Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/29/2021

by James Q


Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/29/2021


Game Time: 4:00 pm ET, Sunday, August 29th, 2021
Venue:  Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Where to Watch:  CBS

NFL Preseason Record:


Dolphins:  1-1 (AFC East)
Bengals:  1-1 (AFC North)

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:


Bet365:  Moneyline odds:  -110 pk’em; Over/Under 35.5 runs
BetMGM:  Moneyline odds:  -110   pk‘em; Over/Under 35.5 runs


Key Injuries:


Dolphins:  Robert Foster WR Out, Preston Williams WR Out, Lynn Bowden JR WR Out

Bengals:  Pooka Williams Jr. RB Questionable, Joseph Ossai DE Out, Cam Sample DE Questionable

Recent Lineups:


Dolphins:

Tua Tagovailoa   QB
Myles Gaskin      RB
DeVante Parker  WR
William Fuller V   WR
Jaylen Waddle   WR
Mike Gesicki      TE
Austin Jackson   LT
Michael Dieter    C
Robert Hunt      RG
Jesse Davis     RT

Bengals:

Joe Burrow   QB
Joe Mixon     RB
Tyler Boyd    WR
JaMarr Chase  WR
Tee Higgins    WR
C.J. Uzomah   TE
Jonah Williams  LT
Quinton Spain  LG
Trey Hopkins   C
Michael Jordan  RG
Riley Reiff       RT

2020 Statistical Leaders:


Dolphins:


Passing Yards: Ryan Fitzpatrick  2,091 yards.  He’s gone, it’s Tua’s team for now.

Rushing Yards:  Myles Gaskin 584 yards.  Entering his third year, he has to step up.

Receiving Yards:  DeVante Parker 793 yards.  6th year pro.

Tackles:  LB Jerome Baker 112.  7 sacks from the linebacker spot.  Strong.

Bengals:


Passing yards:  Joe Burrow 2,688 yards.  Coming back from injury, after a great rookie debut.  

Rushing Yards:  Joe Mixon  428 yards.  Mix back who also had 138 yards receiving.

Receiving Yards:  Tee Higgins  908 yards.  13.6 yards per catch, he needs more targets from a healthy Joe.

Tackles:   Von Bell  114.  5’11 safety, flying around and making hits.  


Coaches:


Dolphins:  Brian Flores is in his third season as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.  Brian says he is undecided if he will rest his starters and key players for the final preseason contest.  They open against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in Week 1 of the regular season.  Brian is a young, old-school guy (born in 1981).  He may want to give the offensive line more snaps together.  He may want to see his d-backs moving at game speed.  He may just want to make sure he is fully prepared for Tua Tagovailoa’s make or break season.

Bengals:  Zac Taylor.  Former NFL General Manager Michael Lombardi has said that 36 year old Zac Taylor is not qualified to be the Bengals head coach.  He even said “I mean really, really, really, really, really bad” about Zac choosing JaMarr Chase WR over surefire pro Penei Sewell Offensive Lineman.  Given that Joe Burrow got very badly hurt during a hit in the regular season.. The former GM may be right (he’s definitely grumpy). The real problem for Zac Taylor is the 6-25-1 record over his first two years… of course the bengals weren’t better before Zac got there.


Recent Form:


The Dolphins were 10-6 in 2020. 5-3 at home, 5-3 on the road.  The Dolphins were two-faced all year long, toggling back and forth between Tua and Ryan Firzpatrick.  The fans started calling Fitzpatrick Fitzmagic… and then what always happens to Ryan, the gunslinger, is the interceptions caught up to him and the team moved back to Tua.  Ryan left town for another squad. (where eerily the same thing will happen… as it always has since the beginning of time.)  Rookie Tua came in injured from college and has admitted he didn’t have a strong grasp of the playbook.  He also seems small in the pros. 

The Bengals were 4-11 in 2020. 3-5 at home, 1-6-1 on the road.  Similar to the Jets, the Bengals bad season was made worse by winning two meaningless games late against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans… damaging the capital they had to work with going into the Draft. Had they lost those games they would have gotten tight end Kyle Pitts for Joe Burrow in the NFL draft and no one would even mention Penei Sewell.


Series History:


The Bengals and Dolphins have played each other 25 times since 1968, including 1 postseason game.  The Dolphins lead the series 18-7.  It’s not even close.  The Bengals have been a bad franchise for so long that to heap the blame on any one coach or quarterback injury is ridiculous.  It’s time the Bengals ownership looked for answers within.


Statistical Comparison:


Miami was 22nd in yards per game in 2020 (339).  They scored 404 points for an average of 25.3 points per game.  They didn’t move the ball well but in some of those shootouts Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a good amount of points.  They won’t score as well this year.  Tua is on shaky ground with believers and non-believers on his own team.  If those points drop and especially if those passing yards drop the Dolphins will move off of Tua.

The Bengals were 24th in total yards per game in 2020 (319).  They scored a lot less points (hence the lot less wins) 311 for 19.4 a game.  Their defense got run over too.  They started with Joe Burrow but this team is still at the beginning of a BUILD… not a rebuild (from what?).



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Dolphins Vs Bengals Game Preview:



Predicting preseason games is decidedly harder than predicting regular season games.  We can compare “total offense” from the last preseason game… or time of possession…. Or TD to turnover rate.  We can pontificate if the  fifth overall pick was good or bad even before we have ever seen him play an actual NFL game.  The truth is none of that matters in the preseason because the roster will change from game to game.  The effort and skill levels will rise or drop depending on scrubs who won’t even play two weeks from now.   Truth is if the starters play it will be for a few possessions in the first half then they will spend the rest of the game on the sidelines avoiding a knee injury.

So, what we do have to compare is the coaches and what they have left to work on and work with.  Zac Taylor for the Bengals has nothing to work on if Joe Burrow isn’t in there and Joe Burrow won’t be in there.  Brian Flores still has to see if Tua has grasped the playbook.  Not just for his own confidence but Brian has to sell the much maligned Tua to the rest of the team.  The new Dolphin Jacoby Brissett, scooped up from free agency, could very well be the starter of this team if Tua doesn’t prove this is his team early.

The Dolphins are a deeper roster that will try for longer in this game.


Dolphins vs Bengals Prediction:  

Our NFL Pick for Sunday August 29th game is Dolphin 27 Bengals 14


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James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

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