Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals Matchup Preview (12/6/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

The Bengals (2-8-1) will be escaping the cold and traveling to the warm-weathered Miami Gardens for a waiting Dolphins (7-4) team. Cincinnati is coming off a very close matchup against the Dolphins that came down to the last minute of play. The Dolphins, meanwhile, look to pick up consecutive wins in the easy part of their schedule.

For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins Matchup Page.

TV Schedule

Date: December 6th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida
TV Coverage: CBS

Dolphins vs. Bengals Live Stream

Where can you watch Dolphins vs. Bengals online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Dolphins vs. Bengals Free Online Now.

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Injuries:

*Indicates Expected Week 13 Return
Miami Dolphins:
IR list: Vince Biegal (achilles), Davon Godchaux (biceps), Preston Williams (foot), Myles Gaskin* (knee). Questionable: Malcolm Perry (chest), Tua Tagovailoa (thumb), Salvon Ahmed (shoulder), Solomon Kindley (foot), DeAndre Washington (hamstring).

Cincinnati Bengals:
IR list: Renell Wren (quadriceps), C.J. Uzomah (achilles), John Ross* (foot), Darius Philips (groin), Joe Mixon (foot), Joe Burrow (knee), D.J. Reader* (quadriceps), Trae Waynes (pectoral), Takkarist McKinley (groin). Out: Stanley Morgan (undisclosed). Questionable: Alex Redmond (concussion), Mike Thomas (hamstring), Tony Brown (hamstring), Clark Harris (illness), Christian Covington (illness), Brandon Wilson (hamstring).

Miami Dolphins Analysis

Miami DolphinsAfter beating the New York Jets last week, the Dolphins are one step closer to a winning season. It would end a drought of 3 years and give Miami just its second winning record since 2009. The team’s success can be partially attributed to a decrease in penalties and turnovers. In the two years before head coach Brian Flores joined the team, Miami averaged 1.6 turnovers and 7.7 penalties per game. Since then, the numbers have gone down to 1.4 turnovers and 5.2 penalties per game. For all Flores has been coaching his players, fundamentals have clearly been a key component, and it’s helping his team win games.

The Miami offense, despite a constant rotation at quarterback, has been far from a disaster this year. Their 25.8 points (15th) per game ranks just above average in the league. They score that many points even though their offensive yardage per game remains just 311.9 yards (30th) per game. Only the Steelers travel fewer yards per point than Miami’s 12.1. I mentioned in my last article that this disparity between yardage and points is at least partly because of Miami’s average starting field position, which ranks among the best in the league. Entering last week, they usually start around their own 32.31-yard line, which is 3rd best. They simply don’t need to travel as far as other teams to score points. It’s a recipe for more points, fewer yards, and more wins.

Another reason for the less yardage but more points is because Miami has a great field goal kicker. No player in the league has made more field goals from 50+ yards out than Jason Sanders’ 8. Even more impressively, despite leading the league in attempts from 50+ yards, Jason Sanders’ is a perfect 100 percent, or 8 for 8, from that distance. Jason Sanders’ overall field goal percentage is 96% (8th), which ranks among the best in the league. By any measure, he has been fantastic for this Miami team and is a big reason why the Dolphins score more points than most NFL teams.

But kickers facing Miami have not been so successful. Opposing team’s field goal percentage against the Dolphins is a measly 61.54 percent, the worst percentage in the league against any one team. That number is down from the week before after Jets kicker Sergio Castillo went just 1 for 2 on his attempts against Miami. If the awful kicking against the Dolphins remains steady, it will be the worst field goal percentage against any one team since 2003. It will be interesting to watch Bengals’ kicker Ryan Bullock play this weekend. At 84.0%, his accuracy is among the lowest in the league. A field goal attempt against Miami on Sunday will actually be very exciting to watch.

But NFL fans should also be watching for who will be at quarterback for the Dolphins. Miami has played 11 games this year, 7 of them have been started by Ryan Fitzpatrick and 4 of them by Tua Tagovailoa. Early in the season, it looked like head coach Brian Flores wanted to go with Fitzpatrick. Then after Miami’s Week 7 bye, he benched his veteran for Tua. Three weeks later, Flores then benches Tua back for Fitzpatrick mid-game against Denver. The veteran got the start a week later. That brings us to week 13, where it remains unclear who is at the helm of this offense. Tua Tagovailoa is dealing with a minor thumb injury but looks healthy enough to play. According to most sources, Flores will once again give Tua the starting role versus the Bengals.

Assuming Tua does play, he will look forward to playing a Bengals pass defense that ranks 22nd in the league. Less than a dozen teams allow more than their 253.7 passing yards per game. The weak defense will likely help Tua’s averages, which are largely disappointing. He averages just 12 completions (44th) for 120 passing yards (45th) and 1.20 touchdowns (29th) per game. He has notably, however, not thrown an interception yet in his career. Considering his statistics are so low, he is likely to increase them all against a poor Bengals defense.

The main receiving weapons of this offense are receiver DeVante Parker and tight end Mike Gesicki. The duo leads the team in receiving yards and receptions. Parker’s 4 touchdown catches tie Preston Williams for most on the Dolphins as well. The two are red-hot right now. Parker is coming off back-to-back 60+ receiving games, including an 8 reception 119 yard game against the Jets. Gesicki has 4 consecutive games of 40+ receiving yard games or 1 touchdown. The wide receiver, tight end pair should be the main focus of the Bengals secondary.

Injuries have really plagued the rushing attack of their offense. Since running backs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are both out for the foreseeable future, Miami must rely on Matt Breida and DeAndre Washington for any kind of ground game. Between the pair’s 21 attempts last week versus the Jets, they could only muster up 85 yards. The Dolphins have struggled all year with a ground attack, with their 95.3 rushing yards ranking 30th in the league. If their average is to improve at all this season, they will have their best opportunity this week against a Bengals defense that allows 136.7 rushing yards (30th) per game, 30th in the league.

The Miami defense is arguably the strongest area of this team. Holding teams to just 18.6 points (2nd), only the undefeated Steelers concede less to opponents. They do, however, allow 369.6 yards (20th) per game, which is below average in the league. They may let opponents march down the field, but they don’t allow them to score very much. The Dolphins have allowed touchdowns on just 60 percent (11th) of red-zone trips and allow a total of 2.4 offensive touchdowns (9th) per game. Both of these stats rank around the top 10 in the league. The Bengals, with an already underperforming offense, will have a tough time scoring points on Sunday.

In order to make the playoffs, the Miami Dolphins must win this matchup against an injury-ravaged and struggling Bengals team. Most models give the Dolphins around a 50% chance to make the playoffs but immediately become very slim with a loss this weekend. The game may not mean much to Cincinnati, but it means everything to Miami.

Miami Dolphins Depth Chart

QB: Tua Tagovailoa
RB1: Matt Breida
RB2: Jordan Howard
WR1: DeVante Parker
WR2: Preston Williams
WR3: Jakeem Grant
TE: Mike Gesicki

Cincinnati Bengals Analysis

Cincinnati BengalsIn the Bengals’ first matchup without rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, they almost beat a respectable New York Giants opponent. The game was decided by a costly fumble in the last minute when the Bengals needed just 15 yards for a field goal to win it. Backup quarterback Brandon Allen did not have an impressive stat-line (136 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception), but he threw a clutch 4th quarter touchdown that brought his team back into the game. He wasn’t amazing all 60 minutes, but he showed glimpses of talent.

The game may have been Allen’s first snaps this year, but it wasn’t the second-year quarterback’s first-ever start. Allen led the Broncos to a 1-2 record mid-last season for his only other starts in his career. His 515 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions are not all that bad for a mid-season replacement. The largest area of improvement for Allen needs to be efficient throwing. Between his 4 starts, his completion percentage comes out to just 49.56 percent. He will need to overcome a Miami defense that holds opposing quarterbacks to a 62.34 completion percentage, the 4th lowest in the league. More specifically, he must avoid cornerback Xavien Howard, who leads the league in interceptions with 7.

But Allen will have plenty of help on Sunday. His receiving duo of Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins is among the most talented in the league. The pair lead the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Higgins is 2nd among all rookies in receiving yards with 673, trailing only Justin Jefferson. With 10 catches for 20 or more receiving yards this year, Higgins ranks near the top of the league in “BIG catches.” Just 6 players have more than Boyd’s 72 receptions on the season. Between these two talented young players, Miami’s secondary has their hands full.

The Bengal’s rushing attack took a big hit with the injury to Joe Mixon. With 71.33 rushing yards per game, the 24-year-old was on his way to a third consecutive 1000+ yard season. Now the Bengals must rely entirely on Giovani Bernard for a rushing threat. The career backup only starts in a handful of games every year. He hasn’t rushed for more than 500 yards since 2015. In the 5 weeks, he has started this year since Mixon got injured, he is averaging just 35 yards per game. He will have an opportunity to increase his numbers this weekend against a Miami defense that allows 129.9 rushing yards per game, ranking 26th in the league.

Cincinnati’s offense on the season has been below average. Their 331.5 yards (24th) and 20.9 points (26th) per game both rank in the second half of the league. I struggled to find a point of optimism on their attack. Even their third-down conversion, 36.24%, ranks 29th in the league. That stat becomes even more worrisome considering they will face a Miami defense that holds opposing offenses to a league-best 32.84 third-down conversion percentage. Their best show of moving the ball and scoring points, in my view, is feeding Giovani Bernard the ball. Allen did not prove he can accurately throw the ball against the Giants, and Miami has a very strong secondary. If the Bengals’ offense wins this tough battle, it will be through the ground.

The Bengals defense is similarly non-threatening. They allow 390.5 yards (26th) and 26.3 points (22nd) per game, which are both near the bottom of the league. Tackle leader Vonn Bell (85), sack leader Carl Lawson (4.5), and interception leader Jessie Bates III (3) have been unable to bring the team defensive success on the ground or the air. The Bengals allow 253.7 passing yards (22nd) and 136.7 rushing yards (30th) per game. Miami should be able to move the ball however they want against this Cincinnati team.

The expectations were not huge for this Bengals team, but they have still been disappointing for their fans. Injuries to their rookie quarterback and starting running back did not help, but the team was on the path to a losing season even before they went down. The main concern for their offseason should be an improvement on the defense and development of their young offensive group. If they can accomplish those goals, they may be competitive next season and the years to come. For now, fans should not expect many wins with their team’s 9th hardest remaining strength of schedule.

Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart

QB: Brandon Allen
RB1: Joe Mixon
RB2: Giovani Bernard
WR1: A.J. Green
WR2: Tyler Boyd
WR3: Tee Higgins
TE: C.J. Uzomah

Betting Corner: Miami Dolphins -11.5

Spread: +/- 11.5
Moneyline: -600 Dolphins, +450 Bengals
Over/Under: 42

Prediction

Spread: -11.5 Dolphins
Moneyline: -600 Dolphins
Over/Under: Under

Betting the spread on this game is very risky. The Bengals proved last week their offense isn’t a total disaster without Burrow and Mixon against a good Giants defense. Miami also only pulled away from the Jets by 17, a significantly worse team than any other in the league, including the Bengals. I think it’s likely The Dolphins cover by 12 in this one, but I see it being closer than others think.

Bet the under in this one. The Dolphins’ offense is good but not great, and they have a very strong defense. I predict this game remains under 42 points, similar to the Dolphins’ last game against the Jets. The under in this one, I think is a much safer and more comfortable bet than the spread.

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Daily Fantasy Love/Hate

Devante ParkerLove: DeVante Parker
DeVante Parker should be relatively cheap in daily fantasy, so he’s a more than valuable investment. The Dolphin is coming off back-to-back 18+ fantasy point outings. Averaging 9.25 targets per game in his last 4 contests, both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa are looking to get him the ball. The Bengals have a weak passing defense that Parker should be able to take advantage of. Look to target him on your fantasy roster for Sunday.

Hate: Brandon Allen
I would love for Allen to succeed on Sunday in replacement of Burrow, but I honestly can’t see it happening against Miami. There are too many weapons in the Dolphins’ secondary for a second-year backup to overcome. Last week he put up just 6 fantasy points against a much worse Giants secondary. The odds are not in Allen’s favor. Look for another value quarterback to find in daily fantasy leagues.

  
Luc has been a sports fanatic for as long he can remember. Growing up in New York but having family from Michigan, he grew up as a hybrid sports team fan. He supports the New York Giants, and NYCFC, but also the Detroit Tigers and the Michigan Wolverines. He has been writing sports articles since high school and thoroughly enjoys it. He is studying Sports Management at the University of Michigan.

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