Miami Dolphins (9-8) at Buffalo Bills (13-3)
Game Info: Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. EST (Highmark Stadium)
Betting Odds: Bills (-13.5) / Over/Under (43.5)
Pick: Bills (-13.5)
Today we are going to bring our focus to the first game of three Playoff games on Wildcard Weekend, where the Miami Dolphins travel to take on the Buffalo Bills for the second time in the last month. This time around will be much different than the last though, as Miami will be forced to start their third-string quarterback, Skylar Thompson in this one.
Miami punched their ticket to the Playoffs last weekend by beating the New York Jets in a doozy of a game, 11-6. After losing 5 games in a row throughout December, they put themselves in a tricky situation, but inevitably prevailed. Now, they are tasked with going into Buffalo as a two-touchdown underdog with their third-string quarterback. You may ask, what could possibly go wrong here? Mike McDaniel is certainly a unique Head Coach in comparison to other's in the league, so we could see him dial up several trick plays in this one in order to try and steal a few possessions away from the Bills. Although the Postseason is a different animal, this is still against a divisional opponent, in which they went 5-1 ATS in this year. With all of the odds stacked against them, they certainly will come into this one with nothing to lose as they try and upset one of the Super Bowl favorites in their own backyard. Can Thompson make a name for himself in his first playoff game?
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Buffalo will feel great coming into this game after being dealt a favorable matchup. Although you can not overlook any team in the NFL come Playoff time, this is surely the matchup they would have wanted if they had to pick one of the teams to play. In saying this though, they will want to start off hot as the longer you keep a big underdog in the game, the more you make them believe that they can pull off the insurmountable upset. They have cruised over the past two months, having won 7 games in a row (4-3 ATS in that span). They will be thrilled to not face Tua Tagovailoa in this game, as the one semi-weak spot (if you can call it that) is their pass defense. With the likes of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Tua was able to form a formidable duo with them that could attack this Bills defense. Without him though, this Bills defense, that comes in with the second-lowest points allowed per game (17.9 PPG) will look to feast on an inexperienced quarterback who has looked shaky at times. If Josh Allen can get it going early in this one and get Buffalo on top, this could be a route.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Miami is 3-7-1 ATS in it's last 11 meetings in Buffalo
- Rookie quarterbacks are 14-35 ATS since 2002 in their first playoff start against a quarterback with one or more playoff starts
- Miami's away games went over in 7 out of their 9 games played this year
Although this is certainly where most of the bets are going to be on this weekend, I can't pass up the right side in this game. I really don't see Thompson being able to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball in order to keep up with Buffalo, as he has looked unimpressive to say the least in his games played. I am going to keep this one short and sweet, give me Buffalo all the way in this matchup.
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