Thursday Night Football betting preview: Bills at Dolphins -11-12-2014

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Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-5.5, 42)

After suffering heart-breaking setbacks in their last outings,
the Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills battle for playoff survival
when they meet in Miami on Thursday night. The Dolphins dropped
a narrow decision to Detroit on Sunday when Matt Stafford threw
a touchdown pass with 29 seconds to play. The Bills blew a
fourth-quarter lead of their own after a muffed a punt proved
costly in a 17-13 loss to the Chiefs.

It is a crucial affair as both teams trail New England by two
games in the AFC East standings. Including a 29-10 decision in
Week 2, the Dolphins have lost three straight to the Bills,
their longest losing streak since going 0-4 from 2006-07.
Points could be tough to come by as Miami ranks fifth and
Buffalo is seventh in total defense.

TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL.

LINE HISTORY: After opening the Dolphins at
-5, the line has jumped back and forth between that number and
-5.5, where it currently sits. The total opened at 42.5 and has
moved down slightly to 42.

INJURY REPORT: Bills – WR Marcus Easley
(questionable Thursday, knee), CB Ron Brooks (questionable
Thursday, groin), WR Marquise Goodwin (questionable Thursday,
ribs).  Dolphins – G Billy Turner (questionable Thursday,
foot), CB Cortland Finnegan (questionable Thursday, neck), G
Darren Colledge (questionable Thursday, back),  TE Dion
Sims (questionable Thursday, toe), LB Kelvin Sheppard
(questionable Thursday, hip), LB Koa Misi (questionable
Thursday, back).

WEATHER REPORT: There is a 20 percent chance
of rain at game time with a slight chance of thunderstorms.
Temperatures will be in the low 70’s with a five mile per hour
wind blowing across the field.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS:
Bills (-0.75) – Dolphins (-3.5)
+ home field (-3) = Dolphins -5.78

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Both of these teams are
coming off disappointing blown opportunities last Sunday, as
both led in the fourth quarter, only to eventually fall short.
The Bills offense couldn’t take advantage of terrific field
position provided by the defense all afternoon long against
Kansas City. This unit has been hot-and-cold for much of the
season, and continues to rely on a running back by committee,
although it did get some help with veteran Fred Jackson
returning last week. The Dolphins have had a miserable time
against the Bills recently, including a blowout loss in Buffalo
earlier this season. They’ll need to get going from a standing
start this week, and I can’t help but feel they’re being asked
to lay a couple of points too many. Home field advantage
doesn’t mean quite as much in a mid-November night game against
a familiar divisional foe in my opinion.” – Covers
Expert Sean Murphy.

WHAT BOOKS SAY:

CHEERLEADER WAR:

ABOUT THE BILLS (5-4, 4-5 ATS, 2-7 O/U):
Hampered by groin injuries running back Fred Jackson returned
from a two-game absence and totaled 49 yards from scrimmage and
rookie sensation Sammy Watkins struggled against the Chiefs on
Sunday. Watkins hauled in just 4-of-10 targets for 27 yards
after amassing 279 yards his prior two games and he totaled 117
yards and a score in the team’s first meeting. E.J. Manuel was
under center for Buffalo when the Bills beat the Dolphins
earlier in the season but Kyle Orton has completed 65.6 percent
of his passes and is 3-2 since taking over.

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (5-4, 5-4 ATS, 4-5 O/U):
Miami lost Knowshon Moreno to a season-ending ACL injury in the
third week of the season. Since then Lamar Miller has excelled
but he entered last week’s game battling a shoulder injury and
had five only touches for six total yards in the contest.
Miller says he’ll play on Thursday which will take some of the
burden off improving quarterback Ryan Tannehill who has thrown
15 scoring passes and also become a threat with his legs
rushing for 245 yards on the season.

TWEET BEAT:


TRENDS:

* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Bills are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

COVERS CONSENSUS: Almost 58 percent of wagers
are backing the Dolphins as 5.5-point favorites.

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