How To Bet The Lamest NFL Wild Card Game: Dolphins At Bills

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Last month, any NFL fan would’ve been thrilled to hear the 7-seed Miami Dolphins are facing the AFC East champion and 2-seed Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round of the AFC postseason.

The two Dolphins-Bills meetings during the regular season finished with 2- and 3-point margins with the home team winning each. Miami was 2-0 vs. Buffalo against the spread (ATS) but both meetings were back-and-forth games.

However, there is no juice for Dolphins-Bills part III. Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa suffered another concussion vs. the Packers on Christmas and has been ruled out of this game.

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa walks off field after Green Bay Packers beat the Dolphins 26-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa walks off field after Green Bay Packers beat the Dolphins 26-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Dolphins backup QB Teddy Bridgewater has been dealing with a dislocated finger on his throwing hand so rookie third-string QB Skylar Thompson is in line to start.

Miami’s uncertainty at quarterback combined with the market’s year-long infatuation with Buffalo has steamed the Bills from -11 on the opener up to the current number. This total is too rich for my blood.

Dolphins-Bills Betting Board (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: Dolphins (+575), Bills (-800)
  • ATS: Dolphins +13 (-105), Bills -13 (-115)
  • Total  43.5 — Over: -110, UNDER: -110

I’m going with the Keep It Simple Stupid logic and betting UNDER in Dolphins-Bills. Miami’s offense is banged-up, Buffalo’s defense is getting healthier and there are a couple of Under-friendly trends here.

Miami’s offense in Tua-concussion games

Tagovailoa exited the Dolphins’ 27-15 loss at the Bengals early with a concussion and sustained one vs. Green Bay. Miami is scoring roughly 17 points per in the six games affected by Tua’s concussions.

The Dolphins have scored 20 or more points in two of those games and one was against the Packers before Tua got concussed. They have turned the ball over 13 times in those contests as well.

Miami scored just 16 points vs. the Steelers in Tagovailoa’s first game back in Week 7 following a two-plus-game concussion-hiatus. The turnover issues will most likely lead to it trying to play keep away.

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

The Dolphins know they cannot get into a shootout with Bills QB Josh Allen and Co. Plus Buffalo could have a dull offensive game-plan knowing it has tougher games on the horizon.

A keep away strategy could work for the Dolphins initially. The Bills are one of the worst tackling teams in the NFL. The Dolphins have an edge in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

But, there’s a better chance this doesn’t work. Not only has Tua been ruled out but Miami All-Pro LT Terron Armstead is “questionable” to play and RB Raheem Mostert is “doubtful”.

Also …

Buffalo’s defense will play with its hair is on fire Saturday

Bills DB Damar Hamlin was discharged from the hospital in Cincinnati earlier this week. I’m assuming Hamlin will be at the game Saturday and a tribute will be shown on the jumbo-tron. This will add to the frenzy in Buffalo Saturday.

Buffalo Bills' fans holding up a sign honoring DB Damar Hamlin during a game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
Buffalo Bills’ fans holding up a sign honoring DB Damar Hamlin during a game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)

Bills All-Pro S Micah Hyde was activated off of the IR earlier this week as well. Aside from a season-ending injury to Buffalo edge rusher Von Miller, Buffalo’s defense is trending in the right direction.

Speaking of “trends,” there are a couple of …

Under-friendly trends for Dolphins-Bills

Games in the NFL wild card round are 11-31 Over/Under (O/U) since 2012. The Bills are 3-9 O/U when favored at least 10 points with -6.0 O/U margin since 2021, including four straight Unders. They are allowing only 11.2 points in those contests.

Regardless, roughly two-thirds of the action at DraftKings Sportsbook is on the OVER for Dolphins-Bills, per VSIN. Yet the total isn’t budging off the opener because of the obvious: Tua’s concussion.

Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs punts the ball into the stands after a TD catch against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs punts the ball into the stands after a TD catch against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

That said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at all concerned with Buffalo’s offense alone pushing this game Over the total. The Bills have boat-raced teams as big favorites since the beginning of last year.

They hung 47 on the Patriots in last year’s AFC Wild Card round and Buffalo has scored at least 32 points in three straight games, including vs. Miami in Week 15.

With that in mind, the way I’m getting down on this Dolphins-Bills meeting is by splitting a unit on the UNDER 43.5 (-110) for the full game and UNDER MIAMI DOLPHINS 14.5 Team Total (-110).

Odds for the UNDER in Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills and Miami's team total from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 12th at 3:15 p.m. ET.
Odds for the UNDER in Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills and Miami’s team total from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 12th at 3:15 p.m. ET.

PS Player Prop: Bills TE Dawson Knox

It sucks we are getting late to the party on one of Knox’s props because his receiving yards number opened at 31.5 and has been steamed up to 34.5. Either way, Knox has at least 37 receiving yards in eight of his 15 games this season.

On top of that, the Dolphins allow the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. They are 25th in receiving yards allowed and fourth in both receptions and TDs allowed to tight ends.

Buffalo Bills TE Dawson Knox catches a pass vs. the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
Buffalo Bills TE Dawson Knox catches a pass vs. the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Knox has the third-biggest TE mismatch of the NFL wild-card round, according to Pro Football Focus. All of Knox’s possible matchups have a 100+ QB Rating allowed in coverage.

He had 98 receiving yards vs. the Dolphins in Week 15 and was Buffalo’s second-most targeted pass catcher in that game. Knox has four catches in both games against Miami in 2022 and TDs in four straight games.

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox's receiving yards, receptions and anytime touchdown player props from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 12th at 3:15 p.m. ET.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox’s receiving yards, receptions and anytime touchdown player props from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, Jan. 12th at 3:15 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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