It's week 18, which is the end of the regular season but there are still big issues to iron out in the NFL. Probably the biggest game of the weekend takes place on Sunday night (01:15), where an AFC title decider awaits. The 11-5 Miami Dolphins host the 10-6 Buffalo Bills with it all on the line. We've previewed this colossal clash and given you our betting picks.
What an end to the season it's been for the Buffalo Bills.
After the Week 10 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Bills sat 5-5 and Sean McDermott saw that as the final straw for OC Ken Dorsey. Since then, despite one of the toughest schedules in the league, Buffalo has gone 5-1 and now has a winner-takes-all clash against Miami for the AFC East divisional title and the #2 seed in the AFC.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, have stuttered to losses against the Titans and then a 56-19 blow out loss against the AFC Champions, Baltimore Ravens. They have earnt a bit of a reputation of a flat-track bully and have struggled against the truly good sides in the competition.
What better way to prove the doubters wrong than to beat one of the favourites for the Super Bowl, in front of their own fans, with a depleted squad. But can they do it? We'll find out on Sunday night...
Coach Mike McDaniel has a real injury crisis on his hands heading into their biggest game of the season to date. The Fins have as many as 19 players on the injury list, as backup QB Mike White was hit with a shoulder injury to his throwing arm.
At least White could participate in training, unlike three of their inside linebackers, RB Raheem Mostert, WR Jaylen Waddle, CB Xavien Howard and OLB Bradley Chubb, who were all side-lined for a second straight day. Mostert and Waddle missed the Ravens game and will be a last minute decision for Miami.
The Bills are in much better shape, with only safety Damar Hamlin unable to take part in practice, due to a shoulder issue. Josh Allen took a full part, despite nursing neck and finger problems.
Despite the home field 'advantage' the Dolphins are a +2.5 dog for this one and are 5/4 on the money-line. Meanwhile, the Bulls come in as the 4/6 favourites to clinch the division on the final game week.
The under/over spread is presently set at 47.5 points, so this looks like it could be a bit of a humdinger.
Bills -2.5 Handicap - 20/23
The Bills are on a charge right now, with a win streak of four and although their offense is still looking a little stunted, they managed to get over the line against the Patriots.
With Miami's squad looking so threadbare and potentially missing Mostert and Waddle for a second week, it's hard to see how the Dophins are gonna hang with Buffalo in this one. I think the Bills cover this one fairly comfortably.
Total Points +47.5 - 10/11
That being said Miami still possess some pretty fearsome firepower in the form of Tua and the unstoppable Tyreek Hill. I expect this one to be a real shootout and think we will see at least 50 points on the night.
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