The Miami Dolphins are expected to win between seven and eight games next season, according to Las Vegas’ latest over/under win totals.
The Dolphins won 10 games a year ago and, if anything, improved heading into the 2017 season. They return healthy impact vets on both sides of the ball in Reshad Jones and Ryan Tannehill — both missed a chunk of the season that included the first-round playoff game — while adding some quality free agents on defense (their biggest weakness last year) all without losing any obvious impact players in Free Agency.
So what the hell was Vegas thinking by essentially projecting the team to finish 7-9 or 8-8? Well, it’s not some vendetta blindly targeting your favorite football team.
No matter what anyone tells you, the Miami Dolphins overachieved last season.
Their “expected wins,” a metric based on point differential (a better indicator of strength than record), was 7.6 wins and they had the AFC’s third easiest schedule, per Football Reference. They were the 17th best overall team last year, per Football Outsiders’ efficiency ratings.
So despite the 10-6 record Miami was the quintessential average football team.
While I think the over/under of 7.5 wins may be a hair low, we also must keep in mind their schedule in 2017 appears to be unfavorable. This is before considering the fact they punted another home game, as they’ll “host” the Saints in London in Week 4.
They still have the look of an eight-win team.
You can add or subtract a couple of victories based on randomness that includes good/bad luck but until a few key players — think Tannehill, DeVante Parker, and Xavien Howard, to name a few — take that next step, I’m not buying into the fact Gase has built a sustainable winning formula just yet.
The 7.5 over/under feels about right.