2020 NFL Week 2: Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
Betting Miami Dolphins +6 -118
Our power rankings framework makes the road favorites about 6 points better than the home boys on a neutral field Sunday. But Hard Rock Stadium will not be unbiased terrain. The Dolphins organization will host 16,000 fans, roughly 20% of capacity.
Our practice is to ascribe a one-point home field advantage in limited fan situations or when we identify other factors that distinguish a particular venue. Accordingly, we adjust our estimate of the Bills edge down from 6 to 5, implying value with Miami.
(Anecdotally, the Chiefs and Jaguars both covered in week 1, and the Bengals beat the number in week 2, so so far, teams that have performed before a live audience have covered--perhaps suggesting the market may be UNDERvaluing home field in such situations).
In AFC East action last week, the Bills jumped out an early 14-0 lead versus the Jets, and never looked back, while Miami fell at Cam Newton's New England Patriots, 11-21. For week 2, in addition to the margin indicated by our power rankings approach, two history-based systems also hint that an (ATS) win is likely today for the Dolphins, in Sunday's continuation of their division tour.
For one, underdogs of at least a field goal that are backed by less than 30% of spread bet volume have been solid plays early in the NFL season, good for a 13% return on investment some 2005.
As of the time of this writing, a mere 23% of ATS tickets are behind the Dolphins.
Additionally, home dogs have been strong bets in week 2 when facing their own division. Backing teams in this spot has delivered an 18% return on investment since 2005.
Given these multiple indications in Miami's favor, we are backing the Dolphins +6 to cover.