I’m getting a lot of sucker vibes from the betting lines for the Miami Dolphins (3-0) Thursday Night Football visit to the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) in Week 4.
Betting Deets (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Dolphins (+160), Bengals (-190)
- Against the spread (ATS): DOLPHINS +3.5 (-110), Bengals -3.5 (-110)
- Total (O/U) — 48 — O: -110, U: -110
How is Miami getting more than a field goal against a Cincy team that’s looked like trash?
The Dolphins slayed the old division-nemesis New England Patriots in Week 1, rallied in the fourth quarter to stun the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 and beat the Super Bowl-favorite Buffalo Bills Sunday.
Whereas the Bengals were upset in Week 1 as 7-point home favorites against the Mitchell Trubisky-led Pittsburgh Steelers. Then Cincy lost as 7-point road favorites at the Dallas Cowboys sans Dak Prescott.
If this is a “trap line” then I’m falling for it. BET the MIAMI DOLPHINS +3.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Is Ballin’
Tua is outplaying every quarterback not named “Patrick Mahomes” through the first three weeks of the season including Bengals QB Joe Burrow.
Granted, Burrow’s issues may due to his team and offensive line issues (more on that below). But, Tua leads the NFL in QBR and Burrow ranks 19th.
Miami’s first-year head coach, Mike McDaniel, is an offensive-minded guy from the Kyle Shanahan coaching staff. So far so good for the Tua-McDaniel connection.
The Dolphins coasted past Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Week 1. And Tua had an all-time performance vs. the Ravens in Week 2 with six passing TDs and 469 passing yards.
Miami > Cincy In The Trenches
The Bengals have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL entering Week 4. This is bad news because they are a facing Miami defense that is good at scheming up pressures.
The Dolphins rank third in both pass rush and run stopping win rates, per ESPN. While Cincy’s offensive line has the fourth-worst pass block win & fifth-worst run block rates.
Also, both teams are dealing with injuries but the Bengals’ confirmed absence for Thursday Night Football is concerning.
Cincy DT D.J. Reader is Pro Football Focus’s (PFF) highest graded defensive interior lineman. Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson exited last week’s game early with an injury and is questionable for Week 4. Hendrickson is PFF’s 7th-highest graded edge rusher.
Dolphins Have Faced Way Tougher Competition
Miami’s strength of schedule has been much tougher than Cincy’s through the first three games. The Dolphins faced QBs Mac Jones in Week 1, Lamar Jackson in Week 2 and Josh Allen Sunday. Lamar has the 2nd-best odds to win the NFL MVP (+550) and Allen has the best odds (+300).
Cincy has played QBs Mitchell Trubisky, Cooper Rush and Joe Flacco. Honestly, it’s TBD on Rush. The kid looks like he can play a little. But, Trubisky and Flacco are fill-ins for young QBs. Plus Trubisky is 22nd in QBR and Flacco is 28th.
There’s a narrative floating around in the sports betting space that this could be a “let-down” game for the Dolphins. That’s absolute nonsense though. Who’s flat for a primetime game against the reigning conference champs?
Also, the competitor in Tua has to be fired up to face Burrow. Tua was a heavy favorite in the 2019 college football preseason to win the Heisman Trophy eventually won by Burrow. The first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was expected to be Tua before Burrow’s legendary final season at LSU.
Finally, Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill is going to torch Cincy’s secondary Thursday. Hill is still pissed off at Bengals CB Eli Apple for talking shit on Twitter.
The Cheetah said so this week:
Does Miami look like a team prone to a “let-down” game entering Week 4?
The Dolphins are going to overcome fatigue from last week’s war with the Bills in hot-ass Miami and, at least, keep it close with the Bengals.
Go to DraftKings Sportbook and BET 1 unit on the MIAMI DOLPHINS +3.5 (-110).
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