Fresh off a solid 4-1 week at The Sports Geek, Thursday Night Football kicks this week off in what should be an intriguing AFC East divisional showdown. The longtime rivals of Miami and Buffalo will square off with playoff aspirations surely in the heads of both teams. Both Miami and Buffalo are coming off heartbreaking Week 10 losses, making tonight’s affair all the more important. If they are to end up qualifying for the post-season, tonight’s game is a crucial one to get. It’s the Fish vs. the Bills to kick off your betting week and we’ve got you covered as we look for yet another winning week. Read on below for a full breakdown and our official wager.
Bills vs. Dolphins Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +4.5 (-110)
@ Miami Dolphins -4.5 (-110)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Bills vs. Dolphins Pick:
Picking an outright side or winner in this match-up has proven hard to do. I’ve given it a lot of thought throughout the week and both teams are so evenly matched, it’s hard to isolate a winner on this low point-spread. Though I don’t play that many totals in the NFL season, I feel that tonight’s game could be a very low-scoring affair.
Firstly, this is pretty much an elimination game. I don’t think the team that loses this contest will rebound and make it to the post-season. It’ll be just too difficult of a path. As a result, expect defenses to be sharp and the offenses to play things conservatively. For Miami, their offensive line suffered a massive blow on Sunday with the loss of key lineman Branden Albert. Albert was the anchor of that O-line and losing him will surely have negative impacts for the remainder of their year. Rookie tackle Ja’Wuan James is supposed to fill in but he struggled mightily at Detroit in Week 10. Add in the fact that the Bills present an excellent pass rush and I can’t see Ryan Tannehill having much time or space in the pocket. He’s been dynamite of late but the Bills present a lot of unique challenges for the ‘Fins offense.
Making matters worse is the current plight of Miami’s running backs. Key workhorse Lamar Miller is still injured and part of a pretty mediocre rotation. Damien Williams is expected to see a fair amount of carries in relief and he remains an uninspiring runner. He was brutal last week vs. Detroit and going against the NFL’s 6th-ranked run defense won’t be an easy feat. The Bills will put relentless pressure on Tannehill and don’t expect much on the ground either. It’s hard to envision the Dolphins moving the chains with ease on Thursday night.
Conversely, when the Bills have the football, look for a similar outcome. Even though Buffalo has their offensive line clicking and intact, it won’t matter against Miami’s ferocious pass rush. The Dolphins have given literally every team they’ve faced in 2014 fits with their blitzing schemes and front seven, and Kyle Orton will be no different tonight. Since Week 4, the Dolphins haven’t recorded less than three sacks. They’ll be all over the Bills tonight.
And like Buffalo, Miami doesn’t give up much on the ground either – Buffalo’s preferred method of moving the chains. Combine that with Buffalo’s injury-riddled backfield and the fact that Miami barely concedes 100-yard rushers, and moving the football looks to be a tall order for both squads tonight.
Expect this contest to be tightly-contested and stay a one-score game throughout. The Bills and Dolphins are very similar squads, and are evenly matched. In a game this meaningful, expect both defenses to step up and keep the scoring low. Both Miami and Buffalo love to run the football, and with the clock continually moving and the defenses consistently pressuring, points will be at a premium in this Thursday night tilt. Expect the total to come in well under the current listing of 41 points, and don’t be surprised to see a field goal be the decider in this one.
PICK = Under 41 (-110)