NFL Football Betting: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals

NFL Football Betting:  Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals

The Thursday night NFL game this week features a pair of 1-2 teams with bigger aspirations. The Miami Dolphins are coming off their first win of the year but it wasn’t as easy as expected–the Dolphins outlasted the Cleveland Browns at home in overtime last Sunday. The Bengals, meanwhile, won their opening game against the New York Jets and have lost two straight since (at Pittsburgh, home to Denver). The Dolphins are 1-2 ATS while the Bengals are 0-2-1 against the spread. The Dolphins will host Tennessee in their next game (10/9) while the Bengals will play against the Cowboys in Dallas.

One of the tricks that successful NFL handicappers develop is the ability to figure out when teams just aren’t going to give their best effort. It’s not that they’re ‘phoning it in’–it’s just that they don’t have enough ‘in the tank’ to make a competitive effort. That might be the case for Miami here. We’ll preface this by saying that they’ve dominated head to head play against the Bengals historically (6-2 ATS, 5-1 ATS on the road) but the teams haven’t played in the past three years. The case against Miami is far more compelling. They were lucky to escape the game against the Browns with an outright win–had Cleveland’s backup FG kicker Cody Parkey not missed 3 FG they would have entered this game 0-3. It was a draining effort in overtime on a hot and muggy day (88 degrees) even by South Florida standards. The Dolphins have a cluster injury problem at center–they’ll be without starter Mike Pouncey and backup Anthony Steen. ‘Squares’ overreact when a team’s quarterback is out but underreact when a team’s center is injured and the Dolphins are down to the third string.

Cincinnati needs a win and they’ve been a hot starting team in recent years (7-2 SU/6-2-1 ATS). They’ve also been very good at home against the number going 19-5-1 in the last three years. Given the situational elements surrounding this game it’s tough to see the Dolphins being able to hang with a superior and successful home team. Miami on a 8-18 ATS run coming off a short week of preparation.