Last week was far from my best, but I’m somewhat happy that I at least finished above .500 as far as picking against the spread went. I was 7-6 against the spread, while 8-5 when picking games straight up. That was my worst week picking straight up since Week 4, but the first time I had picked more winners than losers against the spread since Week 6.
My season totals are: 78-69 against the spread; 93-53-1 straight up.
* All lines are from ESPN.
Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-4)
Thursday, November 13 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network
*Line: Dolphins (-5.5)
The loss of Branden Albert could be very problematic for the Dolphins. They will be plugging in rookie right tackle J’Wuan James at left tackle, moving left guard Dallas Thomas to right tackle, and inserting Shelley Smith into the lineup at guard.
It has all the makings of the Dolphins offensive line looking reminiscent of last year’s unit against a very good Bills pass rush. The Bills were able to put pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill early in their Week 2 win over the Dolphins, get an early lead and basically coast the rest of the game on the legs of their running backs. They won’t have the latter luxury this week, as C.J. Spiller is injured and Fred Jackson isn’t expected to play tonight.
It means that Kyle Orton and Sammy Watkins are going to have to find a way to move the ball against Brent Grimes, Cameron Wake and one of the better defenses in the NFL. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, although I do think the Bills defense can put the clamps on the Dolphins offense enough to keep this one close.
This game is likely going to come down to which team wins the turnover battle as it’s possible that both offenses could be severely limited. Orton is probably the safer bet to protect the football between him and Tannehill, but I have a bit more faith in the Dolphins rushing attack being able to alleviate some of the pressure off their quarterback.
Spread Pick: Bills
Straight Pick: Dolphins