Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers (12/4 @ 4:05 p.m. EST.)
Line: 49ers -4
Miami Dolphins vs San Francisco 49ers Breakdown and Betting Odds
The Miami Dolphins (8-3) are heading cross country to face the San Francisco 49ers (7-4) on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET. The 49ers are 4-point favorites. The over/under is set at 46.5 points.
The Dolphins lead the all-time series 8-6. This includes a Super Bowl loss as well as alternating periods of dominance. Miami won the first four matchups then San Francisco won five straight. Since realignment, Miami has won four of five games, only losing when the 49ers eventually went to the Super Bowl in 2012. Last time they played, Miami won by 26 in Santa Clara.
Miami Dolphins Overview
The Dolphins have a bit of a quirk. Their 8-3 record hides their 8-0 record when Tua Tagovailoa does not leave with an injury. They have been unstoppable with Tagovailoa at the helm. They are the No. 5 seed in the AFC, but they are two reasonable results away from being tied for the best record in the conference. They have not made the playoffs since 2016, so 2022 is a healthy movement for the franchise.
As mentioned, the Dolphins are an entirely different entity with Tagovailoa under center. Tagovailoa leads the NFL in touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, yards per completion, passer rating, and QBR. His 19-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio is historically great. For context, Tagovailoa has thrown one fewer interception than his teammates have combined despite having 172 more attempts. The rushing attack has been inconsistent, but Jeff Wilson has been a healthy addition in the last few weeks. Raheem Mostert leads the team in attempts, yards, and touchdowns. The name of the game has been passing the football, though. Jaylen Waddle is having an exceptional sophomore campaign, and he could make the Pro Bowl. However, Tyreek Hill is playing at an All-Pro level, and he is on a historic pace with 87 catches, 1,233 yards, and four touchdowns. The offensive line is the team’s Achilles heel.
Defensively, the Dolphins are a mediocre unit. They rank 19th in scoring defense and 17th in total defense. They have been hot and cold at forcing turnovers. They have only forced turnovers in five games, but they have forced three turnovers in three different games. The pass rush has been inconsistent, but Melvin Ingram has gotten home for 5.0 sacks. The linebackers and defensive backs have been largely underwhelming, but Jevon Holland is one of the top players in the NFL, and he can single-handedly dominate games.
In their five-game win streak, the Dolphins are 3-2 ATS. However, this will be the first time the Dolphins have been underdogs since Week 6. As underdogs, the Dolphins won their first two games, but they lost and failed to cover the last two. The over is 3-2 in their last five games, and it narrowly missed last week.
San Francisco 49ers Overview
After a rocky 3-4 start, the 49ers have rebounded to win their last four games. They suffered a brutal injury to their Week 1 starter Trey Lance, so the 49ers look like their 2019 and 2021 teams under Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers have a stranglehold on the NFC West, holding a one-game lead as well as a tiebreaker over the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers are generally viewed as one of the top contenders in the NFC.
The 49ers have a reasonable offense. They rank 15th in scoring and 10th in total offense. Garoppolo has had an excellent run statistically in the last few weeks. He has 16 passing touchdowns with only four interceptions. His 103.0 rating is among the best in the NFL. However, the strength of the offense has been the rushing attack. Christian McCaffrey has only played five games with the 49ers, but his impact has already been felt. He is already tied for the team’s lead in rushing touchdowns, and he will quickly become the team’s top rusher by attempts and yards. McCaffrey is also an effective pass catcher, hauling in 25 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the receiving corps is among the best in the league. George Kittle is a former All-Pro who is having a solid season. Brandon Aiyuk might not have the pedigree of his All-Pro teammates, but he leads the team in catches, yards, and touchdowns. The offensive line can be hit or miss, but Trent Williams might be the best offensive lineman in the NFL.
The 49ers might have the best defense in the NFL. They lead the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, first downs allowed, rushing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed per attempt, and points allowed per drive. Aside from a disastrous game against the Chiefs, the 49ers have been consistently excellent on the backend. They have held three teams under 10 points including an impressive shutout last week against the Saints. Only two teams have managed to score even 20 points against the 49ers. The 49ers have an All-Pro caliber player on all three levels of the defense. Nick Bosa leads the way with 11.5 sacks and consistent run disruption. Fred Warner is among the best at the linebacker spot, and the entire secondary has played well. Talanoa Hufanga in particular has been stellar. He has four interceptions and a forced fumble in an All-Pro-worthy season.
The 49ers are 3-2 ATS in their last five games, covering massive spreads against the Saints and Cardinals in recent weeks. This will be the first game with a spread tighter than a touchdown since October for the 49ers. The over is 3-2 in the last five games.
Free Pick: Dolphins +4
As good as the 49ers are defensively, the Dolphins have been nothing short of brilliant with Tagovailoa on the field. They are incredibly efficient on third down and in the red zone, and they might be the one team that could beat the 49ers at their game defensively. Hill and Waddle could run the secondary ragged, and a Dolphins moneyline bet could be lucrative. However, Dolphins +4 is certainly within the realm of possibility.