The 10-6 Bills have had an insanely up-and-down season leading up to Week 18, and it’s reflected in their playoff situation. Beat the Dolphins and they’re the No. 2 seed in the AFC and division champions. Lose to the Dolphins and they’re at risk of missing the postseason altogether. After going 6-6 to start the year, Buffalo has since rebounded, entering Week 18 on a four-game winning streak. However, their two latest victories, one-score wins over the vastly inferior Chargers and Patriots, show that Buffalo still isn’t playing like the talented team they are. Still, when Buffalo is firing on all cylinders they’re very hard to stop, with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Josh Allen, a strong group of offensive weapons, and a defense led by stars such as Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, and Ed Oliver. Just three weeks ago, the Bills blew out a very good Dallas team 31-10.
Much like the Bills, Miami is a hard team to predict due to their roller-coaster of a season up to this point. At 11-5 entering Week 18, the Dolphins have a playoff spot locked up already and they’re simply playing for an AFC East title and the playoff seeding that comes with it. They have the NFL’s best offense in terms of points and yards per game, with a bevy of offensive talent including Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, and De’Von Achane. However, all four have appeared on the injury report this week, with Waddle and Mostert likely being out. On defense, Miami has had some great performances (a shutout against the Jets two weeks ago) and some terrible ones (giving up 56 to Baltimore last week). It shouldn’t get any easier for them this week, as they’ll be without injured stars Bradley Chubb and Xavien Howard. Miami will need to be on their A-game against the Bills.
How to watch Bills vs. Dolphins
Date: Sunday, January 7
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
TV channel: NBC
Live stream: Peacock, NFL Plus
Odds and predictions for Bills vs. Dolphins
Point spread: Bills -2.5
Moneyline: Bills -155, Dolphins +130
Pick against the spread
As mentioned earlier, both the Bills and Dolphins have been hot and cold all year and as a result, this matchup is a tough one to predict. However, the Dolphins are coming off a 37-point loss, dealing with a number of injuries, and they have a playoff spot already locked up. On the other hand, the Bills are starting to fire on all cylinders, and they still have a lot to play for as they fight for a playoff spot and try to finally overtake the rival Dolphins in the division standings. All the momentum entering this game points to the Bills, and don’t forget that Buffalo won this matchup by 28 last time the two teams met.
The pick: Bills -2.5
The Bills alone scored 48 points last time they played Miami, but both teams have cooled off a little bit since, with neither breaking 30 points in each of their last two games. This game could still easily hit the over, but with late-season attrition setting in, a final score along the lines of 24-20 seems more probable.
The pick: Under 48
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.