Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Michael Mill@@MikeMill23Senior Analyst IIIDecember 3, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 20: Running back Reggiie Bush #22 celebrates scoring a touchdown with teammates against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The AFC West is in shambles. The Oakland Raiders sit with the division lead at a 7-4 record. It's their division to lose.

They are on upset alert this weekend against a Miami Dolphins team sitting at 3-8.

After starting off the season 0-7, the Dolphins went on a run winning three straight. Last week, they lost on Thanksgiving to the Dallas Cowboys by one point.

Right now, this Dolphins team is playing as good as anyone. It may be too late to make a push for the playoffs, but they can still play spoiler for others.

The Raiders better come with their "A" game on Sunday.

Where: Sun Life Stadium - Miami, Florida

When: Sunday, Dec. 4th at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Watch: CBS; DirecTV 707

Listen: Raiders - Sirius 139; Dolphins - Sirius 85.

Live Streaming: NFL.com Audio Pass ($29.99 for year; $27.99 team specific; $9.99 a month)

Betting Line: Miami Dolphins (-3)

What's at Stake?

The Miami Dolphins are all but out of the race in the AFC East. Catching New England is nearly hopeless.

It's unlikely that they will even catch up to the New York Jets or Buffalo Bills.

The Oakland Raiders, on the other hand, have everything to lose. They are fighting to stay in front of the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

They can't afford any losses, because you can never count Tim Tebow and the Broncos out of a game.

Raiders Injury Report

Jacoby Ford, WR: foot (out)

Taiwan Jones, RB: hamstring (out)

Darren McFadden, RB: foot (out)

Denarius Moore, WR: foot (out)

Sebastian Janikowski, K: hamstring (questionable)

Rolondo McClain, LB: NIR

Dolphins Injury Report

Vernon Carey, G: ankle (doubtful)

Yeremiah Bell, S: foot (questionable)

Dan Carpenter, K: groin (probable)

Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper

Start: Reggie Bush, RB (Miami Dolphins)

The Oakland Raiders are suffering from the injury bug worse than any other team around the league.

Their already-questionable run defense could be subject to punishment this weekend. They are allowing a league-worst 5.3 yards per carry.

All it will take is one or two big plays from Reggie Bush to open things up. Against this defense, that's very possible.

Sit: Michael Bush, RB (Oakland Raiders)

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the Chicago Bears at O.co Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There isn't much that the Dolphins have been consistently good at this season.

The one area that they have found some success is stopping the run. They are currently ranked seventh in the league in rushing yards allowed per game.

They allow just 3.7 yards per rush.

The weakness of the Dolphins' defense is in the secondary. The Raiders will spend more time attacking through the air.

Sleeper: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR (Oakland Raiders)

With Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore on the sideline with injuries, Heyward-Bey is going to get a few more targets than usual.

Link that with the fact that Miami's primary weakness is in the secondary and Heyward-Bey is poised to have one of his better games this season.

After back-to-back four-catch games with 40 yards, expect both of those totals to go up this weekend.

Keys to an Oakland Win

This game is going to be on the shoulders of Carson Palmer.

With so many injuries on both sides of the ball, it's going to take a big effort from the quarterback heading into his fifth start.

The Raiders are on a three-game winning streak with him under center.

Keys to a Miami Win

The Miami Dolphins are coming off a heartbreaking loss on Thanksgiving day against the Dallas Cowboys.

If it weren't for that loss, they would be entering this game on a four-game winning streak. This team, despite the loss, is hot right now.

With the momentum on their side and all of the injuries the Raiders are dealing with, an upset is a real possibility.

A few big plays by Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall and the Dolphins will walk away with this one.

Prediction: 23-20, Miami Dolphins

The AFC West race will get a little bit tighter this weekend after an upset by Miami.

The Miami defense has been fantastic over the last few weeks. They have been the reason for the big turnaround in recent weeks.

Couple that defensive play with a few big plays from key playmakers on offense and the Dolphins pull off the upset.


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