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Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Betting Preview

The emotional roller coaster continues for the Miami Dolphins (3-0), as they have a short turnaround for a Thursday night game at the Cincinnati Bengals. In the last two weeks, Miami has come back from a 35-14 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Baltimore 42-38, and last Sunday outlasted Super Bowl favorite Buffalo 21-20.

Cincinnati is coming off their first win of the season, a 27-12 win over the Jets. The 1-2 Bengals seem like they’re in a Super Bowl losing hangover, but their two defeats have each come by a field goal against Pittsburgh and Dallas. Miami is one of the last two undefeated teams in the NFL (Philadelphia) but are still +3.5 underdogs on Thursday.

Miami Has to Be Exhausted

It’s still hard to figure out if Miami was the better team last week against Buffalo or if the 90-100° degree weather in South Beach was the real X-factor for the Bills. The stat sheet says Buffalo dominated that game – they had a 40 to 20 time of possession advantage and had 497 yards compared to Miami’s 212.

Either way, the Dolphins found a way to win last Sunday against Buffalo, just like they did with 28 points in the fourth quarter the week prior against Baltimore.

We will see if that trend continues on the short turnaround this week because the Bengals’ defense has been solid, ranking eighth in total yards (310.7) and rushing yards (86.0) allowed.

It could also be argued that Cincinnati’s opponents, Pittsburgh, Dallas (without Dak Prescott), and the Jets, don’t have anywhere near the weapons that the Dolphins do. This could be the real first test of the season for the Bengals’ defense.

Is Burrow Back?

Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow missed some time in training camp due to an appendectomy, and it looked like that was affecting him the first couple of games of the year. He had five turnovers (four INT, one fumble) in the loss to Pittsburgh and threw for less than 200 yards in the loss to the Cowboys.

Burrow’s early struggles are not all on him, as he was sacked 13 times in the first two games. The star QB was sacked just twice last week, and as a result, he was 23/36 for 275 yards and three TDs in the win over the Jets. The Dolphins have just six sacks this season, so Burrow should have time on Thursday.

Dolphins at Bengals Pick and Prediction

When does the emotion of the last two weeks catch up to Miami? At the same time, this is not a Dolphins team you want to wager against right now, as they are finding a way to win, even with a rookie head coach in Mike McDaniel.

Miami hasn’t been great at pressuring the QB, which is how you beat the Bengals. When you combine that with the short turnaround after playing an absolutely exhausting game against a) a great Buffalo team and b) 100° heat, it’s just a hard ask for Miami to stay competitive in this one.

Pick: Bengals -3.5

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