Newton should be a force against Miami
Dolphins may struggle to contain Panthers QB
Sky Sports Action, 1.15am Tuesday
Bookmakers unsurprisingly saw a need to help out Miami, who have scored the fewest points per game in the NFL, as they visit Carolina, who are allowing opponents the fewest yards per outing in the league.
That’s why the Dolphins are getting starts approaching double figures, which may appeal to some given that four of their last six games have been decided by no more than six points.
The other two fixtures in that sequence saw them shut out by Baltimore (40-0) and New Orleans (20-0) and it’s hard to be confident about the Dolphins avoiding another offensive shocker.
Running back Jay Ajayi showed what he could do with better service than the Miami offensive line provided in his first game for Philadelphia last week, although his replacements, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, did a fair job in the defeat to Oakland.
Carolina were the other team to trade away a player in a hard-to-figure move before the deadline, when they sent top receiver Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo, but although they have scored in fits and starts this season they are contenders for the NFC South crown after divisional wins over Tampa Bay and Atlanta in their last two games.
There were concerns about Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s arm early in the season but he looks more like his usual self again and can be fancied to pass Paddy Power’s total passing yards mark of 223.5.
Newton struggled in the first three games of the season, but topped 300 yards against New England and Detroit before falling below 200 again in his last two games.
Miami’s defence should be the tonic his statistics need. They have conceded more than Newton’s line to opposing QBs in five of their eight games. One of the failures was Titans back-up Matt Cassell, one was Jets QB Josh McCown (who still managed three passing TDs), and the other was Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, who was injured in the first half.
Newton has every chance to pad out his figures and with Christian McCaffrey featuring more at running back, the potential for yards after the catch is greatly increased.
C Newton over 223.5 passing yards
1pt 5-6 Paddy Power
Venue Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Weather Partly cloudy, 10C
Vegas handicap Carolina -9
Vegas points line 38.5
Miami have covered the handicap in their last five games against Carolina
Miami Offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James (hamstring) is out for the season. Jesse Davis is set to start in his place. Running back Damien Williams (illness) should be fit. Safety Michael Thomas (knee) is the biggest concern of the players listed as questionable.
Carolina Centre Ryan Kalil (neck) is out. Safety Mike Adams (concussion) is expected to play.
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