Buffalo and Miami are coming off polar opposite Week 2 victories. The Bills dismantled the Tennessee Titans, 41-7, while the Dolphins overcame a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens, 42-38.
Which 2-0 team will stay undefeated after their AFC East rivalry matchup?
Here’s everything you need from a betting perspective for the Bills-Dolphins game, from the point spread, moneyline, total over/under and expert pick (odds via FOX Bet):
Point spread: Bills -5.5 (Bills favored to win by more than 5.5 points, otherwise Dolphins cover)
Moneyline: Bills -227 to win favorites to win (bet $10 to win $14.41 total); Dolphins +175 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $27.50 total)
Total scoring over/under: 53.5 points scored by both teams combined
Buffalo and Miami are each 2-0 against the spread (ATS) and 2-0 straight-up (SU) this season; the Bills won and covered as favorites against the Titans last week, while the Dolphins won as underdogs against the Ravens last week. Both teams have split the O/U this season (1-1).
The Bills are 6-3-1 ATS and 9-1 SU against the Dolphins under head coach Sean McDermott (since 2017), with the over hitting in five of those games (one push). Meanwhile, the Dolphins are 16-8-1 ATS and 14-11 SU vs AFC East opponents since 2018, with the under hitting in 15 of those games.
Pick by FOX Sports Betting Analyst Warren Sharp:
The Bills defense ranks No. 1 in the NFL, but look at who they’ve faced. Two teams with below-average offenses (Rams No. 20, Titans No. 29).
And importantly, neither of these offenses have multiple receiving threats like the Dolphins now have.
Kupp caught 13-of-15 targets for 128 yards and 1 TD, scorching the Bills secondary. But the Rams have no one else close to his prowess.
Their No. 2 target was a tight end (Higbee) who had caught just 5-of-11 targets. Their No. 3 target was a running back.
And their quarterback was nursing an elbow injury on his throwing arm this offseason, and his head coach decided to call an obscenely run-heavy game on first down. The runs did absolutely nothing but set up the Rams for second and third-and-long situations.
This past week, the Bills shut down the Titans, who have an even worse receiver situation than the Rams.
Their No. 1 target in the game was a rookie playing his second NFL game (Treylon Burks). The Titans lost all their receiver juice as they dumped A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. And when this team falls behind and cannot run Derrick Henry, they are doomed.
And now, the Bills are even more banged up in the secondary.
Buffalo is already without CB1 Tre’Davious White for at least the first four weeks of the season.
Starting corner Dane Jackson was strapped to a backboard on Monday night in a scary injury, carted off and taken to the hospital after lying motionless on the field. He’s been released from the hospital but sustained a brutal head/neck injury.
Starting safety Micah Hyde sustained a neck injury, stayed on the ground, was taken to the blue medical tent and then carted to the locker room. It was later revealed that Hyde, too, was sent to the hospital to have his neck injury evaluated and was later released.
To combat this Dolphins offense, the Bills may need to outscore them.
Fortunately, they’ve been just fine with doing that vs. the Dolphins.
In their last seven games against the Dolphins, the Bills have scored no less than 26 points and have averaged an insane 37 ppg.
Five of these seven games have gone over, including five-of-six when Tua wasn’t injured.
Miami is 0-7 in these games and just 2-5 ATS.
Buffalo has scored and scored at will.
And part of it is simply the defense that the Dolphins play.
Miami is, by far, the No. 1 most man-heavy team in the NFL. Plain and simple, the Fins love playing man.
Last year they were the only team to play man over 40% of snaps, and they did it at a 46% clip.
So far this year, they’re No. 3 in the NFL.
But even worse for them is how much they love to blitz.
On early downs in the first three quarters, Miami blitzes at the No. 2 highest rate of any defense.
But they get pressure at the No. 2 lowest rate of any defense.
That’s a dangerous combination and is a big reason why this defense is the No. 2 worst defense against the pass this year, and that includes a game vs. Mac Jones.
Miami has allowed a league-high 12.2 yards per completion so far this year. It’s been an abysmal pass defense. And one ill-suited to face Josh Allen.
Against the blitz this year, Josh Allen ranks:
No. 1 in sack/INT rate
No. 2 in first down rate
No. 3 in TDs thrown
No. 4 in success rate
No. 5 in YPA
No. 6 in EPA/att
Josh Allen also ranks top-10 vs. man coverage.
The bottom line is what Miami wants to do defensively simply does not work against Josh Allen.
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