NFL Week 11 Thursday PicksPosted: November 13, 2014
Here are Will and Derek’s picks for the Week 11 Thursday night game. Picks for the remainder of the games will run on Friday.
(Home team in caps. Line per VegasInsider.com consensus.)
MIAMI (-4) vs. Buffalo
Miami: 5-4, 2nd AFC East, #14 total offense, #11 scoring offense, #4 total defense, #5 scoring defense
Buffalo: 5-4, 3rd AFC East, #23 total offense, #23 scoring offense, #6 total defense, #7 scoring defense
Derek: The Dolphins are 3-1 (2-2 ATS) at home this season. Miami isn’t known for a raucous home crowd, but it is known for having very hot weather that is difficult on visiting teams from colder climates.
That won’t be an advantage in a night game in mid-November. The Bills aren’t a pushover, either. They’ve won three straight against Miami and have certainly been much better this year than most thought they would be.
The Bills’ success will rely greatly on The Apex Predator, Kyle Orton. They’ve scored 17 points or fewer in five game this season. They are ranked fourth in defense DVOA, but 27th in offense DVOA.
Tough call, since both teams are coming off tough losses and both really need this one to stay alive in the playoff hunt. I just think the Dolphins are kind of overrated. I think they’ll win, but I don’t trust them enough to lay four points. The Bills cover.
Will: I’m not sure if this is a deceptively good game, or if the first Cleveland snowfall is turning me into Jack Torrance and I’m already losing my mind. Either way, I think/hope it’ll be a good one.
Both of these teams have been positively frisky this year. Ryan Tannehill has shown flashes of brilliance for Miami, headlined by 288 yards and three touchdowns in the Dolphins’ rout of San Diego. Sammy Watkins has been electric if inconsistent for Buffalo. Each side has a good defense. This could be a tight one.
The Bills’ backfield has been maligned by injury. C.J. Spiller is likely out for the season with a broken collarbone, and Fred Jackson will likely miss this game with a groin injury. That leaves Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown to tote the rock, and they’ve managed just 293 yards on 72 combined carries.
That may well put the game’s fate in the hands of the aforementioned Mr. Orton, and that could lead to a whole lot of bad things against a Dolphin defense that ranks fourth in the league with 28 sacks. However, the Bills pass rush been even better, leading the league with 34 sacks.
In the end, this decision comes down to Kyle Orton or Ryan Tannehill and their respective offense lines, which is making me reconsider my whole idea about this being a good game. I choose the Dolphins, as I believe that Cameron Wake and company will outperform Marcell Dareus and the Bills’ defensive front.
If this turns out to be wrong, blame the snow and my corresponding impending insanity.