5,000 passing yards, 75 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. That stat line has never happened in NFL history – the most passing touchdowns in a season is Peyton Manning’s 55 – and it’s likely Wilson starts to slow down at some point. However, there’s no question that in this new offensive scheme Russ is capable of leading this team to a top seed and Super Bowl contention.
Of course, Wilson hasn’t produced these elite early-season numbers by himself. Tyler Lockett has been phenomenal with 24 catches on 29 targets for 259 yards and 4 touchdowns. Meanwhile, D.K. Metcalf has 12 catches for 297 yards (an absurd 24.8 yards per catch mark) with 3 touchdowns. Through the first three weeks of the season, Football Outsiders has Lockett and Metcalf as top-20 wide receivers in DYAR. Chris Carson has been a steady part of the receiving game as well with 12 catches for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns. The fantasy production out of this group of skill players has been obscene. The Seahawks have finally allowed Russ to air it out more frequently on first and second down and it’s resulted in the Seahawks having the 2nd-highest scoring offense through the first three weeks.
Seattle hasn’t emphasized the run game as much as in recent years, but Carson has still been solid on the ground with 37 carries for 157 yards, 4.2 yards per carry. Football Outsiders has Carson ranked as the 26th-best running back in DYAR and 27th-best in DVOA so far. Carson was previously questionable for this game after suffering a knee injury at the hands of a dirty play by a Cowboys’ defensive tackle, but he’s practiced all week and is expected to take the field for this matchup. The Dolphins’ defense has struggled against the run all year so this should be a strong outing for Carson if he is able to suit up.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have a ton of defensive injuries to deal with including to their superstar safety Jamal Adams. No team has allowed more passing yards this season than Seattle, although facing the Falcons, Patriots, and Cowboys in the first three week was a brutal start for this pass defense. Football Outsiders has the Seahawks rated as the fourth-worst pass defense this season, but the fourth-best run defense. Their injuries this week won’t do them any favors in holding back the Dolphins passing offense, but as Adams and the rest of this team’s defensive backs play more together, the pass defense shouldn’t be as big of a weakness later in the season.
Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart
QB: Russell Wilson
RB1: Chris Carson
RB2: Carlos Hyde
WR1: Tyler Lockett
WR2: DK Metcalf
WR3: Phillip Dorsett
TE: Greg Olsen
Miami Dolphins Analysis
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been very solid this season as he’s thrown for 679 yards with 4 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. He ranks fifth in QBR and 20th in both quarterback DVOA and DYAR this season per Football Outsiders. His stats haven’t been nearly in the same realm as Russell Wilson, but he has 24+ fantasy points in his last two games and should be able to take advantage of a banged up Seattle secondary that was already allowing the most passing yards in the NFL by a wide margin.
In addition to this being a phenomenal matchup for Ryan Fitzpatrick, it should also favor the Miami receivers. DeVante Parker has 14 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown so far this season and Football Outsiders has him ranked as the 19th-best wideout in DVOA. He should have his best game of the season this week. Mike Gesecki has been awesome as well – he has 12 catches for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this year and is Football Outsiders’ 9th-best tight end in DYAR. Isaiah Ford, Preston Williams, and Jakeem Grant are all also capable of making plays at receiver.
Myles Gaskin, a 7th-round draft pick last year by the Dolphins, has emerged as the team’s starting running back despite their offseason acquisitions of Matt Breida and Jordan Howard. Gaskin has 38 carries for 152 yards so far this year, a 4.0 YPC average, and has also added 15 catches on 16 targets for 91 yards. He hasn’t scored yet this season, but Football Outsiders has him ranked as the 25th-best running back in DVOA and he’s seeing heavy usage on a weekly basis.
Defensively, the Dolphins are dealing with some injuries of their own including a a serious groin/Achilles injury for star free agency signing cornerback Byron Jones. The Miami pass defense will already have its hands full against Russ and the Seahawks, but if Jones is unable to play they will have no answer for Lockett and Metcalf on the outside. Xavien Howard, the Dolphins’ other starting outside cornerback, has been dealing with a knee injury but has practiced all week and is expected to play. Football Outsiders has Miami as the worst-rated defense in overall DVOA with the 2nd-worst run defense and the 7th-worst pass defense. The Seahawks should have no problem moving the ball against this defense.
Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB1: Matt Breida
RB2: Jordan Howard
WR1: DeVante Parker
WR2: Preston Williams
WR3: Jakeem Grant
TE: Mike Gesicki
Spread: Seahawks -6.5, Dolphins +6.5
Moneyline: Seahawks -295, Dolphins +240
Over/Under: 53.5 points
It’s impossible to bet against Russell Wilson right now, especially against what is considered to be the worst defense in football by many metrics. I grabbed this line at under a touchdown earlier this week and am thrilled about it. The subsequent defensive injuries for Seattle have me a little concerned, especially the injury to Jamal Adams, but I just don’t see any world where the Miami offense outpaces Seattle. With Byron Jones likely out and Xavien Howard hampered, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf should excel yet again and Chris Carson should be able to dominate this defense on the ground, assuming he does play. If it’s Carlos Hyde or Travis Homer starting, they should do quite well as well.
The Miami defense has generated the 11th-best sack rate so far this season which matches up well against a Seattle offensive line that has allowed Wilson to be sacked 3 times per game, the 10th-most in the NFL. Still, with the Dolphins’ secondary injuries, Russ should have no problem finding his receivers open downfield. The nail in the coffin in this game for me is the turnover rate – the Seahawks have the third-best turnover margin at +4 while the Dolphins are below-average at +1. Ryan Fitzpatrick has already thrown three interceptions this season and an opportunistic Seattle defense should generate a couple of Miami turnovers.
In addition to betting on Seattle to cover the spread and win straight up, I would lean towards betting the over in this game. The Seahawks and Dolphns have combined for just over 60 points per game this season and we know Seattle can run the score up against just about anyone. With the Dolphins trailing for most of the afternoon, I expect to see Ryan Fitzpatrick air the ball out downfield in order to keep up. The Dolphins will be able to score against a banged up Seahawks’ defense, but not enough to keep pace and cover the spread.
My predictions: Seahawks win 38-28, Seahawks cover, over 53.5 points
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Daily Fantasy Picks (DraftKings)
Russell Wilson ($7,800) has been phenomenal for fantasy football this season, scoring 34+ fantasy points in each of his three games so far. This week, he takes on a Miami defense that has allowed the 6th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. As long as Seattle is encouraging Russ to air it out on first and second down, he’s going to be a lethal fantasy weapon, especially in a plus matchup like this against one of the worst defenses in the league that will be without its top corner Byron Jones. I’m not including them here, but if I’m including Russ in a lineup I’m almost always going to stack him with Tyler Lockett or D.K. Metcalf.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,400) is one of my favorite low-priced QB options this week as the Seahawks have allowed the most passing yards in the NFL so far and the 2nd-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Fitz has scored 25+ fantasy points in each of the last two games and will need to air the ball out in this one in order to try to keep pace with Wilson. In a plus matchup and what should be a pass-heavy game script for Miami, fire up Fitz at a fraction of the price of what most top-12 QBs will go for this week.
Chris Carson/Carlos Hyde/Travis Homer
I’m including all three of the potential running back starters for Seattle this week here as I do believe one of these guys will have a very strong week. Carson ($6,300) and Hyde ($5,300) are dealing with injuries that could keep them out this week, although Carson is expected to suit up after practicing in full this week. If Carson and Hyde are unable to go, Homer ($4,000) would likely become the starter. Whoever ends up starting at running back should have a great opportunity to succeed against a Miami run defense that has allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to RBs so far.
I’m expecting the Dolphins to need to pass the ball a ton in this game and Gesecki ($5,100) should benefit from the game script as the leader in targets for this team. The Seahawks have been much better at defending the tight end this season with the addition of Jamal Adams at safety, but Adams is going to miss the game this week. Gesecki should benefit with a strong outing and plenty of targets, and perhaps even a touchdown as his team’s leading scorer this season.
For similar reasons to Gesecki, I’m expecting DeVante Parker ($5,700) to have a very strong game. The Seahawks have allowed the most passing yards in the NFL this season and with injuries to cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar and Shaquem Griffen, the Seattle pass defense should be in for a tough week. Parker has averaged 5.6 targets per game this season and is Ryan Fitzpatrick’s top outside target. The Dolphins should need to air it out early and often to stay in this game and Parker should benefit with his best game of the season.