Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Predictions: Matt Ryan To Come Out Firing Off the Bye Week

The Atlanta Falcons head to Miami to take on the reeling Dolphins in Week 7. Can Miami bounce back after an embarrassing loss to Jaguars? NFL expert Mike Spector gives his NFL picks and predictions here.
Mike Spector
Sat, October 23, 10:26 PM EDT

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Predictions: Matt Ryan To Come Out Firing Off the Bye Week  

The Miami Dolphins have the dubious distinction of being the first team to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. They have now lost five consecutive games and are at a severe scheduling disadvantage with having to play a game a week after a game in London against an Atlanta Falcons team coming off a bye. Are the scheduling circumstances enough to consider the Falcons worthy road favorites?

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021

Game Time: 1:00 p.m ET

Where to Watch: FOX

Click Here For Dolphins vs. Falcons Odds

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Injury Report

Falcons:

Questionable: WR Russell Gage (ankle)

OUT: OT Kaleb McGary (COVID-19)

Dolphins:

Questionable: WR Preston Williams, TE Adam Shaheen (knee), WR DeVante Parker, CB Byron Jones, CB Xavien Howard

OUT: WR William Fuller V (finger), G Michael Deiter (foot)

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction

The Atlanta Falcons enter this game with a 2-3 record, though their two wins have come against two of the worst teams in the league (Giants, Jets). The Falcons would have entered this week riding a three-game winning streak if not for squandering an eight-point fourth-quarter lead in a 34-30 loss to Washington two weeks ago. Regardless, Atlanta appears to have come a long way since their 32-6 loss in Week 1 to the Eagles. A lot of their resurgence is due to the outstanding season that Cordarrelle Patterson has had to this point. Patterson has 468 combined rushing and receiving yards and leads the team with six total touchdowns.

The Miami Dolphins had reason to be optimistic about the start of their season after a road win against New England. However, it has been all downhill since, as the team has been outscored 161-82 during a current five-game losing streak. In quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's first game back from injury last week, Miami's offense showed signs of life. He threw for 329 yards and connected twice with former college teammate Jaylen Waddle on two short touchdowns. However, head coach Brian Flores would likely prefer Tagovailoa not to throw the ball 47 times and have a more balanced offense.

Though Miami's offense will likely improve with Tua back at the helm, their defense is still a mess. Miami allowed 30 or more points five times last season but has already allowed 30 or more points three times through the first six games of this season. The Dolphins rank 29th in scoring defense, allowing 29.5 points per game. In addition, they have huge issues getting off the field as they rank 32nd of the 32 teams in third-down defense.

Adding to Miami's defensive issues is that their two best cornerbacks, Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, are now dealing with nagging injuries. While their playing status may not be in jeopardy, they have to deal with a Falcons receiving corps that is the healthiest it has been all season. Calvin Ridley has had at least seven receptions in each of the last three games, and Kyle Pitts is proving to be the red-zone target they hoped he would be when they spent a first-round pick on him.

The Falcons have not been the most trustworthy road favorites recently, as they have covered the spread just once in their last six games in that role. However, they are 9-3 ATS in their previous 12 games against teams with a losing record, and the favorite is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five meetings between these teams. Atlanta has also proven successful against AFC opponents, covering five of their last six games against AFC teams. Conversely, the Dolphins have covered just once in their previous five games.

Before the season started, it would have been blasphemous to think a 10-win Dolphins team from a year ago would be home underdogs to the Falcons. However, the scheduling advantage the Falcons have is real with coming off a bye and with Miami coming back from overseas. Atlanta is 4-2 ATS after a bye since 2016 and are worthy road favorites this week.

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Pick

Mike Spector
MikeSpector01
Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest
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