Bills vs. Dolphins: 3 best prop bets for NFL Wild Card Weekend

01/15/2023
DB+

IT’S THE PLAYOFFS, BABY! Your Buffalo Bills are hosting the Miami Dolphins in the third matchup this season, but this one feels unequal because the Dolphins are down so many players due to injury. Their defensive line is a force, and they have two wideouts who can score on any given play. But Miami is starting third string QB Skylar Thompson, fielding back up RB Jeff Wilson, and – no exaggeration – 60% of their starting OL is out or legitimately limited by injury. There are no certainties, but Vegas has given this game the single biggest spread in Wild Card Round history at 13.5.

History was also made last week as Three Props and a Cloud of Dust closed out its regular season on a free money high with a 3-0 week, leaving us at 64.5% on the regular season. There were 14 total points in Q1, easily crushing our 7.5 over, Stefon Diggs saied past 78.5 receiving yards, and Rhamondre Stevenson even chipped in 28 receiving yards to get us over that 19.5 line. Let’s find out if we can keep up that pace in the playoffs. The Jaguars just proved the Wild Card round can be nuts. Buckle up. Let’s get that analysis money.

(One more time just because it was such an incredible moment!)

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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

We can almost start and stop with Skylar Thompson. Unfortunately for Fins Up, Thompson has shown little in the last two games to believe he can be a driving force to carry Miami through this game. If Miami should find a way to win, it will be because the defensive line overwhelmed the Bills, Hill and Waddle ran amok, and Thompson didn’t screw up egregiously. It will take the Bills beating the Bills on an epic scale for Miami to snatch victory.

It is difficult to utilize even tendencies over the last month with as drastic a change in talent at the most important position in sports, plus all the other injuries. Here’s an example: Miami has utilized 21 personnel (2 RB, 1 TE) at the 2nd highest rate in the league over the last 4 weeks, and they have generated a positive play rate of 43%, which ranks 16th. But with the starting RB Raheem Mostert out, will McDaniel be disinclined to run 2 RBs out there? With all of those question marks for the Fins, handicapping this week feels more like Wk 1 than Wk 19 (All stats from SIS unless otherwise noted).

The Bill having a lead for significant portions of the second half is reasonable. There should be little way the Miami offense can keep pace with Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Dawson Know, et al. The Dolphins’ D will be able to kill a few drives, but¬† the Skylar Thompson led O will give the ball back more often. The Dolphins feel disrespected by the spread and the sense that no one gives them a chance in this game. Be prepared for a game that is closer than you want early, but the Bills pull inexorably away as the game moves into the second half.

For a thorough breakdown, check out Uber Hansen’s Game Matchups Preview.

DVOA Matchup

From Football Outsiders

Injury Reports

As always, remember to check the inactives before game time.

Weather

From the National Weather Service: Sunny, with a high near 31. Light and variable wind.

Sunday, January 15 at 1pm
Temperature: 30 ¬įF¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Dewpoint: 18 ¬įF¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Wind Chill: 30 ¬įF¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Surface Wind: N 2mph
Sky Cover (%): 31%     Precipitation Potential (%): 0%     Relative Humidity (%): 61%
Rain: <10%     Thunder: <10%     Snow: <10%     Freezing Rain: <10%     Sleet: <10%

Last updated: 1/15/23 7:15 am

Dawson Knox Longest Reception

O U
BET US 16.5 -110 -120
CSR 16.5 -111 -123
DK 16.5 -110 -120
FD 16.5 -114 -114
MGM 16.5 -105 -125

In the last month, the Dolphins have allowed TEs to rack up the following:

  • ¬†the highest EPA/Play (0.61)
  • 4th most total EPA (15.21)
  • 2nd highest Boom rate (40%)
  • 5th highest Y/Att (9.4)
  • 2nd highest passer rating against (144)

This next set of stats ventures over into small samples. Over the last 4 weeks, the Bills have used 21 personnel the 7th most. That said, it only amounted to 28 total plays. On the flip side, the Dolphins have three pass attempts to TEs out of 21 in that same time frame, and one of those was Knox’s 45 yard catch in Week 15. On those 3 attempts, Miami has allowed 24.3 yds/rec, 73.3 yds/gm, and an EPA of 4.61 (on just 3 plays!).

In the Week 15 contest, Knox caught passes against 5 different defenders, meaning he was a matchup nightmare.

Recommendation: o16.5 at MGM, 0.5u

Devin Singletary Rush Attempts

O U
BET US 11.5 -120 -110
CSR 11.5 -117 -117
DK 11.5 -115 -115
FD 11.5 -102 -130
MGM 11.5 -125 -105

Motor has 90 carries in the second half or OT when the Bills are up by 7 or more, which ranks 14th overall and is 24 more carries that Allen has in the same situation. When the Bills are up later in games, Motor is the ball carrier.

In their last 4 games, the Bills have run from shotgun at the 10th highest rate with the 4th best positive percentage. Next Gen Stats give the Bills a 5-star advantage running from the gun, as the Miami D ranks 28th against rushing from that alignment.

Recommendation: o11.5 at FD, 1u

Greg Rousseau Sacks

O U
BET US
CSR
DK 0.75 -105 -125
FD
MGM

Did we mention how banged up the Dolphins’ OL is? This line dropped from 0.75 to 0.25 with Friday’s injury report and the likelihood that Terron Armstead is playing, but Rousseau primarily plays on the defensive left (394 of his 464 snaps per PFF), meaning he will primarily line up versus a hampered Brandon Shell or Greg Little. Groot should have plenty of opportunities to pass rush with the expectation that Miami will be behind.

Recommendation: o0.75, 0.5u. UPDATE: When this rec was written, the line was 0.25. Now on Sunday morning, it’s back to 0.75. Not crazy about this still being minus money. I’ll be making an additional bet on AJ Epenesa o0.75 sacks at +115, and you might even consider Shaq Lawson o0.75 at +190 but not more than 0.25u.

Conclusion

One note before we close out: unless you’re worried a line is about to move very soon, look around because there can be weird advantages/disadvantages. At DK for example, Devin Singletary’s rush yards line is 46.5, -105 for the over. Scroll down a little, and in his Alternate Rush Yards Total, 50+ has a -110 vig. This makes no sense if you’re considering the over: why would accept a higher vig that takes more yards to achieve? In other words, pay attention. Look around. Check multiple books – I don’t put five books in this column because I like making charts.

The Bills have been given a gift in the form of Skylar Thompson and all the Fins’ injuries. We have seen them shoot themselves in the foot – the Bills are the only team to beat the Bills this year – so they will still need to remain focused, but with leadership from Sean McDermott, Josh Allen, and Jordan Poyer, that should not be a problem. Your Bills are in the playoffs! Yes, they have bigger goals now, but enjoy the hell out of this game.

Miami 17 – Bills 31

Record: 31-17, 64.5%, +4.5u

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

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