Sunday Night Football Preview: Raiders at Dolphins

Why the road team with the worse record is favored, and for good reason

If the Dolphins win a game they win a close game. If they lose a game it’s anything but a close game.

Miami’s wins have come by 2, 6, 3, and 3, points. Miami’s losses have come by 14, 20, and 40 points. Yes the Dolphins have a winning record and have been outscored by 60 points this season. Try explaining that one.

Actually don’t. You can’t.

So now they get to host the Raiders on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. The Raiders are coming off a 20-point loss to the Bills in Buffalo. After that game they decided to travel straight to Florida and spend the week training on the East Coast instead of going back to Oakland.

Quarterback Derek Carr said it kind of reminded him of training camp and guys on the team came closer together. Perhaps a new sense of camaraderie will help, and Oakland needs some help. They’ve lost four of their last five games and already have one more loss in eight games in 2017 than they had all last season.

One thing that would help is getting off the nasty interception drought they’re on. The last time the Raiders picked off a pass was last year’s season finale in Denver. Snapping the streak might be even more difficult with two of their top cornerbacks, David Amerson and Gareon Conley, out of this game.

One thing that could help is the Dolphins get quarterback Jay Cutler back. Cutler missed time after suffering broken ribs a couple of weeks ago but is back in the starting lineup. He’s thrown almost an interception a game this season and he’s not entirely sure what he’ll have at running back since Miami sent leading rusher Jay Ajayi to the Eagles at the trade deadline.

The uncertain roster situation has the Raiders, despite having a worse record and being on the road, set up as a field goal favorite. If the long time away from home helped Oakland find itself and the Raiders revert to the team that is was for much of 2016 then they should cover easily and deal the Dolphins another blowout loss.

Derek’s Prediction: Raiders 30, Dolphins 17. Oakland gets back on track and back into the playoff race.

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