I'm not sure I have ever seen a new head coach have as much success as Miami's Mike McDaniel. Not only is he 3-0 and in charge of one of the hottest teams in the NFL, but just look at the teams he has started off his career beating. He defeated Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens, and Sean McDermott and the Buffalo Bills. That is an absolute gauntlet to start your season (and career), and he has emerged from it undefeated.
Beating Buffalo only further vindicates the Dolphins as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but we'll have to know the status of their starting QB for Thursday night. Tua Tagovailoa seemed to have been injured against the Bills, though, he was still able to finish the game remarkably. The guy was hardly able to stand one minute, and the next he was in there under center. On a short week, that is something you have to monitor. If he can’t go Thursday, the Dolphins will likely have Teddy Bridgewater under center.
The good news is Miami has a loaded receiving corps featuring the one-two punch of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, which will put tremendous pressure on Cincinnati’s defensive secondary. The Dolphins had four sacks in Week 3, and against that Bengals terrible offensive line, they could be in for a big day.
The Dolphins are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games overall as well.
Finally the defending AFC Champions are on the board. All they needed was a New York Jets team off a great win, and now that they have finally won a game, the proverbial monkey is off the back of Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Burrow passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions on 23-of-36 completions against the Jets, just dominating them all day long. It wasn't in the least bit surprising, but it was certainly needed to get rid of this Super Bowl hangover.
I'd like to know the status of RB Joe Mixon, who left the Jets game in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury of some sort. On a short week like this, we have to watch his status just as we are Tua's. If he sits out in this one, the Bengals will have Samaje Perine taking a shot as the team’s starting RB.
Cincinnati has a pretty big advantage over the injured and awful Dolphins secondary. They have the weapons they need downfield to make up for a potential Mixon absence, with Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Ja’Marr Chase stretching the field for each other.
Even with the two losses to start the season, the Bengals are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games overall.
This is a classic spot to take the Bengals, and it's looking like a lot of people agree with me. The line for this game has already moved from Bengals -1.5 to -3, and I think it could keep climbing. We don't know the status of Tua, and the defense for the Dolphins was on the field for 40 minutes against Buffalo. Now on a short week, off a huge victory, I am fading Miami hard here.
Take the Bengals -3 as soon as possible at that key number.