NFL Picks: Bengals vs Dolphins Betting the Spread

Joe Freda

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:49 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 5:49 PM GMT

Thursday’s NFL matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins has seen its betting patterns hold serve, with the public favoring the Bengals and OVER.  Should the ‘chalk’ backers be tailed here, or can Miami pull off a home dog cover?

Check out SBRs NFL Week 9 Betting Odds Report

Bengals hope to stay hot

Cincinnati has surged to a 2 ½-game lead in the AFC North standings, holding foes to 15.8 PPG in its present streak of four wins. The span’s sole losing ATS ticket came as a six-point road favorite in a 27-24 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills.

Cincinnati gave up a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to the Bills, costing its spread backers the money despite 43 minutes of possession in the lengthy affair. The Bengals may again be vulnerable to the ‘back door’ here due to this spot’s short rest.

Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga is expected to miss action for the first time this year in Thursday’s affair, suffering from a knee injury in Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets. The Oklahoma native logged at least four tackles in six of Cincinnati’s first seven weeks of action, while registering no sacks.

Dolphins search for octane

Miami has been held to 19.5 PPG in its present four-game losing slide, winning the time of possession battle just once through that span. The Dolphins have plunged to rank in the league’s bottom five clubs for total offense (311 YPG), while quarterback Ryan Tannehill has tossed seven interceptions as part of his last four outings.

Tannehill and Co. edged out Cincinnati last October in a 17-13 road win, cashing as three-point underdogs. Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas reached the end zone once, while Miami’s defense came away with two interceptions and three sacks.

The Dolphins may have to rely on its running game again here, with wide receiver Brandon Gibson’s season-ending knee injury affecting the team’s air attack. Miami’s Lamar Miller has picked up steam out of the backfield, with 132 rushing yards on 27 carries in the team’s last two contests.

Back Miami at home

Bet365 has lifted Cincinnati to be a 2 ½-point road favorite since Sunday night’s opening NFL odds of 1 ½, while 5Dimes.eu has seen 72 percent of its spread tickets written on the Bengals. The money line offered has held steady, with Cincinnati listed at a premium of minus 130.

For my NFL Pick, I am backing Miami as a home dog here, despite the opposite directions of both clubs.

The Dolphins take a drop in class here from Sunday’s road battle with the New England Patriots, while Tannehill threw a season-high three touchdowns in Oct. 20’s most recent home spot against Buffalo. Last season’s victory over the Bengals saw Miami keep Cincinnati out of the end zone for three quarters, while escaping with just two penalties.

Cincinnati has yet to cash an ATS ticket this year on grass, with a 0-1-1 spread record in road defeats to the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. The Bengals were held to 13.5 PPG in that pair of duels, while facing humidity conditions here of at least 70 percent.

Look for Miami to rally for a late cashed ticket here, with Joe Philbin’s club catching the Bengals taking their southbound journey too lightly.

NFL Pick:  Miami Dolphins +2 ½ at Bet365

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