Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is creating excitement as the new leader of the surprising Miami Dolphins. Photo by PFF College (Twitter).
- The Tua Tagovailoa-led Miami Dolphins (5-3) are 1.5-point favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) in Week 10
- Sunday Betting Record: 2-7-0, -5.10 Units
- Kick-off is Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET; See the game odds, spread and total as well as a preview below
The schedule says Chargers vs Dolphins, but fans may be looking at this marquee game as Justin Herbert vs Tua Tagovailoa in a battle of elite rookie quarterbacks. Tagavailoa has created excitement with a 2-0 beginning as the Dolphins’ starter. However, Herbert has been impressive all season. He boasts 17 touchdown passes, with only five interceptions.
Thanks to Herbert’s passing, the Chargers are 5-3 against the spread this season. Over the past five weeks, Herbert has helped the Chargers put 153 points on the board. That’s an average 30.6 points per game.
Tagavailoa, meanwhile, has thrown three touchdown passes over two weeks to help the Dolphins score a cumulative total of 62 points. This is the game that will help you decide: Which rookie QB would you rather have?
Los Angeles Chargers vs Miami Dolphins Odds
|Los Angeles Chargers||+105||+1.5 (-110)||O 48.5 (-110)|
|Miami Dolphins||-122||-1.5 (-110)||U 48.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Nov. 14 from DraftKings
Herbert Has His Own ‘Wow’ Factor
While Herbert does make rookie mistakes, he frequently has looked like a veteran quarterback. He is averaging 306 yards passing per game. Those are not rookie numbers.
The six-foot-six Herbert has thrown 15 touchdown passes over the past five weeks. In his lone win against Jacksonville, he gained 347 yards through the air. He also ran for 66 yards in that contest.
His competitiveness has been evident since his first game. He has always kept the Chargers in the game this season. The Chargers have lost by three points or less three times, and five points or less five times.
Keenan Allen is clearly Herbert’s favorite receiver. Herbert has targeted him 86 times, and Allen has caught 62 passes. Their chemistry is strong.
Rewrite the record books.
Justin Herbert is the only QB in NFL history to throw for 1,500+ pass yards and 15+ pass TDs in their first six career games. #ProDucks pic.twitter.com/07l4a2RGpJ
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) November 8, 2020
Tua’s Presence Expedites Dolphins Rebuild
Even though Tagovailoa has only started twice, there is already a sense in Miami is that he is everything he hoped he would be.
Tagovailoa’s chief attribute is that he makes things happen. He creates plays at the right time. He is dynamic under pressure. His decision-making isn’t perfect at this stage of his career. But his instincts serve the Dolphins well.
In start No. 2, he completed 20-of-28 passes for 248 yards. That’s a 71.4% completion rate. Tagovailoa pulled off a big win against an entertaining Arizona team. He has no NFL interceptions.
You can build a team around one rookie QB.
Herbert or Tua?
📺: #LACvsMIA — Sunday 4:05pm ET on CBS
📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app pic.twitter.com/89fc6UWtgm
— NFL (@NFL) November 14, 2020
Dolphins Lose Tua’s Key Receiver
Preston Williams, targeted 10 times in Tagovailoa’s first two wins as a starter, has been ruled out by a foot sprain. He will be sidelined multiple weeks.
Williams limped off the field last Sunday after catching a nine-yard TD toss from Tagovailoa in the Dolphins’ 34-31 win against the Arizona Cardinals.
Running back Matt Breida (hamstring), cornerback Jamal Perry (foot) and tight end Durham Smythe (groin) are questionable for Miami.
Defensive end Joey Bosa (concussion) is out for the Chargers, along with running back Justin Jackson (knee). Running back Troymaine Pope (neck), tackle Bryan Bulaga and G Trai Turner are questionable.
Miami Dolphin´s WR Preston Williams suffered a foot injury. He was placed on IR, which means that he would be missing at least 3 weeks. Watch out for Devante Parker in the upcoming weeks should be targeted more. #BigSTEPPAFAM
— goldenticketbetting (@goldenticketbe1) November 11, 2020
Dolphins are Strong Against the Spread
Herbert will be tested in this game. Only four NFL teams have give up fewer touchdown passes than the Dolphins. Miami’s defense also owns the sixth-lowest completion percentage against. Tagovailoa’s arrival has given the team a booster shot of momentum. He is young, but the Dolphins believe in him.
Miami is 6-2 against the spread this season with an NFL-best 11.1 cover margin.
Pick: Dolphins -1.5 (-110)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.