Bills vs. Dolphins Odds, Picks, Predictions: Is Buffalo Overvalued As 14-Point Favorite On NFL Sunday?
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen.
- Are the Bills overvalued as 14-point favorites against the Dolphins? Our analyst breaks down the Bills vs. Dolphins odds and matchup below in order to make his pick.
- While he doesn't see value on this spread, he has identified value on the Dolphins' team total.
- Read his full Bills vs. Dolphins betting guide below.
Bills vs. Dolphins Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
A victory in Week 17 last season would’ve clinched a playoff berth for the Dolphins. Unfortunately, they lost and had to settle for a solid 10-6 season.
While the future looked bright for Miami, this season hasn’t gone according to plan, having lost six straight after winning its season opener. One of those losses was a 35-0 shellacking by these Buffalo Bills. However, Miami has shown some improvement over its last two games.
With a double-revenge spot against the Bills in Week 8, I expect the Dolphins to show some fight, be more efficient on offense and go over their team total.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Dolphins vs. Bills Injury Report
- WR DeVante Parker (Shoulder / Hamstring): Questionable
- C Greg Mancz (groin): Questionable
- LB Jerome Baker (knee): Questionable
- CB Noah Igbinoghene (Achilles / Groin): Questionable
- TE Dawson Knox (Hand): Out
- RT Spencer Brown (Back): Doubtful
- DT Justin Zimmer (Foot): Questionable
Dolphins vs. Bills Matchup
|Dolphins Offense||DVOA Rank||Bills Defense|
|Dolphins Defense||DVOA Rank||Bills Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Dolphins Improved Since Bills Blowout
According to FiveThirtyEight, the 1-6 Dolphins have a 3% chance of making the playoffs. While it might look like they don’t have much to play for, I don’t think it would have been difficult for head coach Brian Flores to grab his players’ attention in practice this week — all he had to do is play the tape of their last two losses to the Bills.
This game might very well be the Dolphins’ Super Bowl of the season.
Although they’ve lost six straight, their last two losses were by a combined total of five points. In both of those games, they also held the lead in the fourth quarter.
Players and coaches are evaluated weekly in the NFL, and no two individuals will come under more scrutiny than the head coach and quarterback. I think the jury is still out on whether both Flores and Tua Tagovailoa can succeed in their current positions.
The Dolphins are 14-point underdogs because of their humiliating shutout loss to the Bills in Week 2. However, it’s worth noting that Miami lost its starting quarterback less than five minutes into that matchup with a rib injury, and backup Jacoby Brissett came into the game cold.
It was clear from the start that Brissett lacked continuity with the first-team offense. He completed 24-of-40 passes for 169 yards in that game. And as a team, Miami finished with just 216 yards of offense compared to 314 yards for Buffalo.
However, the Dolphins won the time-of-possession battle by three minutes, despite turning the ball over three times. One of those turnovers occurred inside the red zone, and there were two other occasions inside the red zone when their drive stalled after failing to convert on fourth down.
Tagovailoa has also played better as he’s produced a completion rate of 70.2% and 80.0% in both games. According to RBSDM.com, his completion percentage over expectation (CPOE) was 9.1% higher during that span (only five other quarterbacks were better than him in that category).
His .181 expected points added (EPA) + CPOE composite put him ninth in the league, ahead of more prominent players like Tom Brady and Kyler Murray.
Bills Have Benefitted From Turnover Luck
Since we’re trying to make a case for Miami going over its team total, we’ll need to identify where Buffalo might be vulnerable. That looks a bit daunting considering the Bills’ No. 1 defense.
If we delve even deeper into those rankings, one might think that Miami has a better chance on the ground than trying to beat them through the air. However, that game plan would be contrary to how the Dolphins have operated this season. That’s because per TeamRankings, Miami is 31st in the league with 80.1 rushing yards per game.
It’s not just that the Dolphins inefficiently run the ball, but they just haven’t shown much of a commitment to it all season. Note that Miami also throws the ball 67.12% of the time, which is the highest in the league.
With Miami a two-touchdown underdog, bookmakers are projecting another dominant performance for Buffalo. If we follow that reasoning, it’s even more likely that Miami will completely abandon the run and open up its passing game. This has been a common theme for teams that play Buffalo this season, as the Bills are allowing the seventh-highest pass play percentage (62.82%) in the NFL.
One thing that shouldn’t go unnoticed is that the Bills have benefited from a league-high turnover margin in their favor of 1.8 per game.
I must admit that I have my suspicions whether they can maintain such a high turnover rate. For example, the highest turnover margin in the NFL last season was +0.7 per game by the Buccaneers.
This isn’t to take anything away from the Bills, but there’s no question that it has certainly added to their mystique as a defense. And if we put aside their two shutouts, they’ve allowed at least 20 points in their four other games.
Moreover, the Dolphins have scored at least 17 points in their six games against the Bills before this season. Thus, I’m much more inclined to take a chance that the Bills won’t be as successful defensively the second time around within six weeks.
Bills vs. Dolphins Picks
The Dolphins rank 26th in Total DVOA and 28th overall in yards per game (307.6), but they’re in the league’s top half in their last three games, with 381 total yards per game.
I still think this team can move the ball down the field, and despite their red-zone woes against the Bills in Week 2, the Dolphins are ranked 11th in converting 63.16% of those opportunities into touchdowns. That’s even higher than the Bills, who are converting 55.17% of theirs.
Given this revenge spot, the Dolphins still has something to play for. Plus Tagovailoa is desperate to prove that he’s worthy of being a starter amid possible trade rumors.
And given how I project this game to play out, I wouldn’t rule out a late Dolphins’ score to get over their team total.
Pick: Dolphins Team Total Over 16.5 | Bet to: 17
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