NFL Betting Picks: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Sunday, December 23, 2012, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Sun Life Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida
Opening Line: Miami -5
Current Line: Miami -4 1/2
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 41 1/2
Opening Money Line: Dolphins -215 / Bills +185
Current Money Line: Dolphins -210 / Bills +180

The Miami Dolphins are 4.5 point favorites at home against the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

The 6-8 Miami Dolphins retain the slimmest of playoff hopes as they host the 5-9 Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins would win the tiebreaker in a three way tie for the last playoff spot in the AFC if they finish 8-8 along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. That means Miami has to beat both Buffalo at home and beat New England on the road next week to close out the regular season. They also need Pittsburgh to beat Cincinnati this week, then have the Bengals and Steelers both lose next week.

Buffalo is coached by Chan Gailey. The Bills have lost 3 of their last 4 games including their last two. Buffalo was destroyed last week in Toronto by the Seattle Seahawks 50-17. The Bills are 6-8 ATS and the total is 8-6 this season.

Miami is coached by Joe Philbin. The Dolphins beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last week at home 24-3 to snap a 2 game losing streak. Miami has gone 2-5 in their last 7 games. Miami is 7-7 ATS and the total is 5-9 this season.

Buffalo leads the series 12-11 against Miami since 2001. The Dolphins have won 3 of the last 4 games in the series played in Miami. Buffalo has lost 9 consecutive November and December road games since 2010. The Bills beat the Dolphins at home 19-14 earlier this season.

Buffalo is averaging 340.8 yards per game on offense, including 201.2 passing yards and 139.6 rushing yards. The Bills are #6 in rushing and #25 in passing. Buffalo is being outscored 29-22 this season. The Bills are -10 in turnovers. Buffalo has forced 33 sacks and allowed 28 this season. The Bills are 67/175 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Buffalo is allowing 369.5 yards per game, including 225.4 passing and 144.1 rushing yards. The Bills are #30 in rush defense and #31 in points allowed. Buffalo has 3 special teams touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has completed 61.7% of his passes for 2,935 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, along with 44 carries, 179 yards, and a touchdown. He has been sacked 28 times this season. Back-up quarterback Brad Smith has 95 rushing yards, a touchdown catch, and a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Running back C.J. Spiller has 161 carries, 1,047 yards and 6 touchdowns along with 37 catches, 352 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Fred Jackson has 115 yards, 437 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 34 catches, 217 yards, and a touchdown. He is out for the season with a knee injury.  Tashard Choice has 41 carries for 166 yards.

Receiver Steve Johnson has 69 catches, 891 yards, and 6 touchdowns.  Tight end Scott Chandler has 42 catches, 546 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is probable with a groin injury. Donald Jones has 41 catches, 443 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a calf injury. T.J. Graham has 27 catches, 268 yards, and a touchdown. Other than the running backs, no other Bill has more than 10 catches. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin has 2 punt return touchdowns. He is out for the season with a groin injury. Fourteen Buffalo defensive players and six offensive linemen are listed as questionable, doubtful, or out Sunday.

Miami is averaging 316.2 yards per game on offense, including 203.2 passing and 112.6 rushing yards. The Dolphins are being outscored 20-19 this season. The Dolphins are #16 in rushing but 23rd or worse in all other offensive categories. Miami is -12 in turnovers. The Dolphins have forced 35 sacks and allowed 25 this season. Miami is 67/179 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, the Dolphins are allowing 348.9 yards per game, including 247.9 passing and 100.9 rushing yards. Miami is #8 in rush defense, and #6 in points allowed, but #26 against the pass. The Dolphins have 3 special teams touchdowns this season.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 58.7% of his passes for 2,929 yards with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, along with 159 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Tannehill has been sacked 26 times this season. Though his numbers aren’t terrible, they suffer in comparison to the spectacular numbers fellow rookie QB’s Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III are putting up this season.

Reggie Bush has 200 carries, 895 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 29 catches for 227 yards. Daniel Thomas has 91 carries, 325 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 156 yards. Thomas is out for the season with a knee injury. Lamar Miller and Javorskie Lane will also get a few carries. Lane has 2 touchdown runs and a receiving touchdown. Marcus Thigpen has a punt return and kickoff return both for touchdowns.

Receiver Brian Hartline has 67 catches, 1,002 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a back injury.  Davone Bess has 61 catches, 778 yards and a touchdown. Bass is out Sunday with a back injury after missing the Jacksonville game. Tight end Anthony Fasano has 36 catches, 289 yards and 5 touchdowns. Fullback Charles Clay has 18 catches, 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Other than the runnign backs no other Dolphin has more than 6 catches. Nineteen Dolphins are on the injury report, including 8 defensive players. Kicker Dan Carpenter is out for the season with a groin injury. The Dolphins signed veteran Nate Kaeding to replace him.

Buffalo is 4-9-1 ATS in road games, 2-5-1 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards, 2-6 in December, 3-13 after allowing 350 yards or more, and 0-6 after a double digit home loss. The under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 in this series and 4-1-1 in the last 6 in Miami.

Miami is 4-1 ATS in December, 6-2 against AFC East teams, 7-3 after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, 11-5 against AFC teams, 25-52-1 at home, 5-12 after a straight up win of 14 or more points, 9-30-1 at home against teams with losing road records, and 1-4 after allowing 15 points or less. The favorite has covered 4 of the last 5 in this series. The Dolphins are 3-1-1 ATS in the last five against the Bills in Miami.

Both of these teams are banged up at the skill positions and on defense. i think the Dolphins win a close game at home in a low scoring game.

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