The Cincinnati Bengals host the undefeated Miami Dolphins at home for Thursday Night Football. The line opened with the Bengals as only 1.5-point home favorites when the odds were first released for this week’s games. After the Dolphins beat the Bills this past weekend, that number has changed and is now sitting at 3.5 in favor of the home team.
In a very unpopular move in Buffalo, I am actually going against the spread here and will pick the Dolphins to win this game. The Bengals are very improved on the offensive line, and they have some of the best weapons for last year’s Comeback Player of the Year, quarterback Joe Burrow. But the defending AFC champions have had a rough start to their season, and it doesn’t appear that they are playing their best football.
The Dolphins do have some injuries to deal with. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is now dealing with a groin injury, and there is still concern about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle and back. Despite those concerns, Tua is among the league leaders in passing yards (925) and his two main weapons are second and third in the league in receiving yards.
To come to my conclusion, I believe I am taking the better team top to bottom to win. Offensively, one can argue that these teams appear to be evenly matched, while Burrow is mostly regarded as the better quarterback out of the two. But even with the Super Bowl run last season, the Bengals weren’t a dominating team throughout the season or the playoffs. The improvements they’ve made as a team have been good, but it doesn’t appear to have changed the way the game is coached and played. Miami’s head coach Mike McDaniels is proving to be a great motivator, and the team plays hard for him.
My prediction: Dolphins 28, Bengals 17