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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2022 NFL Week 4 TNF: Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Laying the chalk with the home boys: Bengals -3 -135

Last season's superbowl runner ups are favored by 3.5 at Cincinnati's Paycor Stadium Thursday, despite a 1-2 SU/ATS record through three weeks of action (the Bengals might be 0-3, if not for the New York Football Jets!). The Fins, on the other hand, are 3-0 after upsetting the Bills last Sunday. This first game of week 4 strikes us as a solid opportunity to buy Cincy low and sell Miami high. The following, history-based, uber-reliable angle supports our thinking:

Home favorites that appeared in the last postseason have proven superlative bets in regular season NFL Thursday Night Football action featuring opposition from a different division...

We hypothesize that better teams (i.e. playoff-caliber favorites) are generally capable of exploiting lessor opposition playing on short rest. The relative lack of familiarity among squads from different divisions means defenses are not as well equipped to adjust to particular offensive tendencies. This characteristic is most beneficial to superior teams, who bags are more likely to contain more effective offensive tricks.

Whatever the reason though, this angle has delivered a statistically significant 51%(!) return on investment since 2004-05, with only two seasons of sub-50% cover rates. Cincinnati vs. Miami represents the first trigger for this system of the current year.

We paid up for the hook to get the line down to the key three level, but we are comfortable with the home team versus the listed line (at the standard juice).

We also lay out a more traditionally-derived, quantitative rationale for our play on Cincinnati for the cover. The ESPN NFL Football Power Index makes the Bengals 4.3 points better than the Dolphins on a neutral field in week 4. Jimmy Boyd's True Home Field methodology (based on data since the 2003-04 regular season) finds that Cincy deserves a 1.3 point edge for hosting Miami Thursday. Thus, FPI hints that 5.5 is a fair spread, suggesting considerable value with the listed Bengals -3.5.

Happy betting!!


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