The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) and Miami Dolphins (3-3) meet on Sunday night in the battle of teams who keep switching quarterbacks. The Steelers and Dolphins have not had the same quarterback start and finish consecutive games since Week 3.
But now it is looking like Mitch Trubisky against Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday night. The Dolphins are a 7-point home favorite with a total of 44 points at many of the top-rated sportsbooks. Can the Dolphins end their three-game losing streak, or can the Steelers pull off another upset over a Florida team?
Let’s look at the NFL odds for multiple betting markets in this matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 08:20 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
Is the Under the Best Bet in This Game?
Dolphins’ QB Issues
Coincidentally, this game may be the posterboard for the NFL’s new concussion protocol, which was largely created because of how the Dolphins handled Tua Tagovailoa’s head injuries against the Bills and Bengals.
Tagovailoa has not played since Week 4, but he appears to have the green light for this matchup.
It has been hard to judge the formerly 3-0 Dolphins over these last three games with Tua leaving the Cincinnati loss for Teddy Bridgewater, Bridgewater leaving the Jets loss with a head injury for Skylar Thompson, and Thompson leaving the Minnesota loss on Sunday for a thumb injury, which brought Bridgewater back.
It is hard to imagine any other team in NFL history losing three different starting quarterbacks in three consecutive games like the 2022 Dolphins have.
Steelers’ Own QB Issues
Meanwhile, the Steelers started Mitch Trubisky before benching him at halftime of Week 4 for rookie Kenny Pickett, who then started the next two games. But on Sunday, Pickett slammed his head on the ground and left with a concussion. Trubisky came back and outplayed Tom Brady to lead the Steelers to the first win from a double-digit underdog this season.
Now because of the new concussion protocol, Pickett’s chances of playing Sunday are not good, likely bringing Trubisky back into the fold. He played great off the bench, but the Dolphins can prepare for him now.
We know the Steelers are a flawed offense and are unlikely to score many points. Their only game this season that went over 44 points was the 29-17 loss in Cleveland after a garbage fumble on a lateral was returned for a touchdown on the final play. That game should have ended 23-17.
The Over/Under Pick
Miami is a trickier situation because of the constant shuffling of the quarterbacks. But the fact is the Dolphins have scored 21 points or fewer in every game except the 42-38 comeback in Baltimore when the Dolphins were down 35-14 in the fourth quarter and scored four touchdowns.
That is looking like the outlier, not to mention the Ravens are really bad at holding leads.
Even if Miami scores 24 points in this game, it is hard to see Pittsburgh doing better than 20, if it even gets that high. The under should be the safest NFL pick in this game.
NFL Picks: Under 44.5 Points (-105) at FanDuel
Highest Scoring Half?
The Steelers have been slow starters for the last few years, but Sunday was their first opening drive touchdown of the season. It also seemed to be a scripted drive as it was by far the best design the offense had with Kenny Pickett in the game.
When Trubisky entered in the third quarter, the offense was stuck in the mud. The only thing that worked for him was stepping up on multiple third-and-long situations and dealing passes to Chase Claypool.
As for Tua Tagovailoa, he has a pretty distinct split of having his best production in the fourth quarter, and it’s not just the Baltimore game from earlier this year that fuels that.
In his career, Tua’s passer rating is in the mid-80s in the first three quarters but moves up to 108.1 in the fourth quarter. Beyond that, these are his career splits by half:
- First Half: 65.9% complete, 6.4 YPA, 13 TD, 8 INT, 85.8 passer rating
- Second Half: 67.7% complete, 7.6 YPA, 22 TD, 10 INT, 98.8 passer rating
Tagovailoa is a second-half adjustment quarterback, and it would not be a surprise to see him start slow in this game since he had two head injuries in four days the last time he played.
For that reason, let’s side with the second half as being the highest-scoring half in this matchup.
NFL Pick: Second Half as Highest Scoring Half (-110) at FanDuel
Final Prediction: Who Wins?
In five of their last eight road games, the Steelers have trailed by at least 28 points. That is a brutal stretch unlike anything the Steelers have experienced in over 30 years. Fortunately, they will not be playing Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen this week.
Tua Tagovailoa still leads all quarterbacks in QBR, but we need to see a bit more from this offense as it is living high off the reputation of one huge quarter against the Ravens.
The Steelers held Tom Brady in check despite missing half of their defense on Sunday. Some of those players can be back for this game, though T.J. Watt is still not back. But the Steelers would be a scary side to back in this matchup if the top three corners and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick are down again. That would not go well against the speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Miami is rarely a favorite like this at home, but the Dolphins are a league-best 6-2 ATS as a home favorite since 2020. In that same time, Mike Tomlin’s Steelers are 8-8 ATS as a road underdog.
Steelers vs. Dolphins: The Winning Bet
For a while there, it felt like the Steelers excelled as the road underdog in prime time. But ever since Tomlin led the Steelers to an upset win over the 2019 Chargers with Devlin “Duck” Hodges as his quarterback, the Steelers are 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS as a road underdog in prime time.
Last week was a great win for the Steelers, but look for the disappointment this week as the team loses a 27-16 type of game for your NFL picks to close Sunday’s action.
Let’s just hope both teams can get through this one with the same quarterback.
NFL Pick: Dolphins -7 (-110) at BetMGM