Editor's note: This preview was written before news was released that Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa would serve as the emergency backup due to a finger injury.
The Texans’ trip to Miami to face the Dolphins won’t get many neutrals salivating but it’s a crucial game for both teams. The Texans and Dolphins sit on 1-7 records and only the Lions have fewer wins. Now, they face each other with one team set to double their season win total.
If you’re betting on this game then ensure you read our NFL picks and predictions for the Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins.
Texans vs Dolphins odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Since the lines opened we’ve seen the Dolphins come in from 7-point favorites to 5.5-point favorites. The points total has moved too, from 45.5 up to 46.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.
Texans vs Dolphins picks
Picks made on 11/4/2021 at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Texans vs Dolphins game info
• Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
• Date: Sunday, November 7, 2021
• Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Texans at Dolphins betting preview
Texans: Pharaoh Brown TE (Out), Christian Kirksey LB (Out), Deshaun Watson QB (Out), Justin Britt OL (Out), Laremy Tunsil OL (Out).
Dolphins: Preston Williams WR (Out), Jason McCourty DB (Out), Michael Deiter C (Out), Will Fuller V WR (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 5-1 in the Texans’ past six road games. Find more NFL betting trends for Texans vs. Dolphins.
Texans vs Dolphins predictions
Dolphins -5.5 (-110)
Sunday’s game between the Texans and Dolphins might feature two of the worst teams in the NFL but that doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting game. Despite both sitting on terrible 1-7 records, this will be an intense game and not only because both franchises will be looking to get their second win of the season. For the past couple of months, there has been continuous speculation that the Dolphins would trade for the Texans’ wantaway QB Deshaun Watson. It’s been overshadowing Tua Tagovailoa throughout this season but now the trade deadline has passed, it’s likely to put him at ease that his job is safe, at least for now.
It’s been a stop-start season for Tagovailoa so far, with his rib injury hampering him. With a QBR of 52.9, he’s the 19th ranked QB on the season and he hasn’t really shown much of the player that the Dolphins thought they were getting when they drafted him. It’s an important season for him in the league and there’s still plenty of time for him to show the people in Miami why he should be the franchise QB moving forward.
For the Texans, it’s expected that Tyrod Taylor will regain his spot as he returns from injured reserve, but whoever starts this game shouldn’t really impact the result. The Miami Dolphins are not a good team but they are better than Houston. The Texans are dead last in offensive DVOA with the Dolphins seven spots ahead of them, at 25th in the league.
Nobody has scored fewer points per game than the Texans, a lowly 14.9 points. Only one team, the Jets, have fewer rushing yards per game, and only two teams, the Saints and Bears have fewer passing yards per game.
Neither team is great defensively, although the Texans are marginally better. They rank three spots higher than the Dolphins in defensive DVOA, at 23rd with Miami 26th. Both teams are in the bottom three for total yardage allowed by opposition teams, too. The Dolphins sit dead last, with the Seahawks separating them and the Texans. It’s worth noting that all three teams allow on average more than 400 yards of offense per game.
When these two meet on Sunday, I’m expecting the Dolphins to come out on top and cover the spread here. They’re not spectacular but in Jaylen Waddle and DeVante Parker, they have playmakers who can give Tagovailoa the firepower he needs. It’s always risky to trust bad teams with your money but you have to favor the Dolphins to cover here.
Under 46.5 (-110)
The public money has seen the total grow from 45.5 to 46.0 and now to 46.5, with bettors believing that we’ll see plenty of points on Sunday. I don’t buy that logic.
As mentioned above, these are two teams who have really struggled on offense this year and can’t be trusted to run up the scoreboard. I understand why some would point at defensive failings and use that as evidence why we’ll see high scoring but ultimately, it’s easier for a bad defense to play well than a bad offense to play well.
The Under has landed in the past six of the Texans’ games on the road and there’s very little to suggest that the offense will come into Miami firing, even if they get the upgrade of Tyrod Taylor. The Dolphins have gone 6-2 to the Under in their past eight when playing teams with losing records, perhaps giving evidence to the fact that bad offenses don’t succeed against bad defenses.
It’s very hard to look at this game and see a shootout, and when that’s the case, you can’t really back the Over. The Dolphins are the best team in the game and they’ve only managed three or more offensive touchdowns once this season, and couldn’t even exceed 20 points against the Jaguars, another team with just one win on the season and an awful defense. Don’t play cute, just take the Under here.
Mike Gesicki Over 46.5 receiving yards (-110)
Mike Gesicki has gradually been getting more and more influential in this Miami offense and his receiving total of 46.5 points looks prime to be covered. Since failing to catch any of his three targets in Week 1, he’s been a key target for the Dolphins.
He’s already accumulated 475 yards for the season and has been getting hotter. The first five games of the season included just one monster game, against the Raiders, and he still averaged 45.4 receiving yards per game. Over the past three weeks, he’s averaged over 82 yards per game and it looks like he’s finally breaking out.
The Texans aren’t great at defending tight ends, either, as they give up 61 yards on average to the position, 22nd in the league, and give up 0.88 touchdowns per game to the position, the worst in the league. Gesicki’s total for this game is well under his per game average and the Texans average game allowed. This makes it an absolute must-play.