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On Sunday, Bears vs. Dolphins will kick off at Noon CT at Soldier Field. Our Chicago Bears will finally return home after spending the last two weeks on the road. In that time, Justin Fields has put up 472 yards and five touchdowns. And the Bears' offense scored a total of 62 points while facing two of the best defenses in the NFL. And we have a brand new wide receiver. Things are looking up, Bears fans.

Bears vs. Dolphins Betting Lines

Bears vs Dolphins Betting Lines

Bears vs. Dolphins Betting Lines

In the above table, I have noted the spread and the projected spreads. Projections are according to my four models (DVOA, EPA, Poisson, LinReg), PFF, and 538’s models for Bears vs. Dolphins. Why use so many different models? Because they serve as a crosscheck for each other. The more models that say something is a good bet, the more assurances you get. After all, that is what all of us gamblers want, assurances.

Bears and Dolphins Cover History

 "Good coaches win. Great coaches cover the spread." 

Since 2020, the Bears have been home dogs 13 times, with a record of 4-9 ATS. Additionally, they are 3-10 on the money line (Bears to win straight up) in these situations, and 4-9 on the over. While the Bears betting stats under Matt Nagy are not exactly relevant to the current circumstances, I do think recent history is still worth considering. This year is the first season for new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus. In his first eight games, Eberflus is 3-5 straight up, 3-4-1 ATS, and 4-4 on the over.

Since 2020, the Miami Dolphins have been road favorites eight times with a record of 4-4 ATS. Additionally, they are 5-3 on the money line (Dolphins to win straight up) in these situations, while they are 4-4 on the over. This year is the first season for new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. In his first eight games, McDaniel is 5-3 straight up, 4-4 ATS, and 3-5 on the over.

Bears vs. Dolphins Team Stats

Bears vs Dolphins Stat Rankings

Advanced Stat Rankings for Bears vs. Dolphins

Advanced stat rankings for the 2022 season are shown for the Bears and Dolphins here. This includes DVOA, success rates, EPA/Play, and an average ranking of all three for offense and defense.

Dolphins Positional Breakdown & Key Players

Miami Dolphins Starting Lineup

Miami Dolphins Starting Lineup

The “Pos. Rank” uses multiple position-specific stats to generate a relative ranking for each player at their position. The percentile is simply a representation of their rank. For example, from 2020-2022 Tyreek Hill ranks in the 94th percentile among all qualifying wide receivers.

The average Dolphins offensive starter ranks in the 58th percentile for their position from 2020-2022. Meanwhile, the average Dolphins defensive starter ranks in the 60th percentile for their position from 2020-2022. The Bears' positional rankings can be seen in the “Extra Points” section.

· Tua Tagovailoa

· Tyreek Hill

· Jaylen Waddle

· Bradley Chubb

· Xavien Howard

· Jevon Holland

Dolphins Scouting Report – Offense

Play-Caller: Mike McDaniel

All-22 Review

To get a better idea of the Dolphins' offensive attack, I reviewed the All-22 film from their Week 7 contest against the Steelers and some of their Week 2 contest against the Ravens. This offense heavily revolves around the team’s star wide receivers and Tua’s ability to get the ball to them in space.

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Early in the game, we can expect to see some RPOs to get Tua into a rhythm. Tua excels at RPOs and can find his comfort zone when using them. As he gets more comfortable and the game enters the second quarter, we can expect to see more shots downfield. The short game and deep game can be equally difficult though. That is because of the Dolphins' dynamic playmakers at wide receiver. Both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are more than capable of taking the football the distance regardless of how far downfield the throw might be.

While the pass protection has improved with the addition of Terron Armstead and Connor Williams, they are still a little underwhelming. But good luck getting to Tua. He does a great job of getting the ball out quickly and possesses a strong feel for the pocket. Tua currently has the eighth quickest time to throw in the NFL (2.5 seconds).

In the run game, the Dolphins have been solid but unspectacular. They employ a multiple-run scheme that is best when using zone concepts. But they will throw plenty of gap runs (Toss, G-Lead) into the equation, as well as some more exotic looks like end-arounds and reverses. Because of how much speed they put on the field, their run scheme can employ more diverse looks.

Key Notes

Tua Tagovailoa Passing Stats

Tua Tagovailoa Passing Stats by Field Area

In the passing game, Tua relies heavily on the middle of the field. I think that forcing him to win outside the numbers could be a solid strategy if it was not for the fear of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle’s speed. On the season, nearly 60% of Tua’s throws have targeted the middle of the field (the NFL Average is 50%). Meanwhile, only 17% of his throws have targeted the right side of the field (NFL Average is 26%).

The Bears should force him to the right every chance they can. His yards per attempt to the right side of the field are well below average. Additionally, Tua has a well below-average turnover-worthy play rate (per PFF) despite having only thrown three interceptions on the season. In reviewing the film against the Steelers, I counted three interceptable passes myself.

Other Findings

The Dolphins lost their starting left guard, Liam Eichenberg, to injury last week. Former first-round pick Austin Jackson was recently activated off IR, and I would expect to see him playing in Eichenberg’s place. Speaking of the offensive line, right tackle Brandon Shell showed up often on tape, especially in run blocking, as a point that the Bears should be able to attack.

Dolphins Scouting Report – Defense

DC: Josh Boyer

Key Notes

The Dolphins run a Cover 1 and Cover 3 heavy defense. When in Cover 3, their cornerbacks are hyper-aware of being beat deep, which opens a lot of opportunities in the short to intermediate parts of the field. When in Cover 1, the cornerbacks are hyper-aggressive, often playing in a press position. This opens them up to being burnt for long plays, especially on double moves.

On first down, they tend to lean toward more conservative coverage concepts, and it is generally a mixed bag on second down. But on third down, they live and die in Cover 1. While they might change it up more when leading late in the game, they appear to stay in Cover 1 on 3rd downs early.

Generally, their coverage concepts became very predictable against the Steelers until the fourth quarter, when they started throwing some curveballs at Pittsburgh's offense. This leads me to believe that their predictability has a lot to do with them ranking 30th in EPA Allowed per Dropback.

Dolphins Coverage Concepts

Miami Dolphins Coverage Concepts by Down

Meanwhile, this has been one of the top defensive units against the run through Week 8. Their linebackers can thump but can also get the job done in coverage. Additionally, Andrew Van Ginkel is impressive against the run. He consistently beat up tight ends who would try to seal him on the EDGE. And that run defense should only get better with the recent addition of EDGE rusher Bradley Chubb.

Bears vs. Dolphins Summary and Prediction

The Miami Dolphins have one of the most explosive offensive rosters in the NFL. Meanwhile, Justin Fields is quickly becoming one of the most explosive players in the league, and the Chicago Bears rank near the top of the NFL in explosive play rates. Combine those two factors with one of the worst pass defenses in the league and a defense that recently traded away two of its best players, and I think we have a shootout on our hands.

Dolphins: 28

Bears: 31

Extra Points

Chicago Bears Positional Breakdown & Key Players

Chicago Bears Starting Lineup

Chicago Bears Starting Lineup

Injury Report

Other Bears Content