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Game predictions | Bills vs. Dolphins | Week 3

Devin Singletary (26). Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium, September 19, 2021. Photo by Jeff Romance
Devin Singletary (26). Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium, September 19, 2021. Photo by Jeff Romance

The Bills are a 5.5-point favorite per Caesars Sportsbook for Sunday's AFC East clash against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens.

Here's a list of game predictions from NFL analysts.

Tough spot for the Bills. It's a road trip on a short week with so many secondary injuries that it's hard to know who's playing for Buffalo as of publication. The Dolphins' offensive line has already improved to average and the running game, which is so necessary to beat the Bills, was excellent when needed last week. These Fins can keep up in a shootout, even if they fall short.

Prediction: Bills 37, Dolphins 34

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Dolphins were a popular pick among professionals. This week, they get their biggest challenge against a Bills team that looks more and more impressive, and that is coming off a thumping of the Titans Monday night. The line moved from 3.5 to 6 as the Bills have taken on all the money.

Miami should be confident after a dramatic comeback against the Ravens in which Tua Tagovailoa threw for an eye-popping 469 yards and six (yes, six) touchdowns. Two of those were passes to receiver Tyreek Hill, who appears to have arrived. This game will be a statement game for either undefeated A.F.C. East team. 

Prediction: Dolphins +6

MDS's take: The Bills have steamrolled the competition two weeks in a row, and they'll keep it going against a Miami team that is also 2-0 but isn't in the same class as Buffalo.

MDS's pick: Bills 28, Dolphins 17.

Florio's take: The Buffalo defense should be better equipped to make a stop or two of the Miami offense than the Miami defense will be of the Buffalo offense.

Florio's pick: Bills 38, Dolphins 31.

... As for the Bills, what's left to say? It doesn't feel like there's a defense in the NFL that can stop Josh Allen right now. Their defense might be a little banged up; three contributors—safety Micah Hyde, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, and cornerback back Dane Jackson—did not practice Wednesday, but they're so well-coached. I think they'll be able to pressure Tagovailoa into a couple of turnovers in this game.

Prediction: Bills (-6.5)

The Bills, like the Packers, are coming off an impressive showing on national television, demolishing the Tennessee Titans, 41-7, on Monday night. However, the Titans limited themselves on offense; they were committed to running Derrick Henry despite his ineffectiveness, hampering their attack. Miami isn't nearly as one-dimensional. In fact, the Dolphins are a team on the rise with a potential MVP candidate in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa is guiding Miami's offense to nearly 14 more points per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each play, per data from TruMedia. Buffalo's offense, by comparison, is scoring seven more points per game than expected. Buffalo will also be playing on the road on short rest, which could help level the playing field on defense.

Feeling bold? Sprinkling a little on the Dolphins money line at +200 or better isn't a bad idea, either.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins +5+6

What to watch for: Several league leaders through two weeks will be on the field Sunday. Wide receivers Tyreek Hill (284 yards), Stefon Diggs (270 yards) and Jaylen Waddle (240 yards) are the NFL's three leading receivers, catching passes from the league's leading and fourth-leading passers, respectively, in the Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa (739 passing yards) and the Bills' Josh Allen (614 passing yards). And on the defensive side of things, Bills safety Jordan Poyer is one of five players with multiple interceptions this season. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Bold prediction: Allen will throw for at least 325 yards and five touchdown passes, continuing his impressive streak of success against the Dolphins (19 passing touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns and three turnovers in his past seven games vs. Miami). The Dolphins' defense has struggled this season against the pass, giving up a league-high 9.0 yards per passing attempt and a 71.2% completion percentage (28th). Allen leads the NFL in Total QBR (87.1) and should have no problem taking advantage. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Stat to know: Since the start of last season, no defense has been better at taking away the deep ball than the Bills. Over that span, Buffalo ranks first in opponent QBR and opponent completions, and it hasn't allowed a single touchdown on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield. But Tagovailoa threw two such TDs in Week 2.

Betting nugget: Buffalo is 6-1-1 ATS in its past eight division games, but Miami is 10-4-1 ATS in its past 15 division games.

Moody's prediction: Bills 31, Dolphins 27

Walder's prediction: Bills 30, Dolphins 23

This is one of the best games of the week, featuring two 2-0 teams that can score. The Bills are playing on the road on a short week, which is an advantage for Miami. But this Buffalo team is riding high. The Dolphins defense wasn't good last week. The Bills defense has been. That's the difference.

Prediction: Bills 30, Dolphins 20

The Bills will be coming off a physical Monday night game against the Titans to face the September heat in Miami. Josh Allen and the Buffalo passing game needs to come prepare for a shootout with Mike McDaniel getting Tua Tagovailoa rolling with his speedy weapons. But both defenses can have some impact with pass rush and coverage, making it a little easier to trust the more mobile Allen to be the more efficient quarterback.

Prediction: Bills win 31-27 but fail to cover the spread.


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