The Miami Dolphins (3-4) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:25 EST at Sun Life Stadium and will be televised nationally on the NFL Network. The Bengals come in off an impressive 49-9 win over the Jets and have won four straight overall, while the Dolphins have dropped four consecutive games since opening the season 3-0. Oddsmakers have Cincinnati listed as a 2.5-point road favorite with the total set at 42.5 points.
Why Cincinnati Will Cover:
The Bengals came into the season with the expectations of winning the AFC North and so far they have clearly looked like the best team in the division. Cincinnati won’t be lacking any confidence after that impressive win over the Jets this past weekend. It appears this team is only getting better as the season progresses.
Laying points on the road in a primetime game can be risky, but with the line currently sitting at 2.5 it’s not all that concerning. For whatever reason the Bengals have continually been undervalued on the spread. They are 5-2-1 ATS on the season and a perfect 3-0 ATS in games where the line has been set at +3 to -3. A lot of times you look to fade teams off a huge blowout win, but the Bengals are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games off a win by 10 or more points and 15-4 ATS in their last 19 after scoring 24 or more points in the first half.
Cincinnati looks to have the edge on both sides of the football. The Bengals come into this matchup ranked 8th in total defense (320.4 ypg) and 9th in total offense (369.6 ypg). The Dolphins on the other hand are just 20th in total defense (355.0 ypg) and 28th in total offense (311.0). Only the Rams, Buccaneers and Jaguars average fewer yards/game. Adding to this is a solid system that tell us teams who total 400 or more yards in their last game, averaging 5.8 or more yards/plays on offense against an opponent who is allowing 5.4 to 5.8 yards/play are 25-5 (83.3%) ATS over the last 5 seasons when the line is listed at +3 to -3.
Teams who total 400 or more yards in their last game, averaging 5.8 or more yards/plays on offense against an opponent who is allowing 5.4 to 5.8 yards/play are 25-5 (83.3%) ATS over the last 5 seasons when the line is listed at +3 to -3.
Why Miami Will Cover:
The Dolphins appeared to be on their way to putting an end to their losing streak this past weekend, as they took a 17-3 lead into the half over the Patriots. Miami would then allow New England to score 24 unanswered to lose 17-27. That was the Dolphins third loss in their last four games by 10-points or less. Despite their struggles, this is still a good football team and one that’s capable of grabbing a win at home against the Bengals.
Cincinnati has the difficult task of playing on the road with short rest against a team that is desperate for a win. While the Bengals have been a money machine against the spread, road teams who have won 60% to 75% of their games and have covered the spread in 5 or 6 of their last 7 overall are just 34-71 (32.4%) ATS since 1983.
Road teams who have won 60% to 75% of their games and have covered the spread in 5 or 6 of their last 7 overall are just 34-71 (32.4%) ATS since 1983.
Something to keep in mind is that Bengals have a history of playing down to their competition. Cincinnati is just 10-23 ATS in their last 33 games vs a a marginal losing team (win percent between 40%-49%). The Bengals are also dealing with a lot of injuries right now and I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t rush anyone back on short rest with a huge division game at Baltimore next week.
Cincinnati comes into this game having scored at least 27 points in each of their last three games, but their offense can struggle at times when the ground game isn’t working. I believe Miami has more talent on defense than the numbers would indicate. If they can put pressure on Dalton and keep A.J. Green from making big plays down the field, I could see them pulling off the upset. Good offensive teams (23-27 PPG) against poor defensive teams (23-27 PPG), after scoring 25 points or more in 2 straight games are just 35-67 (34.3%) ATS since 1983.
Early Lean – Dolphins +2.5
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