Had you told someone over the summer that one team would be undefeated heading into this matchup, most folks would have likely pointed to the Bengals having the perfect record, right? After all, they were just in the Super Bowl and boast a budding superstar in Joe Burrow. Well, the NFL has a funny way of turning the game on its head, since it's Miami who is undefeated coming into Week 4 and is fresh off an impressive win over Buffalo. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is trying to turn the tide after an 0-2 start and get back to .500 after beating the Jets in Week 3.
Here, we'll specifically be looking at the different betting angles that this game has to offer. Along with the spread and total, we'll also take a look at several player props and hand in our picks for how we see this showdown unfolding.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
This line mimics a ferris wheel. Back in the spring when the schedules were released, the Bengals stood as four-point favorites. In the lookahead going into Week 3, however, Miami's early season surge pushed this to Bengals -1.5. After the Bengals enjoyed a get-right game against New York and Tua Tagovailoa suffered a back and shoulder injury last week, the line went back in favor of the Bengals, who were again four-point favorites. But now Tagovailoa is reportedly expected to play, so the line is now Bengals -3.5.
The pick: Dolphins +3.5. Under most circumstances, this is the ideal letdown spot for the Dolphins. Their quarterback is banged up and they are coming off an improbable win over the team that is favored to win its division in the Buffalo Bills. Not only that, but the Bengals finally got into the win column against New York last week. However, I'm not entirely sold that Cincinnati has turned the tide. The Jets turned the ball over four times last week, and the Bengals scored 13 points off those takeaways. I don't expect the Dolphins to be giving the ball to the opposition that much, and so long as the ball still gets into the hands of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, they can pile up a ton of YAC to move the chains. The Bengals also rank dead last in the NFL in yards per play (4.5), while Miami is tied for the second-highest yards-per-play mark in the league with Philadelphia.
Key trend: Dolphins are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight-up win.
Miami's early-season breakout has moved this total from where it stood in the spring. Initially, the total for this head-to-head was 44 but opened on the lookahead at 48.5 before Week 3. The previously questionable status of Tua Tagovailoa may have been why this total has started to sink a bit. With him now expected to play, it'll be interesting to see if this number increases.
The pick: Over 47.5. Just a slight lean here. Miami's offense has shown it can explode at any moment, but Tagovailoa being banged up does cloud its potential a bit. Meanwhile, the Bengals have arguably a top-five collection of skill position players, but they haven't played to their peak yet. Both of these teams are inside the top 10 in the NFL in points per game with the Dolphins averaging 27.7 a game and the Bengals sitting at 21.3. If they simply play to their averages, we go over here.
Key trend: Over is 6-0 in Bengals last 6 games following a Bengals straight-up win of more than 14 points.
Tua Tagovailoa props
- Passing yards: 256.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Tagovailoa's health status has shrunk his prop market tremendously as of the writing of this piece. He's gone over this number in two of his three games this season. The lone exception came last week when he was in and out of the game due to a potential concussion. If he plays a full game -- and certainly check his status before placing this wager -- he should be able to hit this mark. The Dolphins QB is the best quarterback that this secondary has faced this season, and it is allowing 9.9 yards per completion through three weeks.
Joe Burrow props
- Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -174, Under +126)
- Passing yards: 275.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
- Rushing yards: 11.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
- Passing attempts: 35.5 (Over -127, Under -108)
- Longest pass completion: 37.5 (Over -113, Under -121)
- Completions: 24.5 (Over -109, Under -125)
- Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +104, Under -142)
This feels like this could be a back-and-fourth game between these two teams, which should force Burrow to drop back and pass a bunch. He's gone over this total in each of his three games this season. Not only that, Burrow has attempted 35 or fewer passes in 12 of his career games (41.3%). The Dolphins are also giving up 297.7 passing yards per game this season, the second most in the NFL. With that in mind, the Over on Burrow's pass attempts and passing yards deserve heavy consideration.
Player props to consider
Tyreek Hill total receiving yards: Over 70.5 (-123). It was a weird weekend for Hill in Week 3, as he saw just four targets and hauled in two passes. I consider that to be the outlier and expect his target share to be similar to what we saw over the first two weeks where he averaged 12.5 targets per game. If he sees that workload, continues to catch roughly 72.4% of those targets and stays around his 15.1 yards per reception average, he'll fly over this number.
Joe Mixon total receiving yards: Over 21.5 (-127). Mixon is averaging 6.6 targets per game this season and is facing a Dolphins defense that just gave up 143 receiving yards to running backs last week.