Free NFL Week 4 Picks - Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals players in action

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 5:47 PM GMT

The Bengals and Dolphins clash at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati for Thursday night football, each sporting a 1-2 record. We predict Cincy drowns the Dolphins with a smothering defensive effort. That being said, we are liking the Total of 44 in this one and inside we'll share the best way to play it and cash a winning ticket.

Miami Dolphins (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
The Dolphins rank seventh in the NFL with 6.1 yards per play but are posting just 21.3 points per game. This includes an overtime touchdown in extra time to beat the Browns 30-24 on Sunday.

Critical execution and key plays are lacking. Miami's third-down conversion rate is 30.3 percent, 27th in the league, and it rank 26th in giveaways with 2.3 per contest. New head coach Adam Gase is fed up, threatening to bench players for missed assignments and general miscues moving forward. “Talent is irrelevant at this point,” he told reporters on Monday.

The defense is proving more efficient, holding teams to 0.295 points per play (ninth). Opponents, though, are gashing the unit on the ground for 147.3 rushing yards per game, better than only the Saints (149.3). This keeps the defense on the field for long stretches, and it has tired out late in games.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-2 SU, 0-2-1 ATS)
The Bengals' offense has yet to find its stride, scoring only 18.7 points per game. It's first three contests, however, were against playoff teams with strong defenses, including a 29-17 loss to the Super Bowl champion Broncos on Sunday.

Chasing a lead after half time in every game, the Bengals have gone to the air more they like calling nearly 66 percent pass plays. Although its 7.6 yards per passing attempt is high (sixth in NFL), the play calling makes the typically balanced unit one-dimensional. Head coaches Marvin Lewis likes the ground game and expect him to establish it early versus the Fins.

Cincinnati's defense allowed 17.6 points per game at home in 2015 but put in a poor effort against Denver in the opener at Paul Brown Stadium to open this year. Will it show up against lesser? Perhaps. Since 2013, the defense allows 14.6 points per game to visit opponents with a losing record.

Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals
The over-under opened at 43.5 points, adjusting to 44.5 within 24 hours of trading at sportsbooks like 5Dimes and Bovada. The number here is tight, and the most value may be found on the point spread with some shops (Heritage) trading below the key number (-6.5) in favor of the Bengals (We're jumping on Cincy -6.5 here).

We like the Bengals' defense to hold the Dolphins' offense in check. Last season, it allowed 12.7 points per game against teams scoring less than the league average of 22.7 in nine contests. Lewis will control the game with the rush, which should keep Cincy from ticking too many points as time chews away. We'll go against the line movement. Under 44.5 is the play on the total for Dolphins vs. Bengals picks.

Free NFL Pick: Under 44.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
SBR record YTD: 123-88-6 (avg. odds -104); 2016-17 NFL: 17-6 (avg. odds -105)

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