The Dolphins are rolling at the right time coming off a huge victory over New England while the Bills are hoping to finish the season on a high note but where is the value in our NFL odds on this early Sunday tilt?
Miami Dolphins (8-6 SU, 9-5 ATS)
Despite a scandal that rocked the league and took two of their starting offensive linemen out of uniform the Fins have rebounded to reel off four wins in five tries and covered the NFL odds in all five of those contests including their loss to the Carolina Panthers as 4 ½ point home dogs. Their last outing was their biggest win of the season when they squelched another impossible comeback by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to the tune of a 24-20 victory.
Needless to say this is a crucial game for the Dolphins to win. If the Ravens and Bengals were to lose on Sunday and Miami was to defeat the Bills they would clinch a postseason berth and rebound from an ugly scandal that could have easily immolated the entire club. Ryan Tannehill’s development can be attributed to much of the club’s recent success. Over the last three games, all victories, Tannehill has tossed eight touchdown strikes with only two picks.
Mike Wallace, whom the Dolphins acquired as a free agent out of Steeler Nation, was supposed to be the speed merchant torching secondaries throughout the NFL landscape. However, his immersion into the Miami offense came a bit late but recently he has been the go-to-guy that the Miami brass had envisioned when they inked him to a five-year $60 million pact. He is earning that money at the right time with three TD’s in the last four games and had six big receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown in the club’s victory over the Pats last week.
Buffalo Bills (5-9 SU, 7-7 ATS)
Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel will be watching from the sidelines this week while nursing a left knee injury. That means the second-year man out of Duke Thad Lewis will be back in the saddle and making his fourth start of the season and his first since the team suffered a 35-17 road loss to the Saints. Lewis was 22-of-39 and passed for 234 yards with one touchdown and one interception in that game.
Last week the Bills outlasted the improved Jacksonville Jaguars on the road and covered the NFL odds as four-point road chalk. The rushing tandem of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller combined for 147 yards on the ground and moved the chains throughout. But it is indeed the smooth, consistent Jackson that is getting the majority of the carries with Spiller more of a make it or break it kind of back.
Buffalo is currently 6th in the league against the pass and 26th defending the run while they are 29th in passing yardage but 4th in rushing courtesy of the dynamic duo of Jackson and Spiller. Six-year man Stevie Johnson is unlikely to suit up due to the death of his mother.
Free NFL Pick:
You know in your heart of hearts and in places you don’t want to talk about that you want to bet the Dolphins in this one. You want to do it quietly and surreptitiously so as not to be deemed a square if they don’t cover. Your reservations are well founded because the talking heads and all the pundits who drone on and on each week (but never make a real bet) love the surging Dolphins, however as veteran cappers we know this is a clear trap game.
Forget about it being more important to Miami than Buffalo. Of course it is because the Fins have playoff aspirations hinging while the Bills are plotting vacation destinations. But here’s the deal kids. Buffalo has a ferocious pass rush, leading the league in sacks with 49, and will make Tannehill run for his life. It is because of that pass rush that Buffalo’s ranking against the pass is ranked a lofty sixth in the league holding the opposition to only 219 yards per game.
The Fish will come out flat after an emotional victory over the Patriots while the Bills will methodically move the chains with Jackson and Spiller piling up the yards against Miami’s 22nd ranked rush defense. This will also take some heat off of young Thad Lewis who will have a bit more time to choose his targets.Play Buffalo +3 (-120 buying the ½ point up from 2 ½) at Bet365.com.