The Buffalo Bills hold a lead in the recent rivalry with the Miami Dolphins, winning six of the past nine meetings outright, going 6-3 against the spread.
If Buffalo wants to have a chance of making the playoffs this season, it will need another victory over Miami Sunday afternoon.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 23.6-18.4 Dolphins. NFL picks on every game.
Why the Bills Can Cover the Spread
The Bills won two games in a row heading into Week 16, when they lost 37-16 on the road to the New England Patriots. However, that game was closer than the final score indicates.
As an 11-point dog Buffalo led the Patriots 16-13 well into the third quarter. But the Bills went cold from there while giving up touchdowns on three straight New England possessions.
On the day, Buffalo came up empty on a 4th-and-2 from the Patriots' 6-yard line, got robbed of a Kelvin Benjamin touchdown catch just before halftime and later missed a 50-yard field goal that gave New England a short field, resulting in a Patriots touchdown.
The Bills beat the Dolphins 24-16 in Week 15, covering as four-point favorites. Buffalo led that game 24-6 midway through the fourth quarter before allowing Miami to score the last 10 points.
At 8-7 on the season, the Bills need a win Sunday and help from elsewhere to snap their 18-season playoff drought.
Why the Dolphins Can Cover the Spread
The Dolphins won two straight games to begin December, including a 27-20 upset of New England. But Miami has since lost two in succession, falling 29-13 on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in its most recent outing.
As 11-point dogs, the Dolphins only trailed the Chiefs 20-13 at halftime. But they faded from there on a cold Christmas Eve afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
On the day, Miami lost the turnover battle 2-0 and missed a field goal, all of which basically resulted in a minus-12 points differential.
The Dolphins got outgained against the Chiefs but only by a margin of 59 yards. Prior to that, Miami had outgained each of its previous three opponents, including the Patriots.
At 6-9, the Dolphins are out of playoff contention, but the spoiler role can be fun to play.
Buffalo has the motivation here, but since when have the Bills come through in the clutch? Buffalo seems destined to blow this one. The smarter money here bets Miami.
NFL Betting Trends
The total has gone over in the Bills' past five games against the Dolphins.
The visiting team is 2-6 SU and ATS in its past eight games in this matchup.
The Dolphins are 5-14 ATS in their past 19 games in December.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis or download the free odds tracker app.