Buffalo vs. Miami Surf and Turf: Fresh Bison and Spoiled Fish

NFL Jan 14, 2023

Here's a look at the updated odds on this weekend's NFL playoff games according to Spreads.ca:

SUN: 1:00 ET / 10 am PT
MIAMI at BUFFALO (-10.5) (-13)
O/U: 43.5


Miami and Buffalo split their season series. Each team won at home. But don't forget that Miami's home win was ludicrous, especially if you look at the stats from that game (the Bills dominated). That aside, let's acknowledge that both divisional games were decided by three points or less and one never ever knows what might happen when rivals meet in the playoffs.

The biggest pregame issue coming into Sunday is the starting quarterback for the Dolphins. Both Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater were questionable early in the week (update--on Wednesday night, Taglovailoa is said to be out).

Given so many questions about the Dolphins and the Bills being the home team, Buffalo is clearly the right betting side, especially in a cold-weather environment. But will they cover double digits in a game against a feisty team that played them tough in both previous games?

Note: Based on the breaking MIA QB injury news, the line moved from +10.5 to +13

Buffalo has dominated this series at home, of late. The Bills are 10-1 SU in their last 11 games when hosting Miami. The Bills are also 11-1 SU in their last 12 games at home. But, they are just 8-8 ATS overall this season. So, Buffalo wins, but their reliability as a team that covers is questionable. Buffalo is often favored by these kinds of (high) numbers, which the Bills have struggled doing this season.

The problem with betting on the underdog is, the Dolphins are spoiled fish. Miami stumbled badly into the playoffs, losing 5 of their final 6 games. The Dolphins' only win during the downward stretch was an ugly 11-6 victory in Week 18 vs. the NY Jets. This doesn't appear to be the same team we saw in October, and the offense loses confidence without Taglivailoa.

We also must consider the impact of Hamlin's injury and his emotional impact on the team. The Bills got two thrilling KO returns for touchdowns last week. Otherwise, that was a much closer game. The Hamlin situation had to be a distraction to Buffalo last Sunday, which won't be nearly as much the case this weekend. Hamlin back home in Buffalo also makes this a positive for the Bills. We can't accurately predict what all this means.

We can probably agree there the reasons to bet Buffalo is voluminous.


Buffalo vs. Miami Surf and Turf: Fresh Bison and Spoiled Fish

We bet Buffalo early in the week at -10.5 but for the purposes of grading, we'll also pick them at -13.  The Bills have been here before, and are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL, ranking second in offense, fourth in defense, and the NFL's best in average scoring margin (+10.6 points per game).

Meanwhile, the Dolphins' defense collapsed down the stretch, allowing five of its final six opponents to score 23+ points.

Let's also note that QB Josh Allen has dominated the Dolphins at Orchard Park. The average scoring margin of the five games in which Allen has faced Miami at home is +16 -- with a 27/5 TD/INT ratio.

Finally, Buffalo has posted 32+ points in each of its last three games, while Miami has scored 22 points or fewer in five of its last six games.

Lay the heavy number.

Buffalo -13 (Game Line)