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NFL Week 15: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

December 18, 2011

Reggie Bush
Miami’s Reggie Bush

It’s two teams playing out the string on Sunday in Buffalo, and it’s the first game for the Dolphins since headcoach Tony Sparano was fired earlier this week. The Dolphins’ season disintegrated early and, despite a three-game win streak at midpoint, resulted in Sparano’s ouster. The Bills season, off to a fast start, has disintegrated lately, with six consecutive losses erasing a 5-2 start.

How will the Dolphins respond? Assistant head coach and secondary coach Todd Bowles will guide the team in the final three games on an interim basis. Miami should have a little bit of spark in this road division game, with a good chance to displace the Bills for third place in the AFC East. To win, Miami should keep handing off to Reggie Bush. With quarterback Matt Moore banged up, the guy under center could very well be backup J.P. Losman—a 2004 first-round pick of the Bills.

Miami starting QB Matt Moore is iffy after he left last Sunday’s loss with a head injury. Moore, who had thrown eight touchdowns and one interception in the previous five games before tossing one of each while being sacked four times against the Eagles, was replaced by Losman, who threw his first NFL completion since 2008 and was sacked five times. He started 33 games in five seasons with the Bills, throwing 33 touchdown passes and 34 interceptions.

The Bills’ defensive front has allowed 4.7 yards per attempt on the ground this season. That will hurt against a Miami offense that’s improved its rushing attack as the season has progressed (318 yards, 4.6 yards per attempt over the past two games). Look for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to challenge a struggling Buffalo defensive line with a good dose of Daniel Thomas on power plays between the tackles and Bush on the edges.

Miami’s defense beat up Buffalo’s front five in the Nov. 20 meeting, intercepting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick twice as the Bills spun their wheels without RB Fred Jackson.

SA Pick: We like Miami -1 in this matchup. Miami is a more talented team and should play better than Buffalo.

WAGERWEB.COM NFL FOOTBALL BETS — TBA

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Miami 7-6; Buffalo 6-6-1

SERIES RECORD — Dolphins lead 55-39-1

LAST MEETING — Dolphins beat Bills 35-8, Nov. 20

LAST WEEK — Dolphins lost to Eagles 26-10; Bills lost to Chargers, 37-10

DOLPHINS OFFENSE — OVERALL (24), RUSH (12), PASS (25)

DOLPHINS DEFENSE — OVERALL (12), RUSH (3), PASS (25)

BILLS OFFENSE — OVERALL (15), RUSH (11), PASS (18)

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Sunday, December 18th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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