Before placing your Week 11 NFL pick for Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, remember that both gave up late leads in Week 10. They’ll meet Thursday night with odds favoring Miami by four points at home.
Jason’s record after Week 10: 28-39 ATS, 11-16-1 Totals
Profit: minus-34.81 units
On one hand, you can call it progress. There are three winning teams in the AFC East at the moment, which is two more than usual. The Buffalo Bills (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS) and Miami Dolphins (5-4 SU and ATS) are finally starting to see some results from their eternal rebuilding projects. Health hasn’t been nearly as problematic for either club as it has in years past, their defenses are strong, and their quarterbacks have been fairly effective.
Up until now. Injuries have finally started putting pressure on the Bills and Dolphins, and they both ended up losing SU and ATS in Week 10 after blowing late leads. That sets up what should be a very interesting meeting on Thursday Night Football (8:25 p.m. ET, NFLN); the NFL betting odds opened with Miami laying four points at home, and with a total of 42.5 points.
Don’t Count Your Chickens Ever
Just when we had thought we’d found an oasis in what’s been a very dry year for betting on the NFL. The Dolphins had won their previous three games SU and ATS, and they went up 16-13 on the Detroit Lions (–3 at home) with less than five minutes to go in another fine defensive performance – at least it was until Matthew Stafford launched yet another fourth-quarter comeback, finding Theo Riddick in the end zone to make the final 20-16 for Detroit.
The Bills, meanwhile, had won back-to-back games, including a huge 43-23 victory over the New York Jets (–3 at home), before taking the bye in Week 9. Then they came out in Week 10 and put the clamps on the Kansas City Chiefs (+2 away), holding them to a field goal while taking a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. Kansas City won 17-13, aided by Buffalo’s second and third fumbles of the game, all three bouncing the way of the Chiefs. Holy Toledo.
Hands of Stone
This is why we always recommend making small bets and spreading them around when you make your NFL picks. The Bills did more than enough to beat Kansas City, aside from holding onto the dang ball; RB Bryce Brown was mere steps away from crossing the goal line before he was stripped of the ball, which squirted through TE Scott Chandler’s hands and out the back of the end zone for a touchback. Buffalo made a total of four trips into the red zone on Sunday and came away with six points. The best laid plans of mice and men, yadda yadda.
Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if the Bills had some better health at tailback. RB Fred Jackson made his return and started the game for Buffalo, but he was given a fairly limited workload (three carries for 10 yards, four catches on five targets for 39 yards) coming off a groin injury. RB C.J. Spiller (broken collarbone) remains on the shelf, giving Brown and his occasionally buttery fingers the opportunity to get significant touches.
The Dolphins find themselves in a similar situation with RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) out for the season and RB Lamar Miller (shoulder) kept to a minimal four carries for 10 yards, plus a single catch for minus-4 yards on two targets. Enter third-string RB Daniel “Don’t Call Me Danny” Thomas, who fumbled away the ball to Detroit on the opening series of the second half.
We’ll certainly want to see how healthy Jackson and Miller are before we add either of these teams to our football picks. But given the issues at tailback and the quality defenses on both sides, don’t be surprised if we end up recommending the UNDER when we revisit this matchup later this week.