Miami Dolphins

The betting favorite for the Dolphins’ 2020 Week 1 starting QB might surprise you

Josh Rosen can’t even get on the field with Tua Tagovailoa still at Alabama.

And yet, the people at SportsBettingDime.com believe Rosen has just as good a chance as Tagovailoa to start the 2020 opener for the Miami Dolphins.

The betting site lists both Rosen and Tagovailoa as 5-to-1 to be Miami’s Week 1 starter. Oregon’s Justin Herbert is the next at 9-to-1. But the overwhelming favorite? None of the above.

The field opens at even money.

In a way, Rosen makes some sense. He will have another year in Chad O’Shea’s system, so one could theoretically see him beating out a rookie in training camp, only to give up the job at some point during the season.

But in another way, it makes next to no sense. Rosen was twice given the opportunity to win the job from Ryan Fitzpatrick — first in the preseason, and then in Weeks 3-6 — and failed both times. He’s the league’s lowest-rated qualifying quarterback (52.0) and his 5.2 yards per attempt are tied for the worst in the NFL.

That led to him getting benched in favor of Fitzpatrick in Week 7, and there’s no reason to believe he will earn his job back for Monday’s game against the Steelers.

“Josh has really approached this as a professional,” O’Shea said. “He really has. I’ve been impressed with that. He had a really nice week of practice last week. His preparation was good. It was positive. That’s what we ask from all of our players, and Josh is no different. Just because his role changed, he still has to approach it like a professional and that’s what he’s done.”

One other fun prop bet from Bovada: The odds on Fitzpatrick starting a game for any team next year are 3-to-2. He opens at 12-to-1 to start Week 1.

Odds and ends

With seven catches for 92 yards since the bye, tight end Mike Gesicki just had the best statistical two-game stretch of his career. O’Shea said he thinks “the tape that’s really showing up is [Gesicki’s] practice tape because the practice tape is really transferring to the game. He’s had two really good weeks at practice, and it really hasn’t been a surprise that he’s kind of taken that to the game.”

Likewise, the arrow is pointing up for DeVante Parker, who has a touchdown catch in three consecutive games. O’Shea said Parker has been consistent in the red zone and is “certainly somebody that I think the quarterback has confidence and we have confidence in as a coaching staff.”

The Dolphins would already have at least one win, and perhaps two, if they simply forced turnovers at a below-average rate. But they’re not. They have just two takeaways in six games, the fewest in the league.

Said Dolphins defensive coordinator Patrick Graham: “A lot of times, they come in bunches. We’ve got to get our hands on more balls. We’ve got to force some more turnovers, but we’re working to improve that. There are teams that are a little bit more prone to ball disruption and some that aren’t, but we’ve got to find ways to get the ball off of them.”

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Adam Beasley has covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald since 2012, and has worked for the newspaper since 2006. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and has written about sports professionally since 1996.
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