Saturday football is back on the menu in the NFL, as we enter the most wonderful time of the year. With the college football regular season in the rearview mirror, the NFL has games slated for four different days per week.
That starts with a tripleheader Saturday, which will be capped by an AFC East showdown between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. Kickoff is slated for 8:15 p.m. ET at Highmark Stadium with temperatures slated to be below 30 degrees in Orchard Park. Snow showers are also in the forecast, meaning we could get a snow game.
Buffalo, which holds the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture, appears to have the advantage this weekend on all fronts. The Bills are 10-3, riding a four-game win streak and seem to be back on track after a brief two-game slump in early November.
The Dolphins, on the other hand, might be getting a bit exposed down the stretch. They have dropped back-to-back games, including last week’s 23-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football. Miami (8-5) would be the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs if the season ended today.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Bills as a 7.5-point home favorite with an over/under of 42.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday, CBS
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Bills -7.5
Money line: Dolphins +278/Bills -355
Analysis: Neither team is above .500 against the spread this season. Buffalo is 6-6-1 ATS but has only covered the number twice in its last seven games. Miami is 6-7 ATS, falling to cover the number in back-to-back games.
With the spread sitting just above a key number, that makes betting on this game even more interesting. These teams met in Week 3 when the Dolphins secured a 21-19 home victory. That game finished well under the point total of 53, while the Bills lost outright as a 4.5-point favorite.
Mike McDaniel’s offense hasn’t been as explosive as it was early in the season, as the Dolphins have finished with just 17 points in each of their last two outings. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is coming off a performance in which he completed just 35.7% of his passes for 145 yards. Now, Tua is slated to compete in his first NFL game in freezing conditions.
While the Bills should avenge their Week 3 defeat on Saturday, the spread seems a bit much given the expected forecast in this divisional matchup. Expect Miami to hang around in a low-scoring affair this weekend.
Prediction: Bills 21, Miami 16