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NFL Thursday Night Football Picks — Dolphins will impress greatly if they knock off Bengals

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Dolphins and Bengals Should be a Good Watch on Amazon Thursday Night Football

By Charles Jay

NFL Thursday Night Football for Week Four us upon us. The Miami Dolphins have surprised a lot of people by not just winning their first three games but doing so against genuine contenders like the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. And now they figure they are genuine contenders themselves.

Now comes another test, as they have to bounce back from a Sunday game to face the defending AFC champions. The Cincinnati Bengals will provide the opposition on the Thursday night NFL presentation scheduled for 8:15 PM ET at Paycor Stadium. BetAnySports patrons can see the game if they have a subscription to Amazon Prime Video.

Miami comes off an interesting 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills, in which they allowed the Bills to go up and down the field but shut them down when the game was on the line. That impressed a lot of people, considering how Buffalo had rolled over its first two opponents. And it earned them first place in the AFC East at 3-0.

The Bengals, who had lost their first two games, dispatched the New York Jets 27-12. Cincinnati needs for Joe Burrow to do what he did last year – post numbers despite a deficient ground game and sometimes-shaky pass protection – and he threw for 275 yards and three TD’s. There are probably a number of detractors, who see a lack of fundamentals and are skeptical about their chances to win the AFC North.

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NFL Thursday Night Football Picks — Here are the numbers…..

In the NFL betting odds that are posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Bengals are laying points at home:

Cincinnati Bengals -3.5
Miami Dolphins +3.5

Over 47.5 points -110
Under 47.5 points -110



NFL Thursday Football Night Picks — About the Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins didn’t look like the kind of team that should have gotten blown off the field, if you saw the box score. They were outgained by a huge margin (497-212) and had the ball for just over 19 minutes. They allowed the Bills to run 90 plays, which is an enormous number. Tua Tagovailoa, who had 469 passing yards against Baltimore, was held to just 186, and he suffered what was categorized as a back injury.

The Dolphins had a major gaffe on special teams, as punter Thomas Morstead inadvertently kicked the ball into the “rear end” of a teammate, causing a safety. So after having put together a goal line stand of some dramatic significance, they had to then turn around and stop the Bills again on a last-minute drive.

NFL Thursday Night Picks — About the Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy could be 2-1 by now, or even 3-0. Against Pittsburgh they lost their long snapper, and that resulted in two botched kick attempts that directly led to defeat. They are too good not to be a contender. They hope that they can work out their offensive line issues, as they have added Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins. Including the post-season, they gave up 70 sacks and have surrendered 15 this year. They gave up just two against the Jets last week, but we’re not sure that means anything.

So let’s operate on the assumption that Burrow is going to suffer some sacks. And the Dolphins may try to facilitate that by blitzing, as is their wont. But Burrow has been able to handle blitzes pretty well; in fact, last season he was one of the top five QB’s in the league against blitzes.

NFL Thursday Football Night Picks — Our conclusion

Both of these teams have had a hard time moving the ball on the ground, each averaging 3.3 yards a pop, although they both should be better. But the Dolphins might suffer more from it, because they would like to have that at their disposal to give their defense a rest. Miami likes to blitz, and Burrow operates pretty well against it. We know it’s early in the schedule and that we have a small sampling, but thus far the Bengals have given up 20 fewer yards per drive than Miami. So we’re sensing something decisive here, as we lay the points with the home team.


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