Dolphins vs. Bills Betting Odds & Picks: Can Buffalo Cover This Spread?
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Allen.
- The Buffalo Bills are massive 17-point favorites against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
- Our experts discuss whether you can trust Josh Allen and Co. to cover this massive spread and make their picks.
Dolphins at Bills Betting Odds & Picks
- Odds: Bills -17
- Over/Under: 41
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Everyone’s favorite underdog to fade is back with another double-digit spread. But is this the week to take the points?
Our experts break down whether you can trust the Bills as 17-point favorites, complete with a comparison to Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a staff spread pick.
Dolphins-Bills Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Bills
The Bills are looking good off the bye. Devin Singletary (hamstring) has been able to practice in full for the first time since the season began. Barring a setback, he should be ready to go.
The other injury to watch would be John Brown (groin), who has practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday and Thursday. He leads the Bills with 34% of their Air Yards and 22% of their target share.
CB Xavien Howard (knee) has got in limited practices, but he did the same thing last week and was ultimately ruled out. His potential absence would be great news for Bills receivers, especially if S Reshad Jones (chest) is ruled out. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Bills Pass Defense vs. Dolphins Pass Offense
The 0-5 Dolphins are bad at everything, but they’re especially poor in the passing game. They rank dead last in Football Outsiders’ pass offense DVOA and Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking grades.
At quarterback for the Dolphins will be starter-turned-backup-turned-starter journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. On the positive side, Fitz leads the league with a 12.0-yard average depth of target, and if the Dolphins are to have a prayer of winning, they’ll need to be aggressive with the ball and hope for a few lucky plays.
On the negative side is basically everything else. Fitz has a basement-level 55.7% completion rate this year and a sewer-level 4.2 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A).
Fitz is better than backup-turned-starter-turned-backup Josh Rosen (53.2%, 3.3 AY/A), but not by much. And if Fitz tanks early in the game, the Dolphins might once again turn to Rosen.
But regardless of who starts and finishes at quarterback, he’s likely to struggle against the Bills, who have created a dominant defense under third-year head coach Sean McDermott. They’ve held opposing teams to a bottom-three mark of 4.6 AY/A this season, which is unfathomably low. They have essentially turned the quarterbacks they’ve faced into Fitz-level passers. In five games, they’ve allowed just three passing touchdowns.
Only the Patriots, 49ers and Vikings have a higher PFF coverage grade than the Bills at 84.2.
Although wide receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams have talent, they’ll probably struggle against outside cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace, who have combined to allow a 54.2% catch rate for their careers.
In the slot, wide receiver Albert Wilson seems likely to face cornerback Taron Johnson (hamstring), who is practicing this week but has been out since Week 1. In his stead, Siran Neal and Kevin Johnson have filled in, and they might still see action if the Bills choose to ease Johnson back in. The three of them have combined to hold opposing receivers to just 179 yards on 28 targets. Whoever he faces, Wilson won’t have a clearly winnable matchup.
The Bills are yet to allow more than 250 yards passing to any opposing team. Given how bad the Dolphins are, the Bills’ sub-250 streak will probably be intact at the end of the weekend. — Matthew Freedman
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Bills -15.5
- Projected Total: 38.5
Life has been good since I decided to pass on taking a side on the spread in any Dolphins matchup. They’re truly one of the worst football teams we’ve ever seen and the market has been trying to correct for that by establishing unthinkable lines such as this one.
The Bills being favored by 17 points has forced the market to side with the Dolphins: 62% of the tickets and 84% of the money has come in on Miami as of writing (see live public betting data here).
The Bills aren’t the type of team that can pile on the points, so bettors are likely more willing to take the huge underdog here. But the Bills defense is more than capable of holding the Dolphins to single digits. In fact, the Bills’ strength is their running game, so this matchup sets up for them nicely.
I created a Pass/Run Funnel Model — which I use throughout my Week 7 power ratings analysis — and the Bills are popping with a rating of 0.78 in this matchup. On the season, teams with a rating of 0.78 or higher have covered 77% of the time (23-7). Smoothing out the data a bit has a 0.78 rating with a projected in-sample win rate of 63.8%.
The under is also popping in the PRFM, which is also aligned with my ratings. Any game with a rating below -0.34 has gone 10-5 (66.7%) on the under this season and has an in-sample projected win rate of 65.3%. — Sean Koerner
PRO System Match
The Bills have been the most profitable team to start the season. They’re 4-1 against the spread, covering by an average of 5.3 points. McDermott’s team is making it look easy. But as the old saying goes, if it looks too good to be true it probably is.
ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet against teams that have covered the spread by a big margin.
Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 308-237-16 (56.5%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,070 following this strategy.
The Dolphins have little chance to win, but covering is a different story. — John Ewing
PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.
Chris Raybon: Dolphins +17
One of the keys to betting NFL point spreads is to take the total into account. The lower the score, the more difficult it is for a favorite to pull away by enough to cover a big number even when they win.
The Bills are a perfect example of a good team whose style of play tilts the odds against them when it comes to winning big. They don’t get beat deep on defense, love to run the ball and have a quarterback in Josh Allen who turns the ball over at a high rate. And because Allen sometimes forgets he’s not a running back, he’s one of the most susceptible QBs to an in-game injury.
Six of Allen’s nine career wins have been decided by one score or less, and only two were by 17-plus. This season we’ve already seen the Bills go against many of the NFL’s worst teams, and the final point differentials have been mostly underwhelming: 17-16 (Jets), 28-14 (Giants), 21-17 (Bengals) and 14-7 (Titans).
According to our data at Bet Labs, road underdogs of +16 or better are 20-16-2 ATS since 2003, and though it would probably take decades to get a sample large enough to draw sweeping conclusions, I would expect it to be a trend that continues in the long term because lines this big are almost always artificially inflated.