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View from Vegas: Underdog Miami might be hungrier with what's at stake

View from Vegas: Underdog Miami might be hungrier with what's at stake

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Bills Dolphins football

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores walks the sidelines, during the first half against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. 

This is a tricky one. The red-hot Buffalo Bills (8-1 in their last nine games, with the only loss at Arizona on the Hail Murray) and the equally hot Miami Dolphins (9-2 in their last 11) are jostling for playoff positioning.

A win here and the Bills lock up the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Miami needs a win to make the playoffs. Should it lose, it would need a loss by Baltimore, Cleveland or Indianapolis.

Coach Sean McDermott said the Bills have a plan for how to handle playing time and whether to rest some starters, but he said the specifics will "remain internal." Meanwhile, Brian Flores will start Tua Tagovailoa and will be without “relief pitcher,” Ryan Fitzpatrick, who tested positive for Covid-19.

The Buffalo Bills started their run of four-straight Super Bowl appearances with a clash against the New York Giants. Thirty years later, here's a look back at the heartbreaking defeat in the game's final seconds. From Leon Seals' bone-crunching hit of Jeff Hostetler to Thurman Thomas' key fourth-quarter TD run, several memorable scenes appear in this slideshow.

It's been quite a turnaround season for the Dolphins, who started last year 0-7 under new coach Flores. They are 15-9 and 16-7-1 against the spread since, and the Dolphins are 4-1 against the spread going into games versus foes with a winning record this season. In fact, they are 3-2 straight up and 4-1 against the spread as the road team in games versus opponents with a winning record under Flores.

The biggest hurdle for the Fish is their ragged record in Buffalo, where they’ve dropped seven of their last eight visits, while going 2-6 against the spread. Until more is known closer to game time, we’ll lean to the hungrier underdog and take the points. 

Prediction: Bills over Dolphins by 3. 

Marc Lawrence previews the NFL from a Vegas perspective. You can follow him online at Playbook.com or @MarcLawrence.

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