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Jaguars Host Dolphins in All-Florida Thursday Night Matchup

Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

Gardner Minshew has thrown for three touchdowns in each of his first two games, helping Jacksonville get off to a 1-1 start (2-0 ATS). The Jags look to continue their strong early-season play when they host a Dolphins squad (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) still looking for its first win of the campaign.

Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Date/Time: September 24, 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: TIAA Bank Field
  • TV Coverage: NFL Network
  • Opening Odds: Dolphins -1 | O/U 44 (Line History)
  • Dolphins vs Jaguars Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Bettors seem enthralled with what they’ve seen from Minshew and the Jaguars. As of Monday night, Jacksonville had already been bet up to a -2.5 favorite, and it won’t be a surprise to see that line move to a field goal or higher by kickoff. The OVER has also seen significant early movement, sitting as high as 48 on Monday night.

Miami News & Notes

After allowing 217 rushing yards in Week 1 against New England, the Dolphins were torched through the air in last week’s 31-28 loss to the Bills. Miami struggled to generate pressure on Buffalo’s Josh Allen, allowing him to throw for career highs in yards (417) and touchdowns (four).

The Dolphins secondary also badly missed star cornerback Byron Jones, who hurt his groin on Buffalo’s first possession and is likely to miss this game as well.

Although Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards in the loss to Buffalo, fans in Miami chanted “Tua, Tua” in hopes that the Fish will turn to former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa under center. They’ll likely have to wait at least one more week to get a glimpse of their future, however, as Fitzpatrick is expected to get the call once again with a short week to prepare.

Miami scored a late touchdown to earn a backdoor point spread cover last week against the Bills, snapping a 0-6 ATS skid in games played in September. The Dolphins have also struggled badly for years in prime time, going 5-15-1 against the number in their last 21 games under the lights.

Jacksonville News & Notes

Even though they’re just 1-1 SU, the Jags might be one of the biggest early-season surprises in the NFL. Coming off a season-opening upset of the Colts as 7-point underdogs, Jacksonville overcame several 14-point deficits last week in Tennessee before eventually succumbing 33-30. The Jags also came out strong out of the gate last season, going 3-1 ATS in their first four games, and have now covered their last five September outings.

A fast start to the season hasn’t been due to fast starts in games, however. Jacksonville has been outscored 21-7 in the opening quarter this season and gave up touchdowns on three of Tennessee’s first four possessions last week.

“You see our resilience (when we get down), but we also learned that we’ve got to start faster,” Minshew, who threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans, told Sports Illustrated after the game.

Minshew may not have one of his key protectors in the lineup Thursday as center Brandon Linder suffered a knee injury on Sunday. If Linder can’t suit up, he’ll be replaced by veteran Tyler Shatley, who started seven games at center two years ago and has also started eight more games at guard.

Betting Pick: OVER 48

I’m tempted by the short price on Jacksonville, but the OVER looks like the safer play. The Jaguars should have no trouble scoring on a Miami defense that has struggled against both the pass and run this season, while the Dolphins can also move the chains against Jacksonville’s 30th-ranked pass defense.

Shark Bites
  • Miami is 5-15-1 ATS in its last 21 games at night.
  • Jacksonville is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games in September.
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings (avg. 32.29 pts).