Bills vs. Dolphins Odds, Preview, and Best Bets for NFL Week 18

SBNY » Bills vs. Dolphins Odds, Preview, and Best Bets for NFL Week 18

Fortunes can change quickly in the NFL. Just ask the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

The Bills started the season as one of the Super Bowl favorites. But losses to the Jets, Patriots, and Broncos — among others — left them at 5-5. Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was fired after the loss to Denver, which took place at home.

Since that time, Buffalo is 5-1 and currently on a four-game winning streak. The Bills’ only loss was in overtime at Philadelphia, and they have played their way back into the playoff picture. And thanks to Miami’s loss at Baltimore last week, Sunday night’s contest in South Florida is for the AFC East title and the 2-seed in the conference. However, if the following happens prior to kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium, the Bills would be eliminated with a loss:

  • Pittsburgh defeats Baltimore (who go into Saturday’s game already having clinched the 1-seed in the AFC)
  • Jacksonville defeats Tennessee
  • Houston vs. Indianapolis does not end in a tie

Miami has already clinched a spot, but they left the door open for the Bills via Buffalo’s 48-20 win in Week 4. But there is plenty on the line for the Dolphins. A win and the 2-seed would be far better than the alternative: a 6-seed and a first-round date on the road at Kansas City. For a team that didn’t win a road game against a winning team all season, that matchup is undesirable for Miami, to say the least.

For a regular season game, the stakes couldn’t be much higher. So let’s dive in and give our best bets from the Bills vs. Dolphins odds in Week 18.

Expect Offenses to Excel: Take Over the Total Points

Last week, Miami allowed 56 points at Baltimore. It was the latest in a long line of shaky defensive outings on the road. But coming home, there are still things to be worried about. First, the Dolphins gave up 28 points to the lowly Titans in a one-point loss last month. The Fish rebounded to shutout the Jets and earn a 22-20 win over Dallas before the wheels came off in Baltimore.

To make matters worse, linebacker Bradley Chubb was lost for the season during garbage time against the Ravens.

For Buffalo, they have scored 28 points per game in the six games since Dorsey was fired. That’s a few points higher than what they were doing before that, as their season average rests at 27 points per game. In yards gained, Buffalo ranks fifth with 368.8, but Josh Allen’s 16 interceptions have kept their expected point total down a bit.

Miami is first in the NFL in both yards per game (409.2) and points scored (30.1). With Sunday being a must-win game, expect head coach Mike McDaniel to show even more creativity than usual on offense.

This is why we are projecting the game to go over the total of 49.5 (-110, FanDuel).

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BILLS VS. DOLPHINS ODDS: Buffalo Solid as Road Favorites

Buffalo hasn’t been kind to bettors as big favorites this year. But when the Bills are favored by a touchdown or less (or are underdogs), they are 6-2-1 against the spread this season. This game would fall under that category, since Buffalo is -3 (-110, BetMGM) at all of the major New York sportsbooks.

The question is, why are the Bills three-point favorites on the road against a team that plays so well at home?

It appears that the oddsmakers are looking at the quality of opponent that Miami has defeated. Whether it’s home or away, the Dolphins haven’t had trouble against losing teams (besides the Titans game, where Miami blew a 14-point lead with just over two minutes remaining).

Ten of Miami’s 11 wins were against teams that currently have losing records. The lone win was a 22-20 win over Dallas, where Miami narrowly failed to cover a three-point spread. Their four other games against teams with winning records:

  • 48-20 loss at Buffalo
  • 31-17 loss at Philadelphia
  • 21-14 loss vs. Kansas City (in Germany)
  • 56-19 loss at Baltimore

Buffalo comes in also having beaten Dallas, but by 21 points. The Bills also won at Kansas City and beat Tampa Bay at home.

In such a big game, the Bills also have the experience advantage. Buffalo has won postseason games in each of the past three playoffs. Miami fell in the opening round of the playoffs at Buffalo last year. Their last division title was in 2008 and most recent playoff win took place on Dec. 30, 2000.

The Dolphins have been the splashier team this year, but when push comes to shove, they’re missing something to get to that next level. Buffalo has had it in recent years and has seemed to rediscover it right before it became too late in 2023.

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