NFL Picks: Series Trends Point to Low-Scoring Bills vs. Dolphins Game

Kevin Stott

Friday, September 25, 2015 7:56 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 25, 2015 7:56 PM UTC

The Dolphins host the Bills in their Home opener on Sunday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida in a huge early season AFC East game and we provide an NFL pick on the total.

Both teams are 1-1 and division-mates, the New England Patriots and the New York Jets are off to 2-0 starts. With only two of the last 10 games in this series going Over here in South Florida, and the Under 5-0-1 in the L6 meetings overall, is backing the Under (45½) in this game as the best NFL pick in the Totals market? Let’s examine all the details, think about the situation and see if this strong Under trend can continue this weekend in the Sunshine State.


Odds Overview
What: NFL Week 3—Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
When: Sunday, September 27
Time: 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT 
TV: CBS, Directv 716, NFL RedZone (US), Sky Sports 2/HD (UK)
Weather: Partly Sunny, 40% Chance Storms, 86°, Winds E 5-10 mph, 67% Humidity
Current Point Spread: Dolphins -3 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Lowest Total in Marketplace: 42½ (Station Casinos)
Highest Total in Marketplace: 43½ (Pinnacle)
Alternate Total: Under 40½ +125 (bet365)
Alternate Total: Under 44½ -142 (bet365)


Current Realities Heading Into This Game
Both of these teams have high hopes this 2015/16 Regular Season, but after 1-1 starts for both the Miami Dolphins (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) and the Buffalo Bills (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS), hopes are now a little lower, and whoever loses this game could be chasing the rest of the AFC East pack for the rest of the season. QB Ryan Tannehill (Ankle, Probable; 13-10 ATS at Home) and the Dolphins registered an Under in their opener, while in Week 2, the final number of points scored drizzled over the posted Total of 42 by 1 point as the Jaguars beat the Dolphins, 23-20 with the Totals wager being determined by the Jaguars Jason Myers game-winning 28-yard FG with 40 seconds left—although Under bettors only had a shot to win with a scoreless OT with the game tied 20-20 in the 4th Quarter.

Because of this game’s huge significance in the AFC East and because both the Bills and Dolphins are chasing the 2-0 Patriots (-13½ vs. Jaguars, 47½, Pinnacle), and Jets (Jets -2 vs. Eagles, 46, Pinnacle) fearing a Loss and that miserable 1-2 start, both teams won’t want to make an early mistake, potentially giving valuable momentum to the opponent. There will probably be a decent amount of passing, but getting TD’s with possessions is the usually the thing that hurts Unders and this should be a chess-match game, with both teams settling for many FG attempts and both Defenses making some crucial stops in a close affair.


Total Results Last 10 Meetings Between Buffalo Bills-Miami Dolphins at Miami
2014—Dolphins 22 Bills 9 
Total: 40½
Result: Under

2013—Bills 22 Dolphins 21 
Total: 43
Result: Push

2012—Dolphins 24 Bills 10 
Total: 43
Result: Under

2011—Dolphins 35 Bills 8 
Total: 44
Result: Under

2010—Bills 17 Dolphins 14
Total: 40
Result: Under

2009—Dolphins 38 Bills 10
Total: 37
Result: Over

2008—Dolphins 25 Bills 16 
Total: 41½
Result: Under

2007—Bills 13 Dolphins 10 
Total: 41
Result: Under

2006—Bills 16 Dolphins 6 
Total: 37
Result: Under

2005—Dolphins 24 Bills 23 
Total: 35
Result: Over


Game Expectations and Series Trends
As you can see from the scores over the last 10 season for this game in Miami Gardens or in Miami, the Under is a very strong 7-2-1 ATS in the L10 meetings in the Sunshine State, and last season, both games in this series went Under, with Buffalo beating Miami, 29-10 in Week 2 in Buffalo to go under the posted Total of 43, while in the game here at Miami Gardens in Week 11, the Dolphins won 22-9 with the number falling well under the Total of 40½ on the NFL odds board. And, as a matter of fact, the Under is an unblemished 5-0-1 ATS over the L6 meeting in this AFC East series, so at least the Trends support backing the Under at the highest number  available (41½, Pinnacle).

This should be a somewhat sluggish, defensive battle from the outset, and with two QBs not known for racking up the points or high Passing yardage and still fairly young in Ryan Tannehill and Tyrod Taylor, game management may be the QB’s biggest role here with this game meaning so much in the AFC East and both teams sitting with 1-1 records—and both sitting behind the undefeated Super Bowl champion and perennial division champion New England Patriots (2-0 SU) and the upstart New York Jets (2-0 SU)—expect some conservatism in the play selection. The Weather may also play a part—especially with the Northern-dwelling Bills—with a warm 86° game-time High forecast, although most professional football players are well used to the Heat and Humidity to a large degree and Summer just officially ended last Tuesday. The heat will affect the Bills more obviously, most likely showing its effects in the 4th Quarter.

And as far as giving an edge to one side here, the Dolphins (33/1 to win Super Bowl, bet365) opened up at the Redskins in Week 1 and then went across the state to Jacksonville get upset by the Jaguars in Week 2. So, this will be the Home Opener for the Fish, a definite edge as well. And coming off a Loss to the Jaguars, expect Miami to be really motivated in this one. But the Bills (33/1 to win Super Bowl, bet365) are coming off games against the Colts at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts and in Week 2 against the Patriots, so the strength of competition so far gives a significant advantage to the visiting Bills. And with a slightly better Roster and those two monster games behind them, expect Buffalo to give the Dolphins a run for their money here in Miami Gardens and possibly win here on Sunday afternoon. Note: The Bills closed last year’s Regular Season on a tear of 7 Under in their L8.

Predicted Final Score: Buffalo Bills 22 Miami Dolphins 19

NFL Pick: Under 41½ at Pinnacle

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