The Denver Broncos face the Miami Dolphins this Sunday (9/24/23). In this article, find a full matchup preview and predictions for the game with the latest betting odds. In addition, find a best bet for Broncos Vs. Dolphins where our best bet is Broncos +6.5.
Denver Broncos Vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction & Best Bet
The Broncos are off to an inauspicious 0-2 start to the Sean Payton era, but not all hope is lost. Denver has a point differential of just -3 through two games, which is tied for the best mark of any 0-2 team in the Super Bowl era. This team is a couple of breaks away from a 2-0 start to the season.
Miami has gotten all of the breaks so far with two one-score wins to start the year. Tua Tagovailoa is soaring up the MVP odds board, the Dolphins are everyone’s favorite Super Bowl dark horse, and the vibes are very high in Miami. Naturally, I believe there’s value in fading a team that’s at a high point in its market value.
Russell Wilson has actually played very well to start the year. He’s third in completion percentage over expectation and sixth in EPA. Last week, he uncorked some deep passes, completing 3 of 4 throws 20+ yards downfield for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s starting to look like Russ again.
New Miami defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is one of the pioneers of the two-high safety defense, and he’s happy to let opponents dink and dunk their way down the field as long as they aren’t generating explosive plays. Wilson will take advantage of that approach, especially with top wide receiver Jerry Jeudy now fully healthy.
Of course, Tua Tagovailoa has been on quite the heater to start the season. He leads the NFL with 715 passing yards and 9.5 yards per attempt. He’s not invincible, though, and he’ll likely be without one of his top receiving targets as Jaylen Waddle has yet to practice as of Thursday – he’s in concussion protocol.
Denver’s secondary is dealing with some injuries, but Patrick Surtain II is arguably the best cornerback in the league, and his matchup with Tyreek Hill will be appointment viewing. The Broncos can also play some keepaway with their deep backfield against a Miami run defense that ranks dead last in run stop win rate per ESPN.
The Dolphins were favored by 3.5 points at home on the lookahead, and it’s fair to say that likely would have remained the spread had the Broncos not blown a 21-3 lead last week. I like this as a buy low spot for a Denver team that’s better than its 0-2 record implies, and I don’t mind fading the Dolphins here with all of their issues in the secondary.
Denver Broncos Vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction & Best Bet: Broncos +6.5
Denver Broncos Vs. Miami Dolphins Betting Odds
The Dolphins are 6.5-point home favorites, and they’re among the hottest teams in the NFL right now, especially on the offensive end. The over/under for this game is set at 47.5 points, which would have been very high for a Broncos game last year. However, Denver’s issues seem to have flipped, as their offense has been highly efficient and their defense isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.
Denver Broncos Vs. Miami Dolphins Key Injuries
We’re only a couple of weeks into the NFL season, but both of these teams are dealing with notable injuries. It will be important to monitor these injuries as we lead up to kickoff for this Broncos vs. Dolphins game.
Denver will be without three key defensive backs – Caden Sterns, K’Waun Williams, and P.J. Locke – all of whom are on the IR. Safety Justin Simmons also missed practice on Thursday and is listed as questionable. Injuries to defensive linemen Frank Clark and Mike Purcell are also problematic for an underperforming defense.
Miami’s current injuries of note are more on the offensive side of the ball. Star left tackle Terron Armstead has yet to play this season as he deals with a leg injury while wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is currently in concussion protocol. Edge rusher Jaelan Phillips is also listed as questionable with a back injury.
Denver Broncos Vs. Miami Dolphins Key Matchups
Every NFL game is decided by small positional matchups taking place all over the field. Here, I cover two of the biggest matchups that I believe will determine the outcome of this week’s game.
Tyreek Hill Vs. Patrick Surtain II
This might be the best matchup between a wide receiver and cornerback that we’ll see all season. Tyreek Hill ranks third in the NFL with 266 receiving yards this season, and while he has yet to score a touchdown, he’s one of the top players in the race for the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Patrick Surtain II has allowed just four catches for 33 yards in coverage so far this season, and the competition has been tremendous – he’s been tasked with covering Davante Adams and Terry McLaurin so far this season. Things don’t get any easier this week against Hill, and this is a can’t miss matchup.
In 2021, when Surtain was a rookie for the Broncos and Hill was on the Chiefs, they faced off once. Surtain didn’t allow a single catch to Hill in that game and he finished with just two catches for 22 yards in that one. Ironically, Denver’s head coach that season was Fangio. Hill will be hungry to even the score this week, but Surtain is as good as it gets.
Patrick Surtain II in single coverage | 2023:
🔸 3 targets
🔸 3 forced incompletions pic.twitter.com/LDor9CYsWX
— PFF (@PFF) September 21, 2023
Denver’s Run Game Vs. Miami’s Run Defense
If the Broncos want to stay on schedule and avoid third-and-long situations for Russell Wilson this week, their run game will be crucial to their success. There could be a mismatch in the trenches in this game as Denver ranks 7th in run block win rate while Miami ranks 32nd in run stop win rate per ESPN.
Sean Payton prioritized fixing the Broncos’ offensive line over the offseason, and it’s paying off. New additions Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers have boosted the run-blocking and Denver leads the NFL in yards before contact per attempt. Miami ranks dead last in rushing EPA allowed so far this season.
Javonte Williams hasn’t had incredible stats so far this season, but he’s working his way back to full health, and this could be a breakout game for him. Veteran Samaje Perine and undrafted rookie Jaleel McLaughlin, who scored his first touchdown last week, round out a deep backfield that can give Miami issues in this game.
Weekly Javonte Williams highlight.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 19, 2021