Bills -3 (-105) 44 (-110) -150
Dolphins +3 (-115) 44 (-110) +130
The Buffalo Bills (4-2) won a fourth straight game this past Sunday for the first time since 2008, routing the San Francisco 49ers 45-16. Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor went 16 of 25 for 179 yards with TD passes to wide receivers Robert Woods and Justin Hunter. However, the star of the show was running back LeSean McCoy, who ran for 140 yards on 19 carries with three scores. Fans who bet on NFL know that there is bad blood between McCoy and Niners coach Chip Kelly, dating back to when the latter traded the former from Philadelphia to Buffalo (I’d be angry about that, too). They say the best revenge is living well. Since there is no chance of that in New York, the second-best revenge is scoring three touchdowns against your former coach. Nothing personal against the rest of the 49ers organization, though.
The Dolphins (2-4) upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-15 on Sunday. The margin could have been greater – like say, the margins of the Amazon river – but Miami kept missing chances in the red zone (except for running back Jay Ajayi, who ran for 204 yards on 25 carries with two TDs). Perhaps they thought it was Red Zone Cuba and wanted nothing to do with it. nevertheless, it was the Dolphins’ defense that pretty much won the game for the team, keeping the league’s leading receiver Antonio Brown to 39 yards on four catches, and more importantly, roughing up Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger like he owned them money.
Miami’s defense might be able to benefit from injuries to a few key Bills players. For instance, McCoy – who temporarily left the game against San Francisco with an injured knee – left Wednesday’s practice early with tightness in his hamstring. As people who bet on NFL might remember, the running back had hamstring issues last season as well. Head coach Rex Ryan has neither confirmed nor denied whether or not McCoy will play on Sunday. Moreover, Woods was wearing a walking foot in the locker room.
As for Buffalo’s defense, Ajayi could be an all-game headache, but if the Bills manage to subdue him, they just might – might – be home free. In good theory, Buffalo should not worry too much about QB Ryan Tannehill, who has thrown more interceptions than TDs, and has only one scoring pass in the past three games. Furthermore, the Dolphins’ O-line has allowed 17 sacks, while the Bills’ defense has 20 sacks. All of which is not to say that Buffalo should not be concerned about Tannehill’s potential targets, namely wide receivers Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. All things considered, though, the Dolphins should have to wait a bit longer to pick up back-to-back for the third time since 2014.