Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season brings Buffalo Bills’ fans their most talented and most hated rival to Orchard Park in the form of the Miami Dolphins. The matchup throws two of the best teams in the NFL into the pit against one another, and there should be fireworks, but we’ll get to that below.
Three Props made some oohhss and aahhs last week with two more winners:
- Groot o0.75 sacks & a Bills Win, +170, Result: Yes and Yes✅
- Sam Howell o0.5 INT, -125, Result: 4 INT✅
- Gabe Davis o2.5 rec, -160, Result: 1 rec ❌
Stefon Diggs stole the receiving show last week, and when you have a top-five wideout in the game, some days go his way. Back-to-back winning weeks now after a 1-2 start to the season. We’re learning more and more about who teams actually are this season, and that is a huge help in our evaluation and betting.
Time for the fireworks.
First Things First
Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.
- Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
- Don’t chase a bet.
- Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
- Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
- 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.
When the Dolphins have the ball…well, let’s say I’m glad it’s not my job to figure out how to slow that down. Over the last week, Cover 1 has shown you a lot of the fancy new bells and whistles HC Mike McDaniel has in the Miami offense. Sports talking heads might want you to think these are ideas that have never been tried before, but a good deal of them are things Miami was already doing last year, just with some new window dressing. That said, the fact that it isn’t revolutionary doesn’t mean it is any easier to stop. Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, and rookie RB Devon Achane are four of the fastest humans in the NFL, and QB Tua Tagovailoa has been an exceptional point guard through the first three weeks.
A simple thing to watch for Sunday afternoon is how each team utilizes and defends play action. Both offenses are around the middle of the pack in how often they have used PA (MIA 17th, BUF 15th), but they are both top 10 in how successful they are with it (MIA second, BUF sixth). The key difference is in how well they defend PA.
The Bills are the best team in the league against play-action. Overall, the Bills create -1.17 EPA/Play when opposing offenses use PA, and second best is the Browns at -0.35. Let’s put it this way: every time an opponent has used play action to this point, the Bills have taken away a point from their score.
This early in the season, a couple of interceptions at the right time could swing EPA drastically, but that disparity is large enough to be a key in a game between teams this closely matched.
Prediction: Bills 31 – Dolphins 28
Check our Uber Hansen’s Game Day Preview for a thorough breakdown.
As always, be sure to check the game-day inactives before game time.
Injury report de sexta-feira, o último da semana. Jaelan Phillips (oblíquo), pelos Dolphins, e Jordan Poyer (joelho), pelos Bills, estão FORA do jogo de domingo. Salvon Ahmed, Terron Armstead, DeShon Elliot e Connor Williams estão limitados como questionáveis para o jogo. pic.twitter.com/HD3GNGCMaa
— Phinsverso 🇧🇷 (3 – 0) (@PhinsversoBr) September 29, 2023
Friday injury report pic.twitter.com/1dCAVUjGnf
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) September 29, 2023
From the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Calm wind becoming west at 5 to 8 mph in the morning.
James Cook Receiving Yards
Cook has significantly improved his pass protection coming into 2023, letting him be on the field even more as the Bills’ main back. Of the 133 snaps the Bills have thrown a pass with an RB on the field, Cook has 79 & the next highest is Latavius Murray at 35. Cook has a lower Rt% than Murray, meaning they’re okay with letting him block: he leads the Bills’ RB with 10 pass blocks (Murray is second with four) with 0 pressures allowed.
The Week 3 game vs. MIA projects to be high scoring (o/u at 54), and the Dolphins’ weakest pass D through three weeks has been against running backs. In DVOA, they rank 29th against RB receiving. They are no worse than 17th in DVOA against wide receivers one through three and TEs.
MIA vs RB Receiving
- Wk 1: Ekeler – four receptions for 47 yards
- Wk 2: Stevenson – three receptions for 10 yards
- Wk 3: J. Williams – two receptions for 23; Perine – two receptions for 15 yards
Recommendation: James Cook o18.5 rec yds at MGM -110, 0.75u
James Cook Rushing & Receiving Yards
We haven’t offered two props on the same player before, but these lines play into each other. If we believe Cook will go over his receiving yards, then he has a good shot at hitting the over for his combined total as well.
Add to the fact that Miami has stout interior run stuffers but has struggled against outside runs versus 12 personnel, which the Bills run 45% of the time (first, SIS). When opponents have run out of 12 either off tackle or to the outside, the Fins have given up 112 yards on 11 attempts, tied for most in the NFL with Green Bay. A Yards/Att of 10.2 is an NFL worst by 2.6 yards (We won’t talk about the Bills’ D being second here at 7.6 Y/A).
When the Bills run off tackle or outside, it is pretty much just James Cook. He has 35 of these runs and even Josh Allen only has six. Damien Harris also has six attempts, and Murray has five. Deonte Harty has three, while Gabe Davis has one. Cook excels at this, as he is second in the league, only behind Christian McCaffery, on such runs, and he has 232 yards doing so (CMC has 273).
Recommendation: James Cook o81.5 Rushing and Receiving Yards, -110, 0.5u
Devon Achane Rushing Yards
The Bills have not faced an offense running out of 21 personnel much this season. They have only seen three rush attempts out of 12 this year, which is tied for third-fewest. Achane’s 4.32 speed is 98th percentile. That makes for a factor the Bills just have not played against much this year, and remember that stat we didn’t mention about the Bills’ rush D above.
I’ll admit I might be influenced some by the breakout performance he had last week running down and through and around the Broncos
Recommendation: Devon Achance o36.5 Rush Yards, -114 at FD, 0.5u
Last week’s tally brought us back over .500 on the year, and the decently sized plus money on the Groot sack recouped those Week 1 losses. Back on track and no slowing down.
Record: 5-4, +3.725u