A battle of the defenses is on the cards for the early NFL game of Week 11. And our analyst Neil Harvey is for once advising us to follow the herd, as he sides with Buffalo in what looks like being a close encounter...
"Not too many people are aware of the talents of Bryce Brown and he could provide the surprise factor that helps keep Buffalo in touch in this game and perhaps even win it".
Back Buffalo (+ 6.5) to win match handicap @ 1.8910/11 http://btfr.co/116188427
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Friday November 14, 01:25
Live on Sky Sports 2
This looks like a really close match-up on paper. Both teams are (5-4) in the AFC East. And both desperately need the win to stay with touching distance of divisional leaders the Patriots. The Bills and Dolphins also look incredibly similar when it comes to their performances so far.
Buffalo have been fierce against the run, denying both Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte 100 yard games. In fact, the only player to rush for literally a ton of yards against them this season, was Jerick McKinnon!?! My favorite moment though came against New England, when they held the Pats' leading rusher, Shane Vereen, to under 30 yards. So in theory, they should have little trouble stopping what looks like being a committee of Miami running backs. Lamar Miller was until recently the Dolphins' go to guy. But he managed just 10 yards last week, amid injury and form concerns, with the bulk of the carries going to reserve backs Daniel Thomas and Damien Lewis. Sorry to say it, but these guys are also-rans at NFL level. They've had their chances before and never taken them, which suggests Miami's committee approach is doomed to fail.
Buffalo also have problems at running back, with the injured again Fred Jackson only being gingerly reintroduced to the action. Instead, Buffalo are likely to hand the rushing reins to the underestimated Bryce Brown, who last week showed flashes of the talent he demonstrated at Philly when briefly stepping-in for LeSean McCoy. Brown was solid on the deck against a tough Chiefs' defense, but more importantly showed impressive hands while gaining 65 receiving yards. And his performance would have been much better had he not had the ball stripped from his grasp while in the process of crossing the goal line. With Miami having proved more vulnerable to the pass than the run this year, Brown's ability to get involved in the passing game could prove crucial for the Bills and for me makes him their player most likely to get into the endzone.
Buffalo also have talented rookie receiver Sammy Watkins, who's proved dangerous, if inconsistent so far. Watkins looks sure to get the bulk of the targets from QB Kyle Orton and will be hoping to add to his 5 TDs for the season. While on the other side of the ball, Ryan Tannehill will be looking to connect with wide receiver Mike Williams the majority of the time. Both quarterbacks though struggle from a lack of receiving options, and it shouldn't be too difficult for either side to provide heavy coverage for their opponent's star receiver.
Both teams have relied heavily on their defenses to power them to wins this season and so this game could down to whoever forces the most turnovers. At home, Miami will be most people's favorites. But not too many people are aware of the talents of Bryce Brown and he could provide the surprise factor that helps keep Buffalo in touch in this game and perhaps even win it. Points are likely to be hard to come by with two such strong defenses involved and a field goal could feasibly decide this. So that makes the Bills getting a start here the attractive option. And who knows, we've got to see some overtime at some point this season. And it could just be here.
Back Buffalo (+ 6.5) to win match handicap @ 1.8910/11
Back Buffalo ( + 2.5) to win half time handicap @ 1.9520/21
Back overtime to be played @ 11.0010/1 or better
Back total points to be less than 41.5 @ 2.1211/10