NFL Picks: Week 1 Dolphins vs Chargers

As the sun angles to cast its golden hues on the grand SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, the football world is abuzz. It’s 4:25 pm ET, Sunday, September 10, 2023, and two formidable NFL teams, the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Chargers, a couple of teams with high expectations and star quarterbacks, are set to write the next chapter of their legacies.



Spread: Dolphins +3 (-110), Chargers -3 (-110) 

Moneyline: Dolphins +135, Chargers -166

Total: O 51 (-110), U 51 (-110) 


The Stalwarts of Last Season

Miami DolphinsThe Miami Dolphins, surfing on a balanced 9-8 record, demonstrated a formidable presence in their division games, with an equal split. With a shining 6-2 record on their home turf but a slightly waning 3-6 during away encounters, the team’s performance was consistent. Their offense, commanding an average of 23.4 points per game, was nearly mirrored by their defense, which allowed a minimal 23.5 points. Tua Tagovailoa, the quarterback prodigy, amassed a striking 3548 passing yards. Complementing him were Raheem Mostert, sprinting to 891 rushing yards, and the dynamic Tyreek Hill, who astounded with a whopping 1710 receiving yards.

Opposing them are the Los Angeles Chargers, who slightly eclipsed the Dolphins with a 10-7 overall record. Though they encountered more hurdles in their division games, their near-balanced home and away records showcased their adaptability. While their offense averaged 23 points per game, their defense stood tall, restricting opponents to 22.6 points. Justin Herbert, their cornerstone, threw for an astonishing 4739 yards. Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams, with 915 rushing and 895 receiving yards respectively, rounded off this powerhouse trio.


Analyzing The Matchup

NFL Team Los Angeles ChargersThe numbers from BUSR’s NFL Odds mark the Chargers as a 3-point favorite, but the underlying narrative is intricate and vital to predicting the outcome. Last season, the Chargers, even with a commendable 10-7 record, grappled with the absence of their linchpin, Justin Herbert, due to injuries. This year, with Herbert fully healed, the anticipation is palpable and they should be a much unstoppable team. Their stellar defense and offensively gifted roster present a daunting challenge for any opponent.

The Dolphins, however, are no pushovers and shouldn’t be underestimated. Tua Tagovailoa, their beacon, too had his share of injuries last season but is back with rejuvenated vigor and even into the MVP Discussion. The Dolphins’ roster is brimming with talent, both defensively and offensively, hinting at their Super Bowl aspirations. Yet, challenges remain. The onset of a new season, the expansive distance they must travel (east to west coast), and the Chargers’ home advantage could be potential hurdles. Considering these, a prudent wager might be on the Chargers covering the spread.


Injury Report 

The Dolphins tread into this game with a barrage of injury concerns. Jalen Ramsey (CB) is slated for a mid-December return post a knee injury. E. Saubert (TE) and K. Crossen (DB) are on the injured reserve list for undisclosed reasons, while N. Needham (CB) and E. Campbell (DB) face uncertain timelines due to severe injuries. With several key players, including J. Wilson Jr. (RB), D. Achane (RB), T. Armstead (OT), J. Waddle (WR), and the pivotal T. Hill (WR) listed as questionable for the opening game, the Dolphins will need to re-strategize.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have their own injury clouds hovering. The defense feels the absence of O. Ogbonnia (DL) and on the offensive front, J. Guyton (WR), both grappling with knee injuries, and their timelines remain indeterminate.

With these two giants clashing, the game promises a thrilling spectacle, where strategy, adaptability, and sheer tenacity will decide the victor.