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Dolphins vs. Bills: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Dolphins vs. Bills: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Thursday Night Football features an AFC East battle between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

Week 11 of the NFL schedule begins with one of the oldest rivalries in football, and one with a long, bitter history.

Neither team is in the playoff hunt this season, but neither will surrender bragging rights to the other without a fight.

In the first of two matchups between these teams, the Bills host the Dolphins on what should be a cold day in Buffalo on Thursday.

 

When: Thursday, November 15 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.

Watch: NFL Network

Live Stream: NFL.com

Listen: FreeFootballRadio

 

Spread: Even (via 5 Dimes)

This looks like an even matchup on paper, hence the even spread.

Who ya got?

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Both teams have similar passing and rushing attacks, and neither team has a very successful defense. It makes sense that this game is too close to call one way or another.

 

Over/Under: 45.5 (via 5 Dimes)

Like I said, neither team can play very good defense. At times both teams play exceptional offense, centered around playmakers like Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.

Personally, I'm inclined to take the over on this one since neither team really plays defense, but there's also the possibility of seeing both offenses collapse.

 

Miami Injury Report (via Yahoo! as of Nov. 13, 2012)

 Ryan Tannehill QB Probable Knee
 Mike Pouncey C Probable Knee, ankle
 Jake Long T Probable Back
 Brian Hartline WR Probable Hamstring
 Karlos Dansby LB Probable Biceps
 Tony McDaniel DT Questionable Knee
 Jeron Mastrud TE Questionable Hamstring

 

 

Buffalo Injury Report (via Yahoo! as of Nov. 13, 2012)

 Eric Wood C Probable Knee
 Kyle Williams DT Questionable Ankle
 Aaron Williams CB Out Knee
 Mario Williams DE Probable Wrist, knee
 Kraig Urbik G Questionable Foot
 C.J. Spiller RB Probable Hamstring
 Brad Smith WR Probable Hamstring
 Shawne Merriman DE Questionable Chest
 Leodis McKelvin CB Probable Groin
 Chris Kelsay DE Questionable Neck
 Stevie Johnson WR Questionable Thigh
 Spencer Johnson DE Questionable Ankle
 Stephon Gilmore CB Probable Shoulder
 Marcell Dareus DT Probable Shoulder
 Mark Anderson DE Out Knee
 Fred Jackson RB Day-to-Day Concussion

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

 

 

Fantasy Big Plays

Miami RB Reggie Bush

As I mentioned above, Reggie Bush is one of the best playmakers the Dolphins have. What's even better for him is that he will be going against a run defense ranked dead last in yards allowed per game and fantasy points allowed this season.

Bush is completely healthy (something that his fantasy owners have to be excited about) and has averaged at least four yards per carry in his last three games.

The Bills have surrendered 14 rushing touchdowns to running backs alone this season (not including rushing touchdowns allowed to quarterbacks), including seven in the team's last three games.

I think it's safe to say that Bush is a must-start this week.

Projected Stats: 25 rushes, 125 yards, 1 TD

 

Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

You probably thought I'd take C.J. Spiller here since Fred Jackson's concussion put his status in doubt, but the Dolphins surprisingly have the No. 5 rushing defense in the league.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Fitzpatrick has been hot as of late, scoring at least 20 points in two of his last three games (the exception being a game against the Houston Texans).

The Dolphins' pass defense is pathetic, ranking No. 28 in the league. With Fitzpatrick getting in a groove and the Dolphins appearing unable to stop any quarterback at this point, I'm taking a risk on him.

Projected Stats: 25-of-40, 321 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

 

Key to Victory: Which Defense Can Make a Stop?

This is most likely going to be a high-scoring affair in Buffalo, since it matches two pitiful defenses against each other.

With Bush running all over Buffalo and Fitzpatrick airing it out against the Dolphins, I see both teams putting up good offensive numbers.

The key to this game is playing solid defense and forcing turnovers. Whichever defense can find a way to consistently stop the opposing offense will win, whether their stops be from turnovers or forcing punts.

In all likelihood this game will come down to the turnover battle, but it's all about which defense can outplay the other.

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

 

Prediction

The Bills have shown that they can hang with good teams at times, but at others they will get blown out by teams like the Tennessee Titans. Luckily for them, the Dolphins also have a tendency to find ways to lose, and I see the deciding factor being home-field advantage in another sloppy edition of Thursday Night Football.

Final Score: Buffalo 38, Miami 31

 

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