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Dolphins vs. Bears Betting Odds

The Miami Dolphins are a slight favorite this Thursday night when they take on the Chicago Bears in Miami. This will be a key game for both teams as they try to keep their playoff hopes alive. Thursday night’s matchup will be televised on the NFL Network.

Miami (-1 at Bovada) finally earned its first win at home last week with a 29-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Despite a 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS record on the season, the win over Tennessee improved Miami’s home record to just 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS. Miami trends slightly UNDER at 5-4.

The win came at a cost, however. The Dolphins lost both their first and second string quarterbacks in Chad Henne and Chad Pennington. Pennington is out for the year, and Henne is doubtful for Thursday, leaving the starting job in the hands of Tyler Thigpen.

Thigpen is a capable backup who brings an element of mobility that Henne and Pennington lacked. [ Check out Thigpen prop odds such as over-under 185.5 passing yards and over-under 18.5 completions over at Bovada ]

Defensively, the Dolphins stack up pretty well against the Bears. While they rank 16th against the rush at 110.2 yards per game against, Chicago doesn’t run the ball that well at just 95 YPG (23rd). Miami does defend against the pass well at 203.9 YPG, good for 6th best in the NFL.

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Chicago (+1.5) won their second straight game last week as a 1-point underdog at home against Minnesota. With the win, Chicago improved to 6-3 SU and 4-4-1 ATS. They are 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS on the road this season.

Of note, the road team has won the past four meetings. And Miami has been atrocious with your money at home in the month of November - they are 3-14 ATS in 17 games in this situation.

The Bears have had a bit of a roller coaster season to this point. After starting the season off 3-0 (2-1 ATS), Chicago lost three of their next four (SU and ATS), and now have won two straight (1-0-1 ATS). Which Bears team will show up this Thursday night?

By the numbers, the Bears should also stack up well against Miami defensively. With the second-best rush defense in the league (82.3 YPG against) and a great linebacking corps, Chicago should be able to defend against Miami’s wildcat formation. The passing defense is suspect, but we aren’t really sure what to expect from Miami’s passing game with Thigpen starting.

In the end, this game will likely come down to quarterback play. Both teams have strong defenses, and the quarterback that makes more mistakes may be the one to cost his team the game.
While Thigpen is somewhat of an unknown, with home-field advantage and a rush-heavy offense, I think he can play a smart game and protect the football. Jay Cutler has 13 turnovers in eight starts, and if Miami forces him to throw, I think they can add to that total.

THE PICK: Miami -1