Dolphins vs Bengals Odds, Prediction for Thursday Night Football
Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow.
- The Dolphins open Week 4 of the NFL season on the road against the Bengals.
- Cincinnati is favored, despite being 1-2 against an undefeated Miami team.
- Check out Sean Koerner's breakdown and betting pick below.
Dolphins vs. Bengals Odds
There's plenty of uncertainty ahead of this Week 4 kickoff between the Dolphins and Bengals. Plenty of key players' statuses are unknown, headlined by some big names on the Miami offense.
Let's preview the game and try to find a pick.
Dolphins vs. Bengals Matchup Analysis
Dolphins vs. Bengals DVOA Breakdown
When the Dolphins Have the Ball
There’s still some uncertainty as to who will actually suit up for the Dolphins.
Tua Tagovailoa is questionable with a back injury. Although many thought Tagovailoa suffered a concussion on Sunday, he cleared that protocol and returned to finish off the Dolphins’ win over Buffalo. He intends to play this game, although whether he does is not certain.
WR Jaylen Waddle and LT Terron Armstead are both questionable but expected to play. It’ll be critical for Miami to have Armstead, who will be tasked with slowing down Bengals pass rushers Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson.
On the Cincinnati defensive side, D.J. Reader has already been ruled out due to a knee injury, which is a massive blow. Reader is Pro Football Focus’ No. 1-ranked interior defensive lineman.
The loss of Reader and Tagovailoa playing at less than 100% on a short week could invite the Dolphins to lean on the run game a bit more than they have so far this season.
When the Bengals Have the Ball
Burrow has been sacked a league-high 15 times this season, despite only facing a 33.6% pressure rate that ranks 14th among 31 qualified QBs. Some of the blame for that can be placed on Burrow, but a lot of it could be due to a rebuilt Bengals offensive line taking its time to get used to each other
It will be a relief for Burrow to face a Dolphins defense that has generated the fourth-lowest pressure rate this season. On the back end, Miami could also be without cornerback Xavien Howard, who’s questionable due to a groin injury.
The Bengals have really struggled to run the ball this season, ranking 30th in Football Outsiders’ Rush DVOA. Cincinnati is 26th in passing, but I think we can chalk that up to a small sample size. Burrow and the air attack should be a top-five passing offense going forward.
The Dolphins have a pass-funnel defense that ranks 29th against the pass and seventh against the run. That sets up perfectly for a Bengals team that has struggled on the ground this season. Cincinnati ranked ninth in early down pass rate in Weeks 1 and 2, but it threw at the third-highest rate on early downs in Week 3 in a relatively neutral game script.
I’m expecting Miami to try to lean on its run game a bit more because of its injuries. On the other side, Cincinnati should be able to play with a lead for most of the game, which could lead to a more conservative offensive approach.
Unders have been cashing at a high rate this season (67%). The median final score has been 40, compared to a median total of 44.5. The public hasn’t caught up to this early season trend, which is clear since 57% of the action has been on the over.
For football totals, 47 is a key number. We got over that hump on Thursday morning, getting as high as 48.5 on BetMGM. It's 48 elsewhere, except at FanDuel, where they're holding steady at 47.5 as of 10:15 a.m. ET.
There are other key players whose statuses for this game are uncertain, so my stance may change based on who’s active. Be sure to follow me in the Action App to see if/when I pull the trigger on the under.