Both the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins were born as expansion franchises in 1966, as pro football branched out into the southeast, the Falcons and New Orleans Saints joining the NFL and the Dolphins being added to the AFL. As the NFL-AFL meger was agreed upon, inter-league preseason began in 1967 and that year, the Falcons journeyed to Miami and beat the Dolphins 27-17. They met again the following season, again in Miami, and this time it was the Dolphins who were 19-13 winners.
They were preseason opponents again in 1970, the first time they met with both members of the NFL. Still in Miami, the visiting Falcons won 20-17. Two years later they met for a fourth time in Miami. The Dolphins, about to embark on a perfect Super Bowl-winning 17-0 season, took a 24-10 preseason verdict over the Falcons. The two teams finally met in Atlanta in 1985, and it was the Falcons who won 19-17. The home team holds an 8-7 edge in the series, with Miami winning 17-6 at a neutral site in Orlando, Fla. in 2016.
They Will Go Low - Two things about Dolphins-Falcons games - play the under and expect it to be a fairly close contest on the scoreboard. The last seven Falcons regular season games went under. Three of the last four Dolphins regular-season games went under. In head-to-head meetings during the regular season, in five of the last seven and seven of the last nine Dolphins-Falcons games, the total has gone under. And four of the last five Atlanta-Miami regular-season games were decided by a touchdown or less.
In the preseason, three of the last five Dolphins-Falcons games ended with final outcomes of five points or less on the scoreboard. Three of the last four Miami-Atlanta preseason meetings also went under. The total has gotten to 30 points in just one of the last five Falcons-Dolphins exhibition games. In four of the last seven Miami-Atlanta preseason games, neither team has scored 20 points. In six of the last eight games, at least one team was held to 17 points or less.
Super Droughts - The Falcons went to the Super Bowl just two years ago, but for the second time, they were defeated. The Dolphins also came out on the short end of the scoreline in their last two Super Bowl apperances, although they were quite some time ago. The Dolphins last played in the big game in 1985 in Super Bowl XIX, losing 38-16 to the San Francisco 49ers. Miami does own two Super Bowl victories, but they were in Super Bowls VII and VIII. The Dolphins are 2-3 all-time in the Super Bowl.
All of which makes MyBookie's wager on a Dolphins-Falcons showdown in Super Bowl LIII seem quite unlikely, which would explain the odds they are offering of +58000. Bovada puts the Dolphins as their second-longest shot to win the Super Bowl at odds of +15000. The Falcons are offered at odds of +2000. You'll get +1100 on the Falcons to win the NFC Championship, a feat they achived two years ago, and +4500 on the Dolphins to be AFC champions.
The Dolphins are +475 to make the playoffs this season and -700 to miss out. The Falcons will get you odds of +105 to be postseason participants and -135 to be postseason spectators. The Falcons are the second betting choice at +185 to win the NFC North Division title. If you bet the Dolphins to win the AFC East Division title for the first time since 2008, that will garner you odds of +1100, even though they are also the second betting choice to win the division.
Just For Kicks - Falcons placekicker Matt Bryant finished eighth in the NFL in scoring last season, but Bet365 thinks Bryant will move up the scoring ladder in 2018. While he's not the favorite, they've slotted Bryant in as their fourth betting choice to lead the NFL in regular season kicking points at +1000. Bryant did just that in 2016, leading the NFL with 158 points. Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey is the longest shot on the board to lead the league in scoring by a kicker at +15000.
Bringing Them Down - Falcons linebacker Deion Jones is among the top contenders to lead the NFL in tackles and assists in 2018, according to the oddsmakers at Bet365. Placed at odds of +1800, Jones is the co-10th betting choice. Jones was tied for fourth in the NFL last season with 91 tackles and 47 assists for a total of 138, six off the league lead. In 2016, he finished 25th overall in the NFL with 75 tackles and 33 assists for a total of 108.
Can Jones Keep Up? - At +500, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is Bovada's second betting choice to lead the NFL in receiving yardage. Last season, Jones collected 1444 yards and was second to Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, who is the +255 chalk to repeat as champion. Jones was also second to T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts in 2016, and won the title with 1871 yards in 2015. Jones finished third in the NFL in receiving yardage in 2014.
Running Down A Dream - Both the Falcons and Dolphins have running backs among Bovada's contenders for the NFL rushing yardage title, though both are longshots to do so. Atlanta's Devonta Freeman is pegged as the 11th betting choice at +2800. Freeman was 17th in the league last season with 865 yards. You can get odds of +8000 on Miami's Kenyan Drake, but with good reason. Drake gained 644 yards on the ground last season, which placed him 28th in the NFL.
Picking Their Spots - You won't find many Dolphins given a significant chance of leading the NFL in any category this season, but we did find one stat where a Miami player is right up there among the leading candidates to come out on top. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is offered odds of +550 to lead the NFL in interceptions this season, making him the co-second betting choice. Tannehill missed all last season due to injury, and he hasn't been among the NFL's top 10 in interceptions since finishing seventh in 2013.