Bills vs. Dolphins Odds & NFL Betting Predictions For Week 2: Which AFC East Team To Bet Sunday
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
|Bills Odds||-3.5 (-105)|
|Dolphins Odds||+3.5 (-115)|
|Moneyline||-180 / +155|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
The season started slowly for the Buffalo Bills, who suffered a 23-17 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on opening weekend. Opportunities to swing momentum in their favor came, but Buffalo consistently came up short.
Buffalo was hyped in the preseason, largely due to its offense’s big-play ability. Needless to say, the Bills will need to show their Week 1 struggles were just rust come Sunday if they hope to avoid an 0-2 start.
While Buffalo stumbled out of the gate, Miami won a key divisional road game against the New England Patriots. On their way to victory, the Dolphins followed the recipe they established last season. They heavily relied on their defense to force turnovers and create field goals, while the offense focused on conservative, mistake-free play. We will see if that style continues against Bills, who should be one of the NFL’s elite offenses.
That said, let’s take a deeper look to see if Buffalo can find its first win or if Miami will start its campaign with two divisional victories.
Buffalo is hoping for a repeat of 2020’s regular-season finale against Miami. By halftime, the Bills were up 28-6 and coasting to a blowout victory.
The Bills were able to establish that big lead early, thanks to their offense’s ability to turn any play into a touchdown. In contrast, this is where they came up short against the Steelers in Week 1. There were two key occasions where quarterback Josh Allen had a wide receiver open for an easy touchdown and simply overthrew his teammate.
Allen signed a $258 million contract, largely in part because he connected on those type of throws on a regular basis last season. To keep this offense at elite status, he will need to get back to that standard.
Fortunately, Buffalo won’t solely rely on its passing attack against Miami. The Dolphins’ aggressive blitz and man-coverage style lend themselves to being beaten by the run. In their opener, the Patriots took advantage and Damien Harris gained 100 yards on the ground.
This week, the Bills likely won’t have the same focus on attacking through the run. However, Devin Singletary’s burst should be enough to break a couple of chunk runs when Miami overcommits to the pass.
Defensively, Buffalo played an outstanding first half against Pittsburgh, only allowing 37 yards. The Bills would crumble in the second half, though, allowing the Steelers to score on all four non-kneel-down possessions.
Miami’s offense will present similar problems. Both teams feature young, explosive receiving groups, but their respective offensive lines can be exploited. Buffalo had the seventh-highest pressure rate and allowed Harris to run for a mere 2.8 yards per carry. If they can replicate that success, a passing battle between Allen and Tua Tagovailoa should favor the Bills.
While Buffalo failed to convert its high-leverage plays, Miami seized each opportunity. On offense, the Dolphins had just two trips enter the Patriots’ red zone. They converted both into touchdowns, hoping that would be enough for their defense.
Miami’s defense did answer the call by playing stringent red-zone defense, only allowing New England to get inside its 25-yard line or close on five occasions. The Patriots would end those possessions with three field goals, a touchdown and a costly fumble that would end the game.
The offense did execute extremely well on their two touchdown drives. However, more consistency is needed. Excluding their two touchdown drives and their possession to end the game, Miami produced just 4.2 yards per play with only one drive lasting longer than five plays.
Letting opposing offenses dominate time of possession simply gives their defense too many opportunities to make a mistake, thus potentially allowing a big play. New England played into its hands with a conservative game plan, but Buffalo won’t be nearly as passive.
Defensively, Miami relies on a blitz-happy scheme up front, with man coverage on the back end. If the Dolphins choose to follow this same strategy, it could be a game to see who can win the most one-on-one matchups outside. That’s the game Miami played last season in Week 17 and we saw it backfire. We will see if it sticks to its guns or follow Pittsburgh’s path and only rush four men.
If the Bills don’t allow a blocked punt or hit either of their two open deep balls, this game would feel much different. Instead, Buffalo has all eyes on it as a road favorite in a game that could leave them two back in the AFC East. Being behind two games early in the season is far from a place to worry, but could be a blow to the Bills’ overall confidence.
With the extra value from this game, I expect Buffalo to come in focused and limit the Week 1 mistakes. The offense should be in a better position, as Miami will not be able to create pressure with just four pass-rushers. Then, if the Dolphins choose to blitz their corners, they will be left one-on-one situations. This should play into Buffalo’s hands, as it looks to spread the field and attack.
Back the Bills to win and continue their division winning streak. I’d play this up to -4.5.
Pick: Bills -3.5 (+105) at PointsBet