Betting Preview: Dolphins vs. Bengals

Dolphins Bengals
Cam Wake sacks Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton on Halloween 2013, marking only the third time in NFL history a game ended with a walk-off safety in overtime. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
  • When: Thursday, Sept. 29 at 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Where: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
  • How to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL+ mobile app

Betting Odds

Consensus odds according to ActionNetwork

  • Spread: Bengals -4 (-114), Dolphins +4 (-107)
  • Moneyline: Bengals (-210), Dolphins (+168)
  • Total Points: Over 47 (-107), Under 47 (-107)

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins will travel to Cincinnati on a short week of rest for Thursday Night Football against the Bengals. The Dolphins are banged up after winning a dogfight against divisional rival Buffalo. Three starters on the defense have been listed as questionable on the injury report, including defensive backs Xavien Howard and Brandon Jones. Miami is already dealing with a thin secondary because of the loss of Byron Jones, so it will be a tall task for whoever ends up covering Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Offensively, three starters are also questionable including Jaylen Waddle and Tua Tagovailoa. Tua suffered what the Dolphins claim was a back injury last weekend. However, the injury initially appeared to be to the head when Tua came up hobbling. Despite the injury scare and an ongoing investigation of it by the NFLPA, Coach Mike McDaniel is optimistic Tua will play Thursday.

The accumulation of these injuries is a big reason for them being heavy underdogs despite their undefeated record. The key for Miami to win this game is to pressure Burrow with their talented pass rush. The Bengals’ offensive line has allowed a league-worst 15 sacks and committed 16 penalties in their first 3 games. Offseason addition La’el Collins has also not practiced this week and is questionable to play. Next, Miami will need to establish their run game in a hostile road environment to take some pressure off Tua. Lastly, they need to feed Tyreek Hill, who will be matched up against Eli Apple. These two have some history with each other, and Tua added to the beef this week with a statement of his own.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are much better than their 1-2 record shows. They started off the season with close losses to the Steelers and Cowboys but bounced back last weekend against the Jets. Joe Burrow looked like his normal self against the New York, passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. However, the run game for Cincinnati struggled again due to poor offensive line play. Burrow at least got the tune-up game he needed before a showdown against a red-hot Dolphins team. If Burrow can get the protection he needs, the Bengals can beat just about anybody. Their loaded offense is a handful for any opponent and they are coming in at nearly full strength on Thursday.

Defensively, the Bengals are playing even great, allowing an 8th-best 310 yards per game. Unfortunately, the injury to DJ Reader is a huge loss to their defensive front and will be tough to replace.

Picks and Prediction:

Neither team is in a must-win scenario here, but Cincinnati really needs a statement win to get back on track and this is the perfect opportunity to do it. Although Miami is arguably playing the best football in the NFL, the Bengals caught them at a good time with a short week’s rest. Assuming Tua plays, I think Miami keeps this one close, but not close enough to beat the spread. I’m taking the Bengals to win this game 27-21.

Moneyline: Bengals

Spread: Bengals -4

Bonus Player Prop: Tyreek Hill OVER 70.5 rec yards (DraftKings Sportsbook)

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