There’s not a whole lot of motivation for either team in Sunday’s Bengals-Dolphins game, which is why I struggled on who I would pick with my One Bet, $100. At the end of the day, I simply found the Dolphins to be a more attractive wager than the Bengals. Not by much, but by just enough to justify this week’s bet.
Last week I was convinced that Pittsburgh could keep Buffalo in check. I ended up giving up a point and taking the Steelers, and Buffalo won outright, 17-10.
One Bet, $100
This Week’s Pick Last Week’s Result Season Total
Miami +1.5 Lost Pittsburgh 9-7, Up $295
This week, my thinking is somebody has to win this stinker of a game, but I am actually bullish on Miami in this matchup. Besides, I’m getting 1.5-points, and it’s always good when a home team gets points.
It does puzzle me why the team with a better record, and who is playing at home, is an underdog. Miami could continue its streak of being the only NFL team this season to be an underdog in every game.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is the second coach in the past 10 years to begin his career as an underdog in his first 14 games. Gus Bradley, who coached Jacksonville from 2013-16, was an underdog in his first 30 games.
Bengals-Dolphins Have Strong ATS Marks
Miami actually opened this matchup as a 3-point favorite, but the line moved quickly, and the Fins were bet down to the underdog.
Both Cincinnati and Miami have good records against the spread. The Bengals are an awful 0-12 straight up in their last 12 road games, but are a remarkable 8-4 against the spread. The Dolphins are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games.
In the past 10 seasons, when two teams with at least 10 losses each square off against one another, the favorite is 9-2 ATS, and 10-1 outright.
Playing for Pride
It would be easy for both teams in the Bengals-Dolphins game to check out for the rest of the season, but both organizations say they will continue to play hard in their two remaining games.
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton told reporters on Wednesday the team isn’t tanking for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
“That’s not what we’re thinking about,” Dalton said. “For us, we have two games left and we want to win both of these games. Regardless of who’s out there, regardless of who we’re going against, we’re going to do whatever we can to win.”
Miami coach Brian Flores shut down any talk of the Dolphins tanking. When a reporter asked him about it on Monday, he bristled at the notion they were losing in order to secure a high draft pick.
“I don’t know whose narrative that is,” Flores said. “Like I’ve said all year, try to win every game. That’s kind of my thought process.”
Why Miami Will Win
Miami should have the edge in the Bengals-Dolphins game from a point-scoring standpoint. Miami has scored 20 or more points in six of its last seven games. Cincinnati hasn’t scored more than 23 points in any game this season, and is averaging just over 15 points per game.
Don’t discount the home-field advantage Miami is getting either. Home-field advantage is usually considered good for an implied field goal, which could be more than enough to decide Sunday’s outcome. Besides I believe the Dolphins are a bit more motivated under Flores. They should prove that on Sunday, and not only cover, but win outright.