To say the Buffalo Bills might not be ready for prime time is like saying Buffalo women might be a tad pasty. The Bills have lost 11 straight night games, from 40-point blowouts to one-point, last-second heartbreakers. So why was Buffalo installed as a 1-point favorite and been bet up to minus-2½? I guess because they’ve been living up to their lofty preseason expectations. Wait, that’s not true; the Bills have lost three in a row, dropping their record to 3-6, with those three victories coming against teams (Chiefs, Browns, Cardinals) with a combined 7-20 record. Or maybe it’s because their facing a terrible opponent. Nope, that can’t be it; the Dolphins—projected to be a bottom-feeder this year—are 4-5, and while it’s true they got destroyed 37-3 by the Titans at home Sunday, it’s also true that three of their defeats were by exactly three points (two in overtime).
Oh, I know: The Bills are favored because their defense has conjured images of the ’85 Bears.
What’s that? The Bills are giving up 31.7 points, 410 total yards and 163.7 rushing yards per game, ranking 32nd, 31st and 32nd in the 32-team NFL? Well, at least Buffalo is healthy. Uh, not exactly; starting RB Fred Jackson is out with a concussion. Yeah, but look at how the Bills have owned Miami in recent years — and by owned I mean they’re 2-6 SU and ATS in the last eight meetings.
Speaking of point-spread trends, the Dolphins have covered in 13 of 19 overall, 19 of 27 on the road and eight of their last 10 after a loss, while Buffalo is mired in ATS slumps of 2-5 at home and 5-11 against AFC East opponents. On the bright side, the Bills did easily cash as a 13-point underdog in Sunday’s 37-31 loss at New England, ending an 0-4 ATS drought in divisional contests. Alas, as has been the case for the last two decades with the Bills, every morsel of good news is countered with a negative: They’ve covered in back-to-back games just once in their last 10 contests (when they beat the Chiefs and Browns in Weeks 2 and 3 of this season).
But hey, at least Buffalo’s Chan Gailey has proven he’s an elite NFL head coach …
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Wednesday’s Result: Clippers -1.5 vs. Heat (win)