The Miami Dolphins are scheduled to face the Buffalo Bills on the road in a prime-time game to close out Saturday’s tripleheader in Week 15 of the 2022 NFL season.
Let’s take a look at our Dolphins vs. Bills odds on Saturday, as well as a prediction.
NFL Odds: Point Spread, Moneyline, Total
Here are Saturday odds from around the sports betting marketplace.
Dolphins-Bills Weather Issue Will Play Major Factor on Saturday
Buffalo (10-3 straight up/6-6-1 ATS), which only five weeks ago was coming off a two-game losing streak and situated as the No. 6 seed in the AFC, has since won four games in a row and taken charge in the East division by two games over Miami. The Bills (+380 Super Bowl favorites at FanDuel) also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with Kansas City, the only other AFC team with a 10-3 mark.
The Dolphins (8-5 SU/6-7 ATS), who were the No. 2 seed a month ago and frontrunners in the East, just lost two in a row on the West Coast and have slipped to the second wild card in the conference.
Without further delay, let’s get to the weather issue.
This game will mark the fifth time in the past seven seasons the Dolphins have been scheduled to play a game in Buffalo in frosty December or January. Remarkably, in Miami’s first 24 years in the league, from 1966-89, the Dolphins never had a date that late in Upstate New York.
Anyway, Saturday night’s forecast calls for a temperature of 23 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of 13 — by far the coldest weather third-year Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa will have played in as a pro. And there’s roughly a 10% chance of snow. Sounds like must-see TV.
In Miami’s Jan. 3 visit to Buffalo two seasons ago, it was only 35 degrees at kickoff and the Bills romped 56-26. Tagovailoa had three INTs in that meeting, the only time he’s thrown that many in a game.
Including that rout, the Bills have dominated the series since 2018, winning seven of the past eight games. And even in that defeat, in Week 3 this season, Buffalo also dominated. Although the Dolphins were victors, 21-19, the Bills outgained them by 285 yards and had 51 more offensive snaps. As mentioned in previous stories, that gap in plays is the greatest for any team in the past 16 years.
Miami WR Tyreek Hill, who’s second in the league with 1,460 receiving yards, had only two receptions for 33 yards in that game. This week’s reports say he was receiving treatment for an ankle issue and is listed as questionable.
Also read: Dolphins vs. Bills props & TD scorers
As for Buffalo, perhaps its greatest concern is the play of its offensive line. Analysts have griped that left guard Rodger Saffold has been struggling all season and that right tackle Spencer Brown has been a pushover in pass protection. Also, last week, in a 20-12 home win over the NY Jets, Buffalo had only 232 yards of offense, more than 100 yards less than any other outing. Hmm…
But the Bills’ defense has had an about-face in the running game in the past four games.
In the three games after their Week 7 bye, Buffalo yielded an average of 176 yards a game at 5.9 a carry. In the past four weeks, that average is 78 yards an outing with a 3.5 norm per rush. Included was holding Cleveland’s Nick Chubb, the league’s third-leading rusher, to 19 yards on 14 carries.
Meanwhile, Miami had been 8-0 in games Tagovailoa had started and been able to complete this year before back-to-back road losses to San Francisco (33-17) and last week to the LA Chargers (23-17). Against LA, he was just 10-for-28 for a 35.7 completion percentage, the worst for any passer with at least 10 attempts who still has a starting job. Yet he’s still the No. 2-rated passer. Buffalo’s Josh Allen, FYI, is 10th.
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Dolphins vs. Bills NFL Prediction
As if prepping to face the conference’s No. 1-seeded team isn’t hard enough, the Dolphins are amid a particularly difficult travel stretch in flying home from LA after Sunday’s loss and then having to zoom to Buffalo and play on short rest.
What’s going on with Miami’s defense in first-and-goal situations? Before holding the Chargers to one score on three such possessions last week, the Dolphins had allowed teams to go 14-for-14 in their previous nine games. Buffalo has cashed in on 10 of its past 12 such drives, including going 3-for-3 against New England’s No. 6 defense two weeks ago.
In summary, if the Dolphins are going to have a chance, they’ll need their running game to go bonkers. But considering they welcomed back star OLT Terron Armstead from injury last week and Miami gained only 92 rushing yards against a Chargers defense that yields a league-worst 5.4 yards a carry, such a performance doesn’t appear likely.
Prediction: Bills 23, Dolphins 13
Also read: 2023 NFL playoffs odds