Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills Matchup Preview (10/31/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills Matchup Preview (10/31/21)
After a Week 1 road victory in Foxborough, the Dolphins have lost six straight games. They’ve also gone through an identity crisis, deeply involved in trade rumors for Deshaun Watson while starting Jacoby Brissett during Tua Tagovailoa’s injuries.
The NFL world is starting to wonder if Tagovailoa is really the right guy for the job in Miami.
Meanwhile, Josh Allen is definitely the right guy for the job in Buffalo. But, he hasn’t had to do too much, as the Buffalo defense is historically good.
Statistically, the Bills seem better than their 4-2 record indicates. But they’ve suffered a couple of flukey losses, including in their last game against Tennessee. But Buffalo is now coming off a bye, and that’s a scary prospect for the Dolphins this week.
So, predictably, the Bills are 13.5-point home favorites this Sunday afternoon. But do they have enough juice to cover a two-touchdown spread?
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills Betting Odds
So, the Dolphins have lost six straight games, have failed to cover in four straight games, and have lost five straight games against Buffalo. Moreover, the Bills have won the last two games against their divisional rival by a combined score of 91-26.
So, I’m expecting more of the same this week.
The Dolphins can be tough to play, mostly because they force turnovers at an ungodly (and unsustainable) rate. However, this team ranks 29th in points for and 31st in points against. In straightforward, offense vs. defense football, it’s very easy to both move the ball against them and stop them on offense.
Meanwhile, the Bills have been elite on both sides of the football this season, especially with regard to efficiency:
Plus, that job becomes even easier for the Bills considering both their quarterbacks are listed on the injury report. Also, Miami defensive lineman Raekwon Davis is still out with his knee injury, which will make it tougher to get to Josh Allen.
It’s a rather square pick, but I’m incredibly low on the Dolphins. With extra time to prepare, I’m expecting Buffalo to blow out Miami in Orchard Park in Week 8.
My Predictions: Bills -13.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
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Date: Sunday, October 31
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY
TV Coverage: CBS
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills Live Stream
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Miami Dolphins: Jerome Baker (Q), DeVante Parker (Q), Xavien Howard, Byron Jones (Q)
Buffalo Bills: Dawson Knox (O), Justin Zimmer (Q)
Miami Dolphins Analysis
Miami is just really bad on both sides of the football. They rank among the bottom five teams in both offensive and defensive DVOA, per Football Outsiders. PFF has them graded out as the 12th-best defense but the 24th-best offense, plus they grade out extremely poorly in tackling (25th).
I can’t really diagnose the problem. I knew Miami was due for some regression after posting an unbelievable turnover differential in 2020, but this is remarkable.
Again, Tua just isn’t all that good. He’s made only four Big Time Throws to five Turnover Worthy Plays this season, per PFF, and is averaging just 7.1 yards per attempt.
Although he’s made some decent throws over the past two weeks:
TUA GIVES THE DOLPHINS THE LATE LEAD 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 24, 2021
But a loss in London is inexcusable for this Dolphins franchise, and Brian Flores needs to answer for his defense. The secondary has allowed a 65% completion rate 15:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio to opposing quarterbacks, and opponents are rushing for 4.2 yards per carry.
There are multiple ways to shred the Dolphins defense, and the offense hasn’t compensated for it. The Dolphins also have some Red Zone woes, wherein Miami ranks only 25th in Red Zone DVOA (24th in Pass, 27th in Rush). So, putting points on the board has been a problem.
Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
Buffalo Bills Analysis
I’ve been preaching it all season, but the Bills defense is playing at an elite level. Especially from an efficiency standpoint:
The loss to Tennessee was tough, however, as the Bills allowed 146 rushing yards and 34 points. But considering how well Derrick Henry is playing, it’s somewhat understandable. Against every other team in the NFL, the Bills have been the best defensive team in the NFL.
The secondary still played like an elite unit in that game, as well. On the season, Buffalo ranks first in passing defense DVOA and grades out as PFF’s best coverage team. Ryan Tannehill managed just a 62% completion rate and 216 yards and added an interception for good measure.
The Bills are cruising. I have some worries about the offense, as it’s been just average from an efficiency standpoint. Plus, I expected Buffalo to fill the box score a bit more against Kansas City and Tennessee. But Josh Allen can outscore his defense week-in and week-out, and that’s a Championship-winning formula.
Buffalo Bills Depth Chart
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills Daily Fantasy Picks
Miami’s secondary is a disgrace. The team also ranks 27th in passing defense DVOA vs. #1 WR’s.
Xavien Howard has allowed just a 52.5% completion percentage when targeted, but he’s also allowed over 17 yards per reception. This week, he’ll square up against Stefon Diggs, who caught nine passes and a touchdown last time out.
Diggs has been Allen’s top target all season, compiling 26% of Buffalo’s Target Marketshare in 2021. I believe he’s due for a huge day Sunday, as the Miami defense is ill-prepared to stop him.
So, Diggs is my top pick for DFS lineups in this matchup.
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