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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NFL Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans Preview: Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

We kickoff the first full Sunday of the 2012 NFL Season as the Miami Dolphins take on the Houston Texans from Reliant Stadium in Houston. The game is scheduled for an 1:00 PM (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live on CBS. Currently the odds for the game have Houston favored by 12.5 points for the game, while the total sits at 42.5. Currently 86% of the Public is on Houston, while 64% is on the Under. Find out what side the Public is taking on all the games by clicking HERE.

Free Analysis: The Dolphins have a new head coach in Joe Philbin and rookie Ryan Tannehill won the starting quarterback job with an impressive preseason. Tannehill gained the edge when recently-released veteran David Garrard suffered a knee injury during training camp, and Miami fans are counting on the youngster to be the franchise's next great quarterback since Dan Marino. Tannehill beat out Moore after throwing for 414 yards on 41-of-78 passing with a touchdown and an interception during preseason play. He was sacked four times, and that total could get even worse with starting left tackle Jake Long's status in question because of a knee injury suffered during camp.  Tannehill inherits a group of wide receivers that is bereft of playmakers following the failed Johnson experiment and offseason trade of Brandon Marshall. Running back Reggie Bush finally managed to stay healthy and churned out his first 1,000-year season in his initial campaign with Miami. The Dolphins' defense will have a new look, too. First-time coordinator Kevin Coyle has implemented his 4-3 scheme in South Beach, and star defensive end Cameron Wake appears ready to go.  Miami has lost five of its last six season openers and is a popular pick for last place in the AFC East.

The Texans are in a much better situation than Miami, as they enter the season as the favorite to win the AFC South for a second straight year. A staunch defense and two healthy members of what could be a dangerous offense are back in the fold for tenured head coach Gary Kubiak. Along with general manager Rick Smith, he signed a contract extension in the offseason, proving that what the pair has accomplished so far is raising eyebrows. The new deals for the men in charge wouldn't be possible without quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson, however. Schaub appeared in just 10 games last year and led the Texans to a 7-3 start until a Lisfranc injury ended his season. Johnson was limited to seven games because of hamstring problems last season and missed time this summer with a groin injury, though he's expected to be ready for the Dolphins. Running back Arian Foster rushed for 1,224 yards and averaged a league-leading 141.6 yards per game despite sitting out three contests and behind him is one of the best backups in the league in Ben Tate, who ran for 942 yards last season. Houston has won all six matchups against the Dolphins, including a 23-13 victory at Miami last season.

Free Pick: This will be my top play of the week. The Miami Dolphins have new schemes on offense and a rookie QB to run them. They also have very little talent at wide receiver and an OL that is pretty weak. The Dolphins put up just 10.8 ppg in the preseason and they just may end up as the lowest scoring team in the NFL. Now their game 1 task is to take on a Houston defense that 2nd in the league last year, allowing just 283 ypg and 17 ppg. Houston did trade Demeco Ryans in the off season, but still have plenty of depth and talent to finish in the top 5 defensively again. Miami had a decent second half on defense, but they did very little to improve that side of the ball and they have new defensive schemes as well. Houston got some good news as it looks as if Arian Foster will play. The Texans also have a healthy Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson and should have no problems putting up points on the average Miami defense. The Dolphins will struggle all year and I just don’t see this sorry offense coming up with enough points to keep this one close. 

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[~][~]NFL Free Picks: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (Best Bet)
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