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Buffalo Eyes No. 2 Seed in AFC With Win Over Miami

The Buffalo Bills enter Week 17 with a 12-3 SU and 10-5 ATS record and the opportunity to lock up the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a win over the Miami Dolphins. The Bills will look to do just that as small favorites Sunday afternoon in Buffalo while the Dolphins will be fighting to secure a playoff spot.

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills
  • Date/Time: January 3, 1 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Bills Stadium
  • TV Coverage: CBS
  • Opening Odds: Bills -5 | O/U 43.5 (Line History)
  • Dolphins vs Bills Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Bills opened as 5-point favorites in this matchup, but action on the Dolphins has moved this line down to Buffalo -3. The total now sits at 44.5 points after opening earlier in the week at 43.5 points. The OVER is 10-5 in Buffalo’s 15 games.

Miami News & Notes

With the Dolphins trailing the Las Vegas Raiders 16-13 heading into the fourth quarter, head coach Brian Flores replaced Tua Tagovailoa with Ryan Fitzpatrick to spark the offense.

The move worked to perfection as Fitzpatrick went 9-for-13 with 182 passing yards and a touchdown in leading Miami to a 26-25 win. The Dolphins failed to cover the spread as 2.5-point road favorites but are still 9-2 SU and ATS over their last 11 games with the win.

Tagovailoa has been named the starter against Buffalo despite his poor showing against the Raiders in which he had only 94 passing yards on 22 pass attempts. Miami will advance to the postseason with a win, or with a loss from the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns or Indianapolis Colts. But with all three of those teams going off as double-digit favorites on Sunday, the Dolphins will likely need a victory to keep pace.

Buffalo News & Notes

The Bills produced another fantastic effort on offense Monday night with a 38-9 victory over the New England Patriots. Buffalo is averaging 35.3 points per game over its last seven games and owns a 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS record over that stretch.

Since their bye week in November, the Bills are 5-0 SU and ATS and are allowing only 16.8 points per game. With both the offense and defense playing at elite levels, Buffalo will enter this postseason as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

This assumes, of course, that Josh Allen and the rest of the team’s key players stay healthy. Head coach Sean McDermott has the difficult decision on Sunday of weighing the team’s desire to stay hot and win the No. 2 seed against giving his starters some rest and protecting them from injury. Under the new playoff system in place in the NFL this season, the No. 2 seed no longer earns a first-round bye.

Betting Pick: Miami +3

With no bye week at stake, it really doesn’t make sense for the Bills to go all out in this game, regardless of their stated intentions. Buffalo would be tough to pass up on as a 3-point favorite in a must-win game, but in this spot, it’s only the Dolphins who are in must-win territory.

Shark Bites
  • Miami is 5-1 SU in its last 6 road games.
  • Buffalo is 3-0 ATS in its last 3 home games.
  • The OVER is 9-2 in the last 11 games in this matchup.