Dolphins vs Bengals Picks: 5 Thursday Night Football Predictions
Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow (left), Tua Tagovailoa (center) and Ja’Marr Chase.
- The Bengals are home favorites on Thursday Night Football against the Dolphins.
- Cincinnati won its first game of the season in Week 3, while Miami is 3-0.
- Our staff has five picks it's targeting for tonight's game, which you can check out below.
Dolphins vs. Bengals Odds
Dolphins vs. Bengals Picks
Stuckey: I think we need to slow down the love for the Dolphins, who I’ve seen some label as the best team in the NFL after their most recent win over the Bills to improve to 3-0 on the season, joining the Eagles as the only remaining unblemished teams.
Miami has certainly improved, but that’s crazy talk.
This team could easily and arguably should be 1-2. The Dolphins had an improbable comeback in Week 2 against the Ravens in a game where Baltimore had a 99% postgame win expectancy.
Then, last week against the Bills, they were outgained 497-212 even with Buffalo losing a plethora of starters on both sides of the ball with others cramping up throughout. If you include time of possession and snap count, we haven’t seen that improbable of a win in 25 years. Even against the Patriots in Week 1, Miami only got to 20 points even with a defensive TD in a pretty even game statistically.
Now, the Dolphins must travel on a short week to face the defending AFC champions, who seemingly finally figured some things out in a blow out win last week. This is a terrible spot for the beat up Fins, who may even be without Tua Tagovailoa and have a defense that should be gassed after facing 90 plays against the Bills offense a few days prior.
Miami’s defense, which I think came into the year overrated after facing many backups last year, also likes to blitz. That’s not a recipe for success against Joe Burrow.
Think this is a good buy-low/sell-high spot on Cincy up to -4.
Simon Hunter: We’ve seen this number jump all over. It opened at Bengals -1.5, jumped up to -4 and appears to have settled on Thursday morning at -3.5.
How can Miami bounce back in four days from such an emotionally draining divisional win over Buffalo? Not only is Tua Tagovailoa battling a back injury, but LT Terron Armstead and WR Jaylen Waddle are also injured. None of them practice this week until a walkthrough.
The Bengals, on the other hand, had a comfortable 27-12 win over the Jets. There are no injuries on the offense, with Joe Mixon able to practice this week.
We have had a couple of trends that favor the Bengals. Since 2015, teams coming off an outright win as an underdog that are also underdogs on Thursday Night Football are 0-12 straight-up (SU) and 1-11 against the spread (ATS). When they’re playing on the road, they’re 0-8 SU and ATS.
This is simply a bad spot for the Dolphins. I’ll take the Bengals up to 4.5.
Sam Farley: Thursday Night Football serves us up a treat with the Dolphins traveling into the Paul Brown Stadium looking to extend their 3-0 record.
The Dolphins haven't had an issue putting up points this season, with 83 points scored through three games thanks to one of the best pass-catching duos in the NFL: Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Bengals also have an incredible array of talent, so there's a feeling that this game could explode.
However, the line has dropped from 47.5 since opening but is back up to 48.5 at BetMGM as of 11:15 a.m. ET on Thursday.
With this being a short week and with Tagovailoa being banged up, this seems like a game in which the under really leaps out. The under has hit in the Bengals past eight games and that could extend to nine come Thursday night.
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John LanFranca: This is a simple situational play against the Dolphins.
Miami is coming off an incredible effort in a close victory against a divisional rival. The Dolphins defense was on the field for 90 plays and might have truly left it all on the field. Now, in a quick turnaround, they're asked to travel and do it once more.
The Bengals offense has improved each week according to DVOA, and it finally posted its first positive outing of the season in Week 3. Burrow was only sacked twice in what was an efficient performance on the road.
The Dolphins are banged up entering this game, as well, although I expect most of their key offensive pieces to play. The Bengals can feed off of the home crowd and jump on a tired Miami squad early in this contest.
Some books have moved the first half line to -3 already, so avoiding that key number is vital here.
Charlie DiSturco: While the Bengals have struggled to establish the run and protect Joe Burrow this season, it opens the door for Joe Mixon’s versatility as a pass-catching back to shine on Thursday night.
Through the opening three weeks, Mixon has caught 13 passes for 103 yards, and has eclipsed this current receiving yards prop (20.5) twice. He now gets a favorable matchup against a Dolphins defense that just surrendered 78 receiving yards to Devin Singletary.
I expect a similar defensive setup from Miami on Thursday, where they leave safeties over the top to limit Ja’Marr Chase — like they did with Stefon Diggs — and force Burrow into his second reads and, ultimately, checkdowns.
The Bengals are bottom 10 in pass blocking, according to Pro Football Focus, through three weeks, and right tackle La’El Collins is questionable. That could lead to even more looks for Mixon, who has been targeted 20 times in three games.
Until the Bengals shore up their offensive line, I will look to back Mixon in the coming weeks. He is always a threat to hit this over prop in just one catch due to his explosiveness as well, but I expect at least 3-4 receptions from the 26-year-old.
At 20.5, this number is too low for Mixon. According to our Action Labs data, Mixon is projected for 24.5 receiving yards, a 4.9% edge to the current number.
Cody Goggin: Tua Tagovailoa is unquestionably playing the best football of his NFL career right now. The Dolphins are 3-0 and have impressed with their passing attack so far this season. Despite being outplayed by the Bills this past weekend, the Dolphins are still a good team and deserve credit for coming out of that game with a win.
A large part of their success this season is not based on the addition of Tyreek Hill or the efficiency of their passing game, but also the volume at which the Dolphins have thrown the ball this season. Miami is passing at a higher rate than would be expected in every situation.
Overall, the Dolphins rank fourth in the NFL in pass frequency over expected on early downs this season.
Tagovailoa had 33 pass attempts against the Patriots in a game that Miami played from ahead most of the time, and he threw 50 times against the Ravens when playing from behind. Tagovailoa only had 18 passing attempts against the Bills, but this was due to Buffalo controlling the ball for most of the game, running 90 offensive plays to Miami's 39.
Mike McDaniel wants to throw to Hill and Jaylen Waddle often, with these short passes can be an extension of the Dolphins’ run game. I think that Tagovailoa will be throwing the ball often tonight, and for that reason I like him to go over his total of 23.5 passes completed.