Bills vs Dolphins: 3 best player prop bets for NFL Week 3

09/24/2022
DB+

It’s already Week 3 in the 2022 NFL season, and the Buffalo Bills battle the Miami Dolphins for early season supremacy in the AFC East. Two of the highest flying offenses in the league will fight it out to see who gets early control of the division. But season-long concerns aren’t why we’re here. Our focus here rests squarely on this game alone. More specifically, we’re looking at player props and the free money they’ll hopefully bring.

Three Props and a Cloud of Dust had a perfect card in Week 2, and saw Isaiah McKenzie go over in receiving yards, watched Josh Allen easily exceed the books’ line for passing yards (in only 3 quarters!), and reveled in the sweet, sweet bliss of a Derrick Henry under in rushing yards. The record now sits at 5-1 through two weeks. Let’s get that analysis money.

First Things First

Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.

  1. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Don’t chase a bet.
  3. Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
  4. Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
  5. See Rule #1.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.

National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700

Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.

Game Script

If you’ve followed this article for the last two weeks, you know we’ve predicted high-scoring affairs. The Bills had the decency to oblige, but with 10 and 7 points, the Rams and Titans failed to live up to the anticipated point bonanzas. Maybe Buffalo’s defense deserves more credit than they’ve gotten here, but with the dangerous speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle lining up for the Dolphins, it’s foolish to expect only one touchdown scored against the Bills. This space won’t tell you to get ready for a bunch of points every week – promise – but when you’re following one of the best offenses in team history, you get to enjoy a lot of TDs.

It’s really difficult to figure out a game script for this matchup because of the number of injuries. Injuries to key players like Micah Hyde, Ed Oliver, Terron Armstead, and Xavien Howard create an information vacuum that any and all bettors abhor. This week’s column will try to cut through this injury fog, but double-check the injury reports for both teams before you place your bets.

The injuries to the Dolphins’ offensive line are especially problematic for them. Even at full strength, the Bills’ DL versus Miami’s OL. To start the season, the Bills’ D has shut down two very different styles of offense, and the defensive line generating pressure has been a huge part of that success. Miami’s offensive line is a relative weakness, even after the offseason addition of Terron Armstead. If Armstead is out – he is currently questionable with a toe injury – Greg Little is his likely replacement. Little has struggled in both pass and run blocking and didn’t play in 2021 due to injury. If Little plays, he will have some plays against Von Miller. If Miller’s sacks prop posts, the over up to 0.75 sacks is a fourth bet for you.

New Dolphins’ Head Coach Mike McDaniel brought the Kyle Shanahan offense with him to South Beach. The Shanahan offense is reaching sacred ground territory with talking heads, and it is an effective system with good players and good coaching. One of the thematic elements of the Shanahan offense is Yards After Catch (YAC). You know this stat – probably because you’ve heard Bills fans complain that the team doesn’t get enough of it despite having one of the best offenses in the league.

YAC is a staple of the Shanahan-style offense, and Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have the athletic skill sets to give DBs cold sweats. Other than rookie Kaiir Elam, the Bills do not have anyone who, on paper, can be expected to run with Hill and Waddle.

Thankfully, the games aren’t played on paper, and the Bills have done a respectable job against the Shanahan coaching tree on the actual field. Since 2019, when Zac Taylor and Matt LaFleur got the head coaching jobs in Cincinnati and Green Bay respectively, the Bills have done marginally better than the rest of the league against Shanahan-style offenses in terms of YAC. The chart below includes YAC data for games the Bills have played against the Packers, Rams, and Bengals since 2019, and last year’s two games facing the Jets, who brought Mike LaFleur on as OC.

While each offense is differently coached and composed of different players, the fundamental themes are similar enough for comparison’s sake. While Shanahan-style offenses do better than the rest of the league in YAC against the Bills (5.61 to 4.86 YAC/REC), the Bills are more successful than the rest of the NFL (5.94).

The sample size is woefully small, but so far in 2022, the Dolphins are in-line with a Shanahan-style offense in this specific category.

Hill and Waddle need to be respected, but McDermott and Frazier’s defenses have held up well against this system. This is why Micah Hyde is the most pivotal injury this week. His ability to contain explosive plays is paramount. Dane Jackson, while gratefully out of the hospital, is understandably most likely out for this game. With Hyde out, it will even more difficult for the Bills to contain the speedy wide receivers. The Bills should still win on the strength of their offense and defensive line, but their should be fireworks from the Dolphins too.

For a full preview, check out Uber Hansen’s Game Matchups Preview.

Bills vs. Dolphins: 5 Keys to Victory in NFL Week 3

*Odds and lines are consistently changing. These bets may be different when you visit your books.

Updated: 9/24/22 6:00am

Jaylen Waddle Receiving Yards

o u
CSR
DK 64.5 -115 -115
FD 61.5 -114 -114
MGM 63.5 -115 -115

Props are about matchups. Unfortunately, the Bills have no one who can match up with the speed of Waddle or Tyreek Hill.  With a limited sample size, it is nearly impossible at this point to ascertain who is the Dolphins’ primary receiver. Waddle has averaged 12 targets in the first two games. Hill has 12.5. Waddle is at 16 yds/rec while Hill “only” has 14.9, but Hill has 19 catches to Waddle’s 15. They are 1A and 1B in terms of Tua Tagovailoa’s weapons. With that degree of similarity, we’ll let the lines decide. Hill’s receiving yards line is in the mid-70’s.

It might feel yucky to place this bet, but, remember, you’re also a fan of free money.

Recommendation: o61.5 at FD, 0.5u

Devin Singletary Receiving Yards

o u
CSR 11.5 -115 -119
DK 11.5 -110 -120
FD 10.5 -114 -114
MGM 11.5 -110 -120

This prop is a combination of script and opportunity. Singletary has gotten 2 targets in each game this season, but has run a route on 85.2% of his pass snaps (PFF). He has caught all four targets but only gained 16 yards. However, he has averaged 3.12 targets per game for his career and is also getting under last year’s average for targets per route run (5.78 routes/target in 2021, 6.5 in 2022, PFF).

Positive regression, thy name is Dolphins’ linebackers. The Dolphins’ safeties should be occupied with the Bills’ WRs, leaving their LBs to handle routes from the backfield. Miami’s LBs have not been good against the pass. Elandon Roberts, Jerome Baker, Duke Riley, and Sam Equavoen have allowed 12 receptions on 14 targets for 75 yds. In 2021, Baker and Roberts were good coverage linebackers, but this isn’t Brain Flores’ defense anymore. So far in 2022, Baker and Roberts rank 49th and 104th in EPA/target among LBs. This might just be sample size, but Singletary’s yardage is set so low, and the game should be explosive, we’re taking the over.

Recommendation: o10.5 re yds at Fanduel. If you’re not convinced about the LBs, go 0.25u, other wise, 0.5u.

Josh Allen Pass TD in Each Half

This is a Fanduel special. In their page for the game is a tab labeled “Game Specials.” Under that tab this week is “Josh Allen to have 1+ passing TDs in each half,” and it is +180. The game script calls for points from both teams, and Miami’s secondary is as banged up as the Bills, if not more so.

Byron Jones is on IR. Xavien Howard is questionable. And the Dolphins should score more points than the Bills have allowed this season. Once again, Bills Mafia should get to watch Allen sling it around the field. The biggest threat to this bet is underestimating the Bills’ defense again and Allen sits for the 4th quarter.

Recommendation: 1u on this Game Special at Fanduel.

Conclusion

Watch the injury report. Every week, but especially this one. It should be a Bills’ win, but if the Dolphins score a bunch, don’t panic. Profit.

Tail it or fade it, let me see your winnings on Twitter – @LowBuffa.

Record to Date: 5-1, +2.15u on the season ($20u)

 

You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!

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