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Steelers vs. Dolphins odds, prediction: Is Miami overpriced on Sunday night?

Coming off the biggest upset of the NFL season, bet on Pittsburgh to cover another big number

After missing 2 1/2 games with a concussion, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will return to action Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite losing three straight games, Miami is favored by a touchdown. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
After missing 2 1/2 games with a concussion, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will return to action Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite losing three straight games, Miami is favored by a touchdown. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)Read moreMegan Briggs / Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers only have two victories through their first six games of the 2022-23 season. However, both were stunning upsets as an underdog of a touchdown or more.

If the Steelers are to inch closer to .500 with a Week 7 victory in Miami, they will have to buck some massive odds once again — and do so on the road, under the prime-time spotlight and against an opponent that’s desperate to get back in the win column.

So where does the betting value sit in this week’s Sunday Night Football clash? Here’s how we’re betting Steelers vs. Dolphins, which kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

Note: Odds updated as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 21.

Steelers vs. Dolphins Prediction

  1. Steelers +7, -105 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

Steelers vs. Dolphins Prediction: Analysis

Think the Miami Dolphins missed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? Since the former Heisman Trophy winner suffered a scary head injury in the first half of a Thursday night game in Cincinnati in Week 4, Miami has generated 42 points in 10 quarters.

The Dolphins followed their 27-15 defeat at Cincinnati with a pair of mostly non-competitive losses to the Jets (40-17 on the road) and Vikings (24-16 at home). Just like that, Miami has gone from 3-0 — including upsets of the Bills and Ravens — to 3-3.

It’s a safe bet that the offense — which scored 20, 42 and 21 points during the 3-0 start — will be more effective under Tagovailoa’s guidance. Getting to face a Steelers pass defense that comes into the week ranked 30th in the 32-team league won’t hurt. That said, don’t be surprised if Tua is rusty and maybe even gun-shy. Who wouldn’t be after getting carted off the field with a brutal concussion just three weeks ago?

More of a concern than Tagovailoa, though, is Miami’s defense. In five games since a 20-7 home win over New England in Week 1, the Dolphins have allowed an average of 29.6 points (yielding 24 points or more four times).

» READ MORE: NFL Week 7 survivor pool picks, predictions: Can Cowboys, Raiders bounce back from losses?

Obviously, Tagovailoa’s absence caused a ripple effect that put the defense in a few binds. And facing Pittsburgh’s lackluster offense — the Steelers rank 25th or worse in scoring, passing, rushing and total offense — could prove to be a perfect elixir. Still, this point spread seems wildly inflated.

Since the blowout of the Patriots, the Dolphins have those three aforementioned losses and the two wins over Buffalo and Baltimore by a total of six points. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has only no-showed once this season, that being a 38-3 loss at Buffalo two weeks ago.

The Steelers bounced back in a big way last Sunday’s 20-18 victory over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The upset as a 9.5-point home underdog was the biggest of the NFL season to date. Tied for the second biggest upset? Pittsburgh’s 23-20 overtime victory at Cincinnati as a 7-point underdog in Week 1.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who himself is coming off a concussion suffered last week against Tampa Bay, is expected to start Sunday night for Pittsburgh. Since coming off the bench against the Jets in Week 4 and throwing three interceptions in 13 pass attempts, Pickett has been much more protective of the football. He’s been picked just once in 70 throws (45 of which he has completed for 394 yards).

Do we envision Pickett leading yet another Steelers upset? Not really. Assuming Tagovailoa finishes this game — hardly a given — Miami should end its losing skid. But this smells more like a one-score contest than a Dolphins blowout. Take the Steelers +7 at Caesars Sportsbook.

Steelers vs. Dolphins Odds (via Caesars Sportsbook):

  1. Point spread: Steelers (+7/-105) @ Dolphins (-7/-115)

  2. Moneyline: Steelers (+260) @ Dolphins (-335)

  3. Total: 44.5 points

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.