NFL Football: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 19, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1 p.m. ET, Sept. 19, 2021
Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Where to watch: FOX

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Bills -3; O/U 47.5; Moneyline -- Bills -190, Dolphins +160
BetMGM: Bills -3.5; O/U 47.5; Bills -175, Dolphins +150 
Caesars: Bills -3.5; O/U 47.5; Bills -175, Dolphins +150

Season record
Bills: 0-1
Dolphins: 1-0

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Bills - Dolphins preview and analysis


Recent form
Bills: lost 23-16 vs. Steelers on Sept. 12
Dolphins: won 17-16 at Patriots on Sept. 12

If we didn’t reach weird times with the AFC East last year with Tom Brady gone, how are we supposed to feel with the Miami Dolphins all alone in first place?

The Dolphins were the lone team to win in that division in Week 1, which was one of the bigger shocks of the weekend. Miami held on for a 17-16 win over the New England Patriots as they began the Mac Jones era in Foxboro.

Nothing may touch the Tua Tagovailoa era that’s happening in Miami, but it’ll be a star quarterback battle when Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills head to Miami on Sunday for a division showdown.

No doubt the Bills are coming in angry after letting a win get away from them on Sunday, losing 23-16 to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. Allen threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, but was kept in check in the second half and threw 51 times.

"Obviously, it's not what we hope for, what we strive for, how we want to start the season," Allen said. “Whether it be first-game nerves or jitters, or feeling stuff with my feet, but I've got to play better."

It was a rare slip-up for a Bills offense that was second in scoring a year ago. Devin Singletary carried the ball only 11 times, but had 72 yards, while Allen ran it nine times for 44 yards. Clearly, the Bills did not utilize the run well enough to keep the strong Pittsburgh pass rush quiet.

But the Sean McDermott-led defense did its part against Ben Roethlisberger and company, holding Roethlisberger to 188 yards and a touchdown. Seeing how Buffalo did what it could to slow down one of the hottest offenses in the league, bodes well for a squad that has Super Bowl aspirations.

That’s an angry defense coming to Miami to face a Dolphins squad coming off an impressive win on the road against Bill Belichick’s team in their first game since cutting Cam Newton.

Tagovailoa threw for 202 yards and a touchdown, not to mention an ugly interception, but the Dolphins’ defense shined with two late turnovers to seal the deal. To say it was a strong start for Brian Flores in a crucial year for the development of Miami and getting to the playoffs would be an understatement.

Prediction


There’s no way to fathom the Bills falling to 0-2. Yes, Miami is improved and is on the cusp of being a playoff team. But 0-2, especially after a division loss, would be rough. Have to think the Bills will play inspired ball and get a win in what will be a tough crowd to play against. Bills by 6.

Betting trends


The over is 13-4 in Buffalo’s last 17 games when it was a road favorite between 3.5 and 7 points.

Miami is 17-9 against the spread as an underdog in its last 26 games.

Players to watch


Bills: There were multiple times on Sunday where Emmanuel Sanders was open. Allen missed Sanders for a touchdown in the first half, but still finished with four catches for 52 yards. Expect him to be targeted more, especially in the deep game.

Dolphins: Miami’s first-round pick, Jaylen Waddle, made an impression in his NFL debut. The rookie caught four passes for 61 yards and his first NFL touchdown. You’ll remember the Dolphins got that No. 6 pick in the trade for Laremy Tunsil. Yes, Miami is getting top-10 picks while challenging for a playoff spot. What a time to add such talent.

Statistical leaders


Bills:
Passing: Josh Allen -- 270 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: Devin Singletary -- 72 yards
Receiving: Stefon Diggs -- 69 yards
Defense: Jordan Poyer -- 6 tackles, 1 sack

Dolphins:
Passing: Tua Tagovailoa -- 202 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Myles Gaskin -- 49 yards
Receiving: DeVante Parker -- 81 yards
Defense: Jerome Baker -- 12 tackles

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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