Miami will try to remain unbeaten when it travels to Cincinnati for a showdown with the Bengals on Thursday night. The Dolphins are coming off an upset win over Buffalo last week, which followed a remarkable comeback win at Baltimore in Week 2. Cincinnati lost its first two games of the season before blowing out the Jets last week.
Dolphins looking to stay unbeatenMiami will be looking to complete an unbeaten month of September on Thursday night. The Dolphins opened the season with an important divisional win over New England at home, winning in a 20-7 final. They then played one of the craziest games of the season, erasing a 21-point deficit in a 42-38 win at Baltimore. Miami was able to back that win up at home in Week 3, taking down this year’s Super Bowl favorite (Buffalo). The Dolphins exploded offensively against Baltimore, but their win against the Bills was more of a defensive grind. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for just 186 yards after throwing for 469 yards at Baltimore.
He is off to an excellent start this season, completing 71.3% of his passes for 925 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert are each averaging 3.3 yards per carry, while wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have combined for more than 650 receiving yards. Waddle is dealing with a groin injury and is listed as questionable for this game, while Tagovailoa is probable to play through a back issue. Their offense ranks No. 13 in the NFL, averaging 355.3 yards per game. They are facing a Cincinnati defense that is No. 9, allowing 310.7 yards per contest.
Bengals trying to build on blowout winCincinnati entered the season with high expectations after making an improbable run to the Super Bowl last year, but it had a very disappointing start to the year. The Bengals were upset by Pittsburgh in an overtime thriller in Week 1, as they blew several opportunities to win the game in the latter stages. They followed that up with another upset loss, as Dallas picked up a 20-17 win with a backup quarterback under center. Cincinnati was able to get back on track last week, as the Bengals blew out the Jets in a 27-12 win. Quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 275 yards in the victory.
Burrow has completed 64.0% of his passes for 812 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. He is playing behind an offensive line that has been terrible this year, allowing 15 sacks. The rushing attack has not been able to get going either, with Joe Mixon averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on 58 attempts. Burrow has scrambled for 73 yards on 15 carries, averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has caught 21 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while Tee Higgins has 13 receptions for 191 yards. They are facing a Miami defense that has struggled, ranked No. 31 in yards allowed per game (413.7).
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This line has moved through a key number after Cincinnati opened as a 2-point favorite. I am still happy to back the Bengals as 3.5-point favorites, though. Miami has been lucky to pick up a few of its wins this season, particularly its comeback win over Baltimore. The Dolphins are also dealing with a few key injuries, including Tagovailoa and Waddle. They are facing a Cincinnati team that bounced back from a rough start to the year with a blowout win over the Jets last week. The Bengals have covered the spread in nine of their last 11 games, including four of their last five home games. Miami does not have a defensive front to take advantage of Cincinnati’s bad offensive line, which makes the Bengals an easy pick on Thursday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
Cincinnati is known for its offense led by Burrow and Chase, but it has gone under the total in eight consecutive games dating back to its Super Bowl run last year. The Bengals should be able to put up points against Miami’s bad defense, but I expect a strong effort from their defense as well. Miami has some injuries on the offensive side of the ball, so there should be a regression from the Dolphins on Thursday. They have gone under the total in nine of their last 13 games, so both teams have been playing low-scoring games.