We often talk about how teams “find a way to win.” And maybe that description fits the Miami Dolphins, who have slain three of the big guys in the AFC already on their way to an undefeated record.
But the question BetOnline customers may want to ask themselves is, “Can a team sustain this while it is getting outgained by sizable margins against opponents?”
They may also want to ask whether a team – or at least its defense – can recover after spending 90 plays on the field in hot and humid weather and do so to play just four days later.
That is the situation as they visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati (kickoff 8:15 PM ET).
In the Thursday Night NFL betting odds posted on this game, the Bengals are the favorites:-
Cincinnati Bengals -3.5 (-107)
Miami Dolphins +3.5 (-113)
Over 48.5 points -110
Under 48.5 points -110
There are “analysts” who have elevated the Dolphins to the top of their power ratings based on their 21-19 victory over a very formidable Buffalo Bills team, which came on the heels of a 21-point comeback against the Baltimore Ravens the week before.
But while Miami must be commended for being able to hold on defensively at key moments against Buffalo, what can’t be ignored is that they were completely dominated statistically as per the betting news.
For example, the Bills held the ball for 42 minutes and 20 seconds. They outgained the Dolphins 497-212, which – and we’ll do the math for you – is a gap of 285 yards. Buffalo had 15 first downs, compared to just 15 for Miami. And the Bills ran 90 plays while the Dolphins had just 39. Those are extreme numbers on both sides.
How does all of this impact the way we should be looking at this game? It could illustrate that the Dolphins have been permissive against productive quarterbacks. They have allowed an average of 46.2 yards per drive, which is the second most in the NFL. In terms of the “net” yards per drive (the difference between the offensive and defensive figures), they are 26th in the league.
Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow is someone for them to be concerned about, if for no other reason than that we know what he is capable of. If the Dolphins are going to come with their wild blitz packages, which include sending the safeties, they’re likely to have some trouble. Last year, Burrow was elite against single-high coverage, with a 129.8 quarterback rating and almost ten yards per attempt.
And you’ve got to keep in mind that his group of receivers ranks among the best in the NFL. We expect that Ja’Marr Chase won’t be as silent as he was in Sunday’s win over the Jets when he had just 29 yards. Miami’s secondary has playmakers, like Jevon Holland, but they have forced just one turnover, and their sack rate is 26th in the league.
Neither team has developed much of a ground game; they have averaged 3.3 yards per carrying between them. So we expect the passing game to take over, which will affect the odds at NFL betting sites. Miami’s receivers are not at as big a disadvantage, but the Dolphins may not be able to exploit Cincy’s shaky offensive line the way Pittsburgh did with TJ Watt or Dallas did with Micah Parsons.
Maybe some fatigue setting in with the Dolphins? And is the best yet to come with the Bengals? We’ll lay the points with Cincinnati.
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