Injury Concerns for Bills Make Dolphins +3 the NFL Pick

Jason Lake

Sunday, November 8, 2015 2:06 AM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 2:06 AM UTC

The Buffalo Bills are the hot NFL pick for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins. But is Sammy Watkins going to play after suffering his latest injury setback?

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 4: 26-21-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-27 Total

Sunday looks like a pretty good day to bet on the Buffalo Bills. Our consensus figures show a fairly even split in opinion between the Bills and their Week 9 opponents, the Miami Dolphins. But according to our expanded consensus reports at press time, the Bills are pulling in over 82 percent of the monies wagered as 2.5-point home faves on the NFL odds board. That's a spicy hot wing.

We might be inclined to join the parade. QB Tyrod Taylor is set to rejoin the Bills (3-4 SU and ATS) after missing three games with a sprained knee; Buffalo dropped two of those three games SU and ATS with EJ Manuel at the helm. But those mixed reports about WR Sammy Watkins and his status for Sunday afternoon (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) just got a lot mixier.


They should have a university course in how to interpret Bills head coach Rex Ryan. Maybe a deep textual analysis will help us figure out if Watkins is going to play Sunday; according to Ryan, his star wideout (who has also missed three games this year) had a “little hiccup” near the end of Thursday's practice. Oh, no problem then: Just stand a knife upside-down in a glass of water and drink the glass with the knife handle touching your forehead. Works every time.

I'm being told Ryan was actually talking about Watkins' left ankle. See, I learned all the wrong things at college. Watkins came out for Friday's practice with his ankle taped up, and sat out most of the day. Some news outlets have Watkins listed as questionable for Sunday; others say he's doubtful. Naturally, both Ryan and Watkins expressed confidence that he'd suit up against Miami.


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We're calling shenanigans. Off the field, the Bills are preparing as if Watkins will miss Sunday's game, releasing OL Chris Martin and calling up WR Walt Powell from the practice squad. They need all the warm bodies they can get with WR Percy Harvin (knee) possibly going on injured reserve – he's definitely out for Week 9 at the very least.

It's a shame. The Dolphins only rank No. 23 in pass defense at Football Outsiders, and No. 27 when defending against the other team's top wideout. With Harvin and perhaps Watkins on the sidelines, Taylor's preferred target would be TE Charles Clay, who leads the Bills with 34 receptions. Alas, Miami ranks No. 4 in the league defending against tight ends.

Yup, we're going to have to put the Dolphins (3-4 SU and ATS) in our NFL picks this week. It's not ideal, but the weather in Buffalo looks good, Miami is 2-1 SU and ATS under interim coach Dan Campbell, and there are plenty of sportsbooks at press time with the Dolphins priced at +3. Sold.

NFL Picks: Take the Dolphins +3 (–115) at Bovada

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