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Bills vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction.
Miami Dolphins (4-5 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (3-6 SU, 4-5H ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Thursday, November 15, 8:25 p.m. EST
Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
TV: NFL Network/DirecTV 212
by Vesper Abadon, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mia +1.5/Buf -1.5
Over/Under Total: 45
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Week 10 of the NFL saw the AFC East begin to take shape. Not long ago, all four teams were in contention, but now the New England Patriots are the clear favorites after defeating the Buffalo Bills 37-31; furthermore, the both the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets suffered crushing losses. This week things will heat up in the AFC East as the Dolphins travel to upstate New York Thursday night and take on their longtime rivals-the Bills.
The Dolphins were 4-4 midway through the season, and that was above expectations for a team considered to be rebuilding. Unfortunately for them, their momentum and excitement came crashing down last Sunday when the Tennessee Titans, a team that had been blown out the week before, came in with a chip on their shoulder and crushed the Dolphins, who scored just three points.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill showed his inexperience after throwing three interceptions, while running backs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas were held to just 21 yards apiece on the ground; in fact, the only bright spot on the stagnant offense was wide receiver Brian Hartline, who returned to form with 79 yards off eight receptions. Defensively the Dolphins looked even worse as there much-feared front seven were run over by Chris Johnson to the tune of 126 yards and a touchdown.
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As is, the Dolphins enter their matchup against the Bills with the 26th and 22nd ranked offense and defense respectively. Neither their 21st-ranked passing game, which continues to decline, nor their 19th-rushing game are particularly impressive, but then again, the Bills don’t come in with impressive numbers either. Sure, their offense is ranked a bit better in 15th (25th passing/6th rushing), but their defense (31st) is second worst in the league-a bitter disappointment after the Bills made so many moves in the offseason to sure up their own front seven.
Overall, the two teams are actually quite balanced. The Dolphins pass for 218.4 yards per game, while the Bills pass for 215.6; likewise, the Dolphins rack up an average of 323.9 yards per game, and the Bills 358.7 YPG. The Bills hold the edge in rushing yards (143.1 to 105.4), but the Dolphins nullify it with the superior run defense, allowing just 94.2 rushing yards per game compared to the Bills’ 163.7. YPG.
Vesper Abadon’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is a hard one to call. Both teams are coming off loses, albeit much different ones. The Bills lost a heartbreaker, while the Dolphins never really stood a chance. It’ll be interesting to see how each rebounds-will they be dejected or out for blood and redemption? My gut tells me the Dolphins, who were thoroughly embarrassed by the Titans, will use the loss to refocus and come in with a much more aggressive game plan.
I believe their front seven will return to form and hold C.J. Spiller, who has rushed 87 times for 632 yards (7.3 Avg) and four touchdowns, in check, while the offense learns from their mistakes and get things fired up. I look for this game to be a shootout, which will see Ryan Fitzpatrick utilize both Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones to exploit the Dolphins’ secondary, but I think the Dolphins will stay one step ahead, pull out a Titan-sized performance, and show they’re better than they’ve been playing.
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