Bengals (-6) vs. Dolphins | Over/Under: 49.5
Sunday, 1:00 pm EST / Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
When I saw this game on the schedule it jumped out as a classic Thursday night matchup — two excruciatingly pedestrian teams meeting early in the season before either has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Also, it had the potential to be the most repulsive combination of Color Rush jerseys the NFL has ever seen.
Sadly, Color Rush Thursday is a thing of the past. And fortunately, this is one of several Sunday early afternoon games so no one outside of South Florida or Ohio will have to watch.
If you’re thinking that this isn’t a bad game, that both of these teams are 3-1 and leading their divisions, you’re not wrong. The Bengals may actually be decent. The Dolphins are not.
Miami beat the Titans, Jets and Raiders to start the season 3-0 before getting steamrolled 38-7 by the Pats last week. Their one impressive win, at least on paper, against Tennessee was an incredibly fluky game. Both Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker went down with injuries and there were multiple weather delays totaling close to four hours, making this the longest game in NFL history.
Miami is giving up 22.5 points a game and has hit the over twice in four games. Cincinnati has gone over in all four games while averaging 31.5 points and allowing 28.2. The Bengals are an above average offense against anyone and even if the Dolphins are in the middle of the pack offensively, they should be able to move the ball against Cincy. Both teams are at the bottom of the league in almost every major defensive statistical category.
I’d lean towards the Miami if I had to pick against the spread with the Bengals coming off an emotionally and physically draining 37-36 win. The Bengals could easily come out completely flat and find themselves trailing 17 early. Or Andy Dalton could pick up where he left off last week (337 yards, 3 TD’s). Either way, I love the over here.