Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins: Prediction, Odds, Depth Charts (12/11/23)

The Miami Dolphins will host the Tennessee Titans as half of a special dual slate on Monday Night Football (12/11/23) this week. Get Titans vs. Dolphins odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Dolphins -13.

Titans vs Dolphins Prediction

A few weeks ago, the Dolphins were viewed as, for lack of a better term, a gimmick. They were considered to be a fun team with an innovative offense, but lacking the defensive acumen to be considered a threat to the AFC’s top teams, or a real contender. More recently, things have changed. The defense has taken a huge step up since week five; starting then, Miami’s defense is the league’s best by EPA per play, with a particular dominance against the pass.

The return of Jalen Ramsey from injury has been tremendously valuable in bolstering that strength, as there has been absolutely no semblance of shaking the rust off for the former All-Pro, and the run defense has gradually improved as well, going from slightly below average to soundly above. The quality of competition Miami has played in that span has not been tremendously high, so with no real track record of this defensive strength against good teams, they still have a bit of a reputation of beating up on the low-tier ones.

Soon we’ll see if the Dolphins can beat fellow contenders, or just bottom-dwellers, but for our purposes, the latter is just fine. This week, they’re playing the Tennessee Titans, losers of four games from their last five with the lone win an uncomfortably close home victory over the historically hapless Carolina Panthers. Tennessee currently sits at 4-8, extending a downward spiral that began with a remarkable seven-game losing streak last season to lose the division title.

To hone into some specific matchups, let’s start with the obvious; you need to be able to defend the pass to limit Miami. The Dolphins have perhaps the best offensive skill array in the league in terms of downfield passing, with an MVP candidate in Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, Offensive Player of the Year frontrunner Tyreek Hill as the top wideout, and one of the best second options you’ll find anywhere in football, Jaylen Waddle.

Simply put, the Titans can’t handle all of that, or even come particularly close. They’re 30th in the league in both DVOA and EPA against the pass, such a stark weakness that even their rushing defense, tops in the NFL by DVOA, won’t be able to prop them up; Miami will simply be able to throw at will given the mismatch.

Tennessee won’t be able to pass into that much-improved defensive backfield, given their 22nd-ranked pass offense per DVOA. They’ll become one-dimensional, and while they are run-first by nature with Derrick Henry still running the show, he can’t do it all alone at this point in his career, and keeping the ball on the ground won’t allow them to keep pace in this one. The Dolphins will run rampant at home, and race to a third straight win of three touchdowns or more against yet another patently overmatched opponent.

Titans vs Dolphins Prediction: Dolphins -13

Titans vs Dolphins Best Odds

The Dolphins are favored by an eye-popping 13 points at home, or an unplayable -800 on the moneyline. The Titans are +575 to pull off the improbable road upset, while the total is set at 46.5 with -110 odds on both sides.

Titans vs Dolphins Key Injuries

Titans defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons is expected to miss the game against the Dolphins, while Miami will probably be missing o-linemen Terron Armstead and Robert Hunt.

Titans vs Dolphins Key Matchups

The Titans should be able to slow down the Dolphins on the ground, but they’ll have to fight hard to not get ripped to shreds through the air, while Miami’s tallest task will be slowing down Derrick Henry and the ground game.

Dolphins Air Attack vs. Titans Pass Defense

When the Dolphins’ passing game is clicking, there’s truly nothing like it in the sport. Pairing the speed of both Hill and Waddle with Tua’s precision is a lethal combo, and this season, Miami finally has the offensive line to maximize these strengths. They’re third in the league in adjusted sack rate, and top-10 in PFF’s pass blocking grade, a marked improvement from past seasons. As a result, the Dolphins’ air game ranks top-five or better by just about every metric, and for all but the elite pass defenses, is not possible to stop.

The Titans fall soundly outside of that “elite” category when it comes to air defense, as they grade in the bottom four of EPA, DVOA and success rate against the pass. They’re near the bottom of the league when it comes to pressure rate, and PFF grades their coverage unit as the league’s fourth-worst as well. Edge rusher Denico Autry has nine sacks and Jeffery Simmons continues to play well on the interior, but this defense has next to no chance to slow the ‘Phins through the air.

Titans Ground Game vs. Dolphins Run Defense

Even as the defense has improved overall for Miami, the ground is definitely still the best way to attack them and Mike Vrabel’s Titans will look to do just that. The offensive line ranks sixth in adjusted line yards, and while his standard numbers might not be as gaudy as they’ve been in the past, Derrick Henry is still PFF’s third-highest graded running back with at least ten games played.

Run defense is an area where the Dolphins still have a ways to go, but there are some positives. Most notably, linebacker David Long is PFF’s highest-graded run defender at any position with a sparkling grade of 92.1 for his work thus far. However, Bradley Chubb’s grade of 70.3 is the next-best figure for a Dolphin that is not a defensive back, so there are still plenty of weak links in the chain.

Titans Depth Chart

QB: Tua Tagovailoa
RB1: Duke Johnson
RB2: Myles Gaskin
LWR: Jaylen Waddle
RWR: DeVante Parker
SWR: Albert Wilson
TE1: Mike Gesicki

Dolphins Depth Chart

QB: Tua Tagovailoa
RB1: Kyren Williams
RB2: Cam Akers
LWR: Van Jefferson
RWR: Ben Skowronek
SWR: Lance McCutcheon
TE1: Tyler Higbee

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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