The Miami Dolphins (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) take their perfect record to Cincinnati to battle the defending AFC champion Bengals (1-2, 1-2) as small road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark for the Week 4 Thursday Night Football matchup. The Dolphins upset the Buffalo Bills 21-19 as 4-point home underdogs last Sunday while the Bengals beat the New York Jets 27-12 as 6.5-point road favorites for their first win of the season.
Dolphins vs Bengals Opening Odds
Cincinnati finally got back on track in Week 3 at New York and has seen some early support from bettors despite hosting an undefeated opponent. The point spread was up to -3 (-120) at most books as of Monday afternoon and will likely continue to climb with Miami coming off such an emotional victory and playing on a short week. The total has also dropped one point down to 47.5, suggesting that the defenses will play a bigger role.
Miami’s Defensive Effort Helps Throttle Super Bowl Favorite Buffalo
The Dolphins may have given up 400 passing yards to Bills quarterback Josh Allen in last week’s win, but they held the opposition’s run game in check for the most part.
Outside of two runs totaling 62 yards, Buffalo rushed 21 times for just 53 yards, and you could certainly argue that was the difference in the game. Allen had a 19-yard scamper, but his other seven runs totaled 28 yards, and he was also sacked four times for 18 yards.
Miami will now get the chance to pressure Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, who was sacked twice for 18 yards last week to bring his NFL-high total to 15 that he shares with Carson Wentz of the Washington Commanders. You can bet the Dolphins are licking their chops.
Cincinnati Avoids 0-3 Start With Relatively Easy Win At New York
Last year, the Bengals were upset 34-31 by the Jets as 11.5-point home favorites, and they made sure that would not happen again as solid road chalk this time around.
Cincinnati protected Burrow a little better but played great defense as well, picking off New York quarterback Joe Flacco twice and sacking him four times for 33 yards. Burrow found wide receivers Tyler Boyd (four catches for 105 yards, including a 56-yarder) and Tee Higgins (five for 93, including a 45-yarder) on a couple of big plays.
The offense found a way to be successful despite seeing running back Joe Mixon (12 carries for 24 yards) and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (six catches for 29 yards) held in check. Chase did score a touchdown, one of three thrown by Burrow overall. The passing game will need to be as productive as it was at New York in order for the Bengals to pick up another win.
Dolphins: Keys To Victory
Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a difference-maker in the team’s Week 2 road victory against the Baltimore Ravens, but he was held to season lows in completions, attempts and passing yards vs Buffalo.
Tagovailoa is dealing with back and ankle soreness, according to head coach Mike McDaniel, in addition to a possible concussion he suffered that sparked some controversy because he was allowed to return to the game.
Teddy Bridgewater is one of the best backups in the league, so he would get the nod if Tua cannot go. Regardless, quarterback play will be the biggest key for the Dolphins here.
Bengals: Keys To Victory
Protecting Burrow is priority No. 1 for Cincinnati, especially against a defense that just limited one of the NFL’s best offenses. The Bengals need to get the rushing attack going as well, with Mixon totaling 58 carries for only 163 yards through three games so far.
The Bills utilized running back Devin Singletary as their best receiver with nine catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, so maybe Mixon can do something similar out of the backfield.
NFL Computer Pick: Bengals -3.5
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