The Miami Dolphins are in first place after one week of football. The Dolphins beat the Patriots last week in a minor upset, prevailing 17-16. The Buffalo Bills laid an egg against a rejuvenated Pittsburgh Steelers team that seems to play its best football in the first half of the season only to predictably fade down the stretch.
Josh Allen disappointed in week one, completing 30 of 51 passes for merely 270 yards and one touchdown. Bills’ wide receiver Stefon Diggs also underwhelmed on Sunday, notching only 69 yards. Let’s take a quick look at how to handicap the Bills’ and Dolphins’ game scheduled for 1 PM at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Point Spread: Bills -3.5
The Bills are slight favorites over the fish in spite of the fact that the team’s offensive line played poorly last week against the Steelers. The Bills’ left tackle, Dion Dawkins, was a turnstile the entire game. However, Miami’s pass rush has weakened this season following the departure of rush specialist Shaq Lawson. Lawson is now a New York Jet.
Sort through the Bills’ prior games played in Miami’s late summer heat and you will find the team has historically struggled in the Sunshine state’s oppressive humidity. Allen, a native of California, played his college ball in comparably cold Wyoming.
Let’s shift our attention to the injury report. Bills’ wide receiver Gabriel Davis is questionable with a leg injury. Star Lotulelei, the team’s formidable presence up the middle, missed last week’s game and is also questionable for Sunday against the Dolphins. Isaiah McKenzie and Matt Milano are also questionable for the Bills.
Miami’s tight end Adam Shaheen, wide receiver Preston Williams and linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel are all questionable.
The Bills will need Lotulelei in the lineup to contain Myles Gaskin. Savvy gamblers will roll with the Bills’ moneyline if Lotulelei is active. However, if this monster in the middle of the Bill’s D-line is inactive, the Bills’ moneyline won’t look nearly as attractive.
The Over Under: 47.5
The Bills put up a lowly 16 points against the Steelers’ defense last week. Miami mustered a mere 17 points against the Patriots in the first week of action. Miami will certainly benefit from its customary warmth and humidity yet the home field advantage will be limited as Bills fans travel better than any other fan base in the league. The lack of noise in Hard Rock sets the stage for the Bills to communicate without resorting to hand signals while on offense.
Allen is due for a bounce-back game in which he posts 350+ passing yards and four cumulative scores. Miami’s Jaylen Waddle shined bright in week one, starting alongside Devante Parker. The Bills should be good for 28 points or more. Miami has enough offensive talent to put up 17+ points at home.
This game should eclipse the over/under total of 47.5. Buffalo will likely prevail with a final score of 31 – 20.