NFL Thursday Night Football Picks: Bills at Dolphins

Miami hosts Buffalo and we have a couple key stats, trends and predictions to consider for the first round of Week 11 betting!

The Dolphins have a score to settle with Buffalo from Week 2 but on a short week, points will be hard to come by for a pair of banged up division rivals. Branden Albert is out for the Fish and it looks like Buffalo’s top running back, Fred Jackson, could miss his second start in a month.


After missing Week 9 vs. the Jets, Jackson (groin) had a bye week to try and heal up but he was limited against the Chiefs last week and now it sounds like he might be reduced to a spectator in Miami. There is a couple strong divisional “Over” trends live for this game but without their most explosive back it’s hard to expect a ton of scoring from an offense who rank dead last in red zone conversions all season.


This is the only the second time in history that a favorite of -6 points or less was home off a loss and hosting a division rival who was also coming off a loss. The first was Buffalo at Miami in Week 11 of the 2012 season. The Bills led 19-7 by half-time and the final was 19-14. So in a way, this is a perfect system!


Faves off a road loss to the Lions where they possessed the ball for less than 29 minutes are only 4-6 ATS the next time out and eight of those 10 games, the road dog was actually tied or leading at the half. The first-half scoring averages favored the dog 15.3 to 10.0 and Miami has been one of the worst first-half scoring teams in the league since Joe Philbin took over. Miami is also coming off a game against a tough Lions team and the Bills defense ranks sixth in the league with just 321 yards allowed per game. When facing an opponent who allows fewer than 350 yards only one of the past five teams to face Detroit has managed more than 16 point the following week (11.6 avg); see for yourself with this SDQL code!


At home, Miami is scoring 2.9 first quarter points under Philbin and 6.8 in the second quarter. In their first 20 home games since Philbin took over the Dolphins first-half TTs are 5-15 O/U and tonight’s first-half TT from the Greek online sportsbook is ‘12’. Miami scored 12 or more points against the Bills (twice), Ravens, Panthers and Chargers. That 20-spot they put up against San Diego was impressive but keep in mind; the Dolphins were playing with extra emotion for that game following the death of Philbin’s father just two days beforehand. Miami went onto win that game 37-0, their most lopsided home win since the 1995 season opener against the New York Jets (52-14).


Buffalo is “live” in a rare divisional road dog angle where the road team has outscored the host 25-17, winning four of five times straight-up. Here is the NFL system chart (#SDQL). The Bills were only averaging four fourth quarter points per game this year under EJ Manuel but since Kyle Orton took over in Week 5, the Bills (3-2 SU) have outscored their opponents in three of four quarters including the fourth, 7.8 to 7.4. In two road starts, Orton has beaten the Lions 17-14 thanks to 11 points in the final frame and blown out the Jets 43-23.


As a dog, Orton is 26-19 ATS including an 8-3 ATS run and the three non-covers since November, 2010 were against the Chargers (2010), Packers (2011) and Patriots earlier this year. The combined record of those teams: 31-10 SU. Click Sports Database for details!


We made two plays on this game and tweeted them out last night just minutes after booking. NFL odds move fast in today’s high tech world and no one likes the feeling of getting hooked by a half-point. The best solution is to follow PickSixtySports on twitter and stop by the Facebook page every day to see what’s happening. Come on, you’re not into facebook? Join us, your friends and family will thank you for it!


The strongest play for us in this game is on the Bills +3.5 in the first-half and we’ve also booked a unit on Buffalo +6 points at -105. Yeah, that line existed 12 hours ago. If you can get +4.5 now we still recommend the Bills but as mentioned, the first-half seems stronger based on Miami’s slow tendencies out of the gate.


The rest of our Week 11 picks are posted with short write-ups in the EveryEdge sports betting forum! We’ll have more on these games shortly.