Steelers vs. Dolphins Sunday Night Football Prediction: Are the Dolphins Favorites in Tua’s Return?

The Steelers vs. Dolphins cap Week 7 with Sunday Night Football, and we have the latest prediction for this matchup.

This week’s Sunday Night Football prediction is all about outliers and how they can skew what we see in the data. As always in these pieces, we will be using my version of a sports betting model to make several projections for the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins matchup.

To see how my model has done this month and in my other Week 7 wagers, make sure you are following me and Pro Football Network on Pikkit, where you can fade or tail the model, engage with me during the games, and use the best bet tracking app out there! 

Week 7 Prediction for Sunday Night Football: Steelers vs. Dolphins

This Steelers vs. Dolphins prediction comes down to the quarterbacks and their ability to keep everything on track. Additionally, both of these teams have bounce rates (Dolphins defense and Steelers offense) that are outside my threshold (x3). Typically, with that in mind, I would not place a bet in this game.

However, due to the 90% confidence level that is used to calculate bounce rate, I looked at each of these teams closely and found very distinctive outliers for each of them that, if removed, tell a very different story six weeks into the season.

MORE: NFL Week 7 Picks and Predictions

The Dolphins are currently experiencing decay in their point-scoring behavior at a rate of 45% week-over-week over the first six weeks of the season. That is a massive number. This, however, includes a 42-point showing in a dramatic comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 that, as seen from the chart below, sits outside the bounce range and is very much an outlier.

Miami Dolphins SCC Chart for Week 7, 2022

If we take that away, the bounce rate significantly stabilizes, and the rate of decay goes from 45% all the way down to 23%. You can also see just how much closer all of the other point totals are to each other beyond the Week 2 outlier.

The same is true with the Dolphins’ defense. After giving up just 7 points in Week 1 to the New England Patriots, they have given up 23 or more points in four out of five games. Miami gave up 38 or more points twice, with an average of 28 points per game from Weeks 2-6.

The Steelers are not immune to outliers. They, too, had one in rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett’s very first start against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, where they only scored 3 points. This caused them to have a week-over-week decay rate of 52% through the first six weeks and was an obvious outlier way outside the bounce range, seen below.

Pittsburgh Steelers SCC Chart for Week 7, 2022

Take that away, and the remaining five weeks of data paint a much different story. Their bounce rate week-over-week goes from a whopping x4.3 down to x1.6, and their 52% rate of decay in points scored actually becomes a GROWTH rate of 5%.

Prediction: Steelers 23, Dolphins 22

Take away the outliers, and you get a much clearer picture of how these teams typically behave and how they may be a lot closer than most people may think. When the projection is this close, the game could easily go either way. For the model, the Dolphins’ defense is the weak link in this matchup.

  • Pick ATS:
    Steelers +7
  • Pick on the Moneyline:
    Steelers +260
  • Over/Under Prediction:
    The model is predicting a total score of 45 for this Sunday Nights Steelers vs. Dolphins game. Caesars has the over/under set at 44.5. While the model is predicting the over, with the projection being only .5 points higher, I’m not confident in placing a wager.

*Sunday Night Football bets are all made using Caesars Sportsbook

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