The Miami Dolphins are two-to-one favorites to remain winless this year. That seems right.
"They've only got a few games left you think they could win," said Adam Burns, the head oddsmaker of the website sportsbetting.ag.
They have one-to-three betting odds of winning the No. 1 draft pick in 2020. That seems right.
"Especially since they just lost to Washington," Burns said.
They're also a steep 17 1/2-point underdogs against the Buffalo Bills (4-1) at every betting parlor from Vegas to the English parlors today. This is where things get tricky.
"That's high, but there's just no confidence in the Dolphins by the betting public at all," he said. "Even at that number, most all of the money is still going to the Bills."
All this is just another way to say after just five games the Dolphins (0-5) have gone too far in tanking. It's one thing to chase the No. 1 pick. But be on pace to be a forever laughingstock?
You can go the statistical route to see this: The Dolphins rank last in the league in points scored, points allowed, yards allowed, turnover margin and point differential despite playing four of five games at home.
You can go the historical route: They're on pace to set records in all the aforementioned categories for a team since the 16-game regular season began in 1978.
You can go the roster route: Cornerback Xavien Howard is the only above-average player on the roster. And, as for average players you can count on, there's running back Kenyan Drake, defensive back Bobby McCain and ... anyone else?
Finally, there's the money route.
"Buffalo hasn't been this big a favorite since 1992 when it was going to Super Bowls," Burns said. "It's not about them. It's about people having zero confidence in the Dolphins."
The Dolphins' average 13.5-point spread against them is the largest since the point spread was invented. Yep, they're on pace for yet another record. The expansion Cleveland team holds the mark for a season at an average 10.69 points.
Even with this historic point spread the money is being bet on the Dolphins' opponent.
"There's zero confidence in the Dolphins," Burns said. "When we opened the Dolphins game against New England at 17 1/2 points, we looked at where the early money was coming in, like we always do.
"If some of our sharper bettor(s) are betting a certain way, we'll take that into account. Even the sharp betters were betting on New England. We ended up closing at 22 1/2 points and it didn't matter. That's the second-highest spread to Denver with Peyton Manning playing a god-awful Jacksonville team. But most people were still betting New England still."
The bettors won, too, as the New England Patriots won, 43-0. How much has been lost on the Dolphins?
"(All the betting houses) are losing money on them," he said.
"Well, let's just say all of us (setting odds) are Dolphins fans," Burns said. "But it's not the most assuring place to be a Dolphins fan right now. Every week we're rooting for them to cover, but they only covered last week (against Washington)."
All this is good news for the Dolphins trying to get the No. 1 draft pick and, with it, a franchise quarterback. They've just overdone it to the point of embarrassing themselves. Coach Brian Flores takes the brunt of it, day-to-day, with the wishy-washy mission statement of trying to win but prepping for next year making him waffle between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen at quarterback.
Fitzpatrick starts today. It won't matter enough. It can't. Fitzpatrick entered last Sunday in the fourth quarter against a heat-exhausted Washington defense and sparked the Dolphins to two touchdown drives.
Now he goes against the third-best defense in the NFL. On the road. With an even more makeshift offensive line than usual.
Burns, however, is doing something telling against the 17 1/2-point spread that he's setting.
"I'm betting my money on the Dolphins," he said. "Let's face it, they're awful. They have no structure. Their defense is bad and their offensive is bad."
But 17 1/2 points?
"I see it (as) a low-scoring game where they cover," he said.
He's a Dolphin fan by profession, not belief. The Dolphins will take them however they come these days.
Sports on 10/20/2019
Print Headline: Vegas' least-favorite team: Miami