Adam Chernoff - NFL Week 7

8 min

Adam Chernoff is back and is zoning in a Totals Play in the Dolphins vs Bills

A split in Week 6 moves the record for this column on the season to 4-5 (-1.52x). This week the focus is on one AFC total.

The liquidity on Matchbook Exchange markets for a Friday morning is incredible. Multiple games north of 50k, much more north of 35k. Bettors have unlimited options to post up or take available numbers. One game lags in comparison – the Bills and Dolphins.

It is entirely understandable why this would be the lowest liquidity game of the week. The Dolphins are unwatchable, and the Bills laying 17 points as a favourite is hugely undesirable for most bettors.

With the collective shrugging off the market, in my opinion, comes opportunity.

While the market focuses on Seattle v Baltimore, Dallas v Philadelphia and New Orleans v Chicago, I am going to take advantage of a total lagging behind and look at the Over in Buffalo.

From a matchup perspective, I do not think there needs to be an enormous amount of explanation. The Miami Dolphins are a historically weak team. In terms of conventional statistics, the Dolphins rank at the bottom of the NFL in almost every category. After a little bit more analysis on down to down outcomes, the result is still horrendous but perhaps not as damning.

In the last three weeks, the Dolphins rank 30th in passing success rate and 16th in rushing success rate (not so terrible). Their offensive line also appears to have found a slight bit of continuity. After ranking 32nd through the first three weeks, the unit has jumped to 25th in adjusted line yards.

Sean McDermott’s Bills team are off to a flier this season.

All of this is a stretch to turn into supporting material to back an over. However, the starting of Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday changes this offense quite a bit. Ryan Fitzpatrick is far from an ideal starting quarterback, but his willingness to throw the football deep intrigues me. On 18 attempts last week he averaged 10.1 air yards per attempt, which was fifth for the week of all quarterbacks. Josh Rosen in comparison, averaged 2.0 air yards per attempt.

The willingness to throw deep is not something unique to the last game. When Fitzpatrick is playing from behind, he lets it fly. In the week one blowout vs Baltimore, Fitzpatrick averaged 15.1 air yards per attempt, which was the highest mark in the league on 28 throws. In week two against the best defense in the NFL he was above average at 7.2. Looking into the performance last week further, Fitzpatrick completed 66% of his passes (9% above expectation) and had 8 of his 18 attempts travel more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.

There was no chance of success for this offense with Josh Rosen averaging less than 2.0 completed air yards per pass.

No matter what defense they played or how favourable the matchup, when 65% of completions for Josh Rosen are at or behind the line of scrimmage, the team is not going to score points. With Fitzpatrick letting it fly, there are at least opportunities for the team to get the ball inside the end zone. The Dolphins will be playing from behind this game, and with a total this short, the volume and depth will lead to enough points.

‘Fitzmagic’ gets the start in Buffalo Sunday night.

I have no concerns on the Bills being able to put up north of 30 points in this game.

The Buffalo offense against the Dolphins defense is a complete mismatch at every level. It all begins up front. The Buffalo Bills offensive line ranks at the top of the league for adjusted line yards while the Dolphins defensive line ranks at the bottom. The return of Devin Singletary means the most explosive running back is in the rotation. The Bills with Frank Gore have played to the 5th highest rushing success rate in the league, while the Dolphins rank 31st on defence. There will be no issues for the Bills moving the ball on the ground.

The passing game is wide open too. Josh Allen has taken hits for his decision making this season. On Sunday off of the bye, he gets a reprieve against this secondary. The Dolphins rank dead last in passing success rate defense, pass rush defense, pressure generated and second last in adjusted sack rate. One thing that Allen has done well is to find success against weak defenses. In three games against top 15 defenses this year (NYJ, NE, TEN) he has a 59% completion percentage with 6 INT’s and a 64 pass rating. In two games against bottom 15 defenses this year (CIN, NYG) he has a 65% completion percentage, 1 INT and a 90 passer rating.

His easiest competition of the year could be made much easier due to cluster injuries. Xavien Howard, Chris Lammons, Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain have all been limited or non-participants in practice this week. If all four miss the game, the Dolphins will be utilizing replacements which have COMBINED to be on the field for only 11% of defensive snaps this season.

This game could get ugly in a hurry. I will go Over 40.

Recommended Bets

  • Miami Buffalo Over 40 (1.862). Risking 1.50x