NFL Odds Preview for December 5, 2010: Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins (-4.5)


NFL OddsBetting Overview:

The Cleveland Browns appear to be on the right track. The NFL scores that rookie quarterback Colt McCoy was putting up while Jake Delhomme was out were impressive. But head coach Eric Mangini did the right thing and put Delhomme back in when he was healthy. The NFL predictions for this season may not have been too impressive for the Browns, but there may be playoff expectations in the Dawg Pound for next season. The Browns offense and defense are developing together, and that is always a healthy way for a bad team to get better.

It looks like the Miami Dolphins have peaked, and now head coach Tony Sparano is trying to piece together a winner out of what he has left. Quarterback Chad Henne was benched, but a season-ending injury to Chad Pennington has put Henne back in the starting role. The wildcat is still a staple part of the Dolphins’ offense, but now that every defense in the league has figured out it is no longer nearly as effective as it used to be. What is still effective in the Dolphins offense is running back Ricky Williams. Williams looked impressive in the Dolphins’ 33-17 win over the surging Oakland Raiders last week.


The NFL betting world was not sure what to make of the Cleveland Browns offense before the season started. Quarterback Jake Delhomme was coming off some pretty poor seasons as the starter in Carolina, but the Eric Mangini offense seems to work for Delhomme and he looks comfortable throwing the ball behind a mediocre Browns offensive line. The best part for Cleveland is that Delhomme is helping to develop quarterback Colt McCoy into the Browns quarterback of the future. With running back Peyton Hillis finding a place in the Cleveland offense, the Browns look like they will be a threat in the future.

It seems like the Dolphins are either running out of options on offense, or Miami has decided that a traditional offense is more appropriate with a throwing quarterback like Chad Henne. Don’t forget that the Dolphins still have a deep threat in Brandon Marshall at wide receiver, and Marshall should be back in the line up before the end of the season. The Dolphins have the personnel for a coordinated and powerful running and passing attack without the wildcat.


The Dolphins have a very good defense. The Miami defense is ranked sixth overall, but it is their play against the passing game that has sustained them to this point. If the Dolphins focus on stopping Delhomme, then Hillis will run right past them. This will be a war that the Dolphins will need to fight on two fronts, and they have the personnel to do it.

The Cleveland defense is young, aggressive and improving. Miami will miss Brandon Marshall in this game. The long ball would kill the Browns in this game, but Miami will have to rely on the running game and the Browns have an answer for Ricky Williams.

The Bottom Line:

The Dolphins will win this game, but it will be close. Ricky Williams will not have the game everyone is expecting him to have, but there is just enough balance in the Miami attack to come out of this game on top.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Miami Dolphins


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