NFL Thursday Night Football Betting Picks: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Sun Life Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network

Opening Line: Miami -5
Current Line: Miami -6
Opening Total: 42
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: Dolphins -235 / Bills +195
Current Money Line: Dolphins -250 / Bills +210

The Dolphins are 6 point favorites against the rival Bills Thursday in a battle of AFC playoff contenders.
The Dolphins are 6 point favorites against the rival Bills Thursday in a battle of AFC playoff contenders.

The 5-4 Miami Dolphins and 5-4 Buffalo Bills are surprising playoff contenders in the AFC this year. The two long time AFC East rivals meet Thursday in Miami. Both teams are 2 games behind the 7-2 New England Patriots in the division standings.

Since 2001, Buffalo leads the series 15-12 against Miami. The Bills have won 3 straight games in the series. Buffalo won both meetings last year, and the Bills also won earlier this year at home 29-10.

Buffalo is coached by Doug Marrone. The Bills have home losses to the San Diego Chargers 22-10, Patriots 37-22 and last week against the Kansas City Chiefs 17-13, along with a road loss at the Houston Texans 23-17. Buffalo has road wins at the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime, Detroit Lions 17-14, and New York Jets 43-23. The Bills have home wins over the Dolphins 29-10 and Minnesota Vikings 17-16. Buffalo is 4-5 ATS and the total is 2-7 this season. The Bills were 2 point favorites against the Chiefs  and the total was 42.


Miami is coached by Joe Philbin. The Dolphins have a road loss at the Bills 29-10 and last week against the Detroit Lions 20-16 and home losses to the Kansas City Chiefs 34-15 and Green Bay Packers 27-24. The Detroit loss snapped a 3 game winning streak for Miami. The Dolphins have home wins over the Patriots 33-20 and San Diego Chargers 37-0. Miami has road wins against the Oakland Raiders 38-14 in London, Chicago Bears 27-14 and Jacksonville Jaguars 27-13.  The Dolphins are 5-4 ATS and the total is 4-5 this season. Miami was a 3 point underdog against the Lions and the total was 43.

Buffalo is outscoring teams 21-20 this season. The Bills are #7 in points allowed. Buffalo is averaging 331 yards per game including 231 passing and 100 rushing yards per game. On defense, Buffalo is allowing 321 yards per game including 225 passing and 96 rushing yards. The Bills are #8 or better in all defensive categories. Buffalo is 49/134 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 48/135. The Bills have forced 34 sacks and allowed 24 this season. Buffalo is +5 in turnovers. The Bills have one special teams touchdown and has allowed 2 defensive touchdowns.

Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton took over for the ineffective E.J. Manuel. Orton has completed 65.6% of his passes for 1,387 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Manuel threw for 838 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and rushed for 52 yards with a touchdown.

Running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (broken collarbone) are both battling injuries. Jackson returned last week and is probable against the Dolphins, but Spiller is likely out for the season. Jackson has 249 rushing yards with a touchdown along with 37 catches for 300 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Dixon has been the feature back without Jackson and Spiller. Dixon has 58 carries for 243 yards, along with 3 catches.

Receiver Sammy Watkins has 42 catches for 617 yards and 5 touchdowns. Woods has 34 catches for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Scott Chandler has 26 catches for 307 yards and a touchdown. Seven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Miami is outscoring teams 25-19 this season. Miami is #11 in scoring and #5 in points allowed. Miami is averaging 354 yards per game on offense including 226 passing and 128 rushing yards per game. The Dolphins are #14 in total offense and #7 in rushing. On defense, Miami is allowing 310 yards per game including 211 passing and 99 rushing yards. The Dolphins are #4 in total offense, #2 in pass defense and #10 in rushing defense. Miami is 50/127 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 60/145. The Dolphins have forced 28 sacks and allowed 20 this season. Miami is +5 in turnovers. The Dolphins have 3 defensive touchdowns this season and have allowed a special teams touchdown.

Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 64.3% of his passes for 2,114 yards with 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, plus 33 carries for 245 rushing yards. Running back Lamar Miller  has 110 carries for 528 yards with 5 touchdowns along with 22 catches  for 140 yards and a touchdown. Knowshon Moreno is out for the season with a knee injury, so look for Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams to get some carries as well.

Receiver Mike Wallace has 40 catches for 519 yards and 6 touchdowns. Jarvis Landry has 37 catches for 354 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Charles Clay has 34 catches for 315 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brian Hartline has 26 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown. Seven defensive players are on the injury report for the Dolphins.

Buffalo is 4-1 ATS in week 11, 5-2 against AFC East teams, 2-5 overall, 3-8 after passing for 250 yards or more, 1-4 in November and against AFC teams, 1-5 after gaining more than 350 total yards, and 1-6 in November. The Bills have covered in 4 of the last 5 games against the Dolphins. The under is 4-1 in this series overall recently and 5-2-1 in Miami between the teams.

Miami is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 4-1 on grass, 5-2 after a straight up loss and after failing to cover, 7-3 after gaining more less than 250 total yards, 9-4 against AFC teams, 11-5 at home, 19-9 after allowing 350 total yards or more, and 2-5 after allowing more than 250 passing yards. The favorite is 6-1 ATS in this series recently. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the series.

This should be a low scoring game as both teams have top 10 defenses. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses that they had chances to win. Buffalo won handily earlier in the season at home, and I think they pull off the narrow road upset.

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