Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins: AFC East showdown predictions, playoff scenarios and player props

The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills square off in an AFC East division showdown for all the marbles. Which team will take the crown? Bold predictions, playoff scenarios and player props.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Week 18 in the NFL will end with an AFC East battle between the Buffalo Bills (10-6) and the Miami Dolphins (11-5).  The winner takes the division title, and the loser (if it’s the Bills) could go home.

With all games decided come kickoff in this one, the Bills could be in a must-win scenario to make the playoffs, which makes them a dangerous team in this one.  Coming off a 27-21 win against the New England Patriots in Week 17, the Bills did what they needed to do to win, but Josh Allen and the offense didn’t good great. 

In the victory, Allen threw for just 169 yards but added two rushing touchdowns as the Bills rode their defense who forced four takeaways against the Patriots.  To beat a Dolphins team coming off an embarrassing loss to the Baltimore Ravens and a team looking to avenge a 48-20 loss in the first matchup, the Bills need a more balanced effort.  They need their defense to rise against the Dolphins dynamic offense and they need Allen to come alive against a defense missing their two top edge rushers in Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips.

On the Dolphins side, the team will not only be without two defensive studs, but they will also be without running back Raheem Mostert and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle in this battle for the AFC East title.  That puts a lot of emphasis on Tyreek Hill and puts a lot of pressure of the Dolphins’ defense that gave up 56 points to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.  The Bills could present similar problems.

As a team literally limping into the playoffs, a win to take the AFC East would be a statement win for a squad who could either host a playoff game with a win or fall to the No. 6 seed and faceoff against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. 

Depending on how the games earlier in the day play out, the Bills winning the division gives them a home playoff game.  A loss could have them anywhere from the sixth seed to out of the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins kickoff details: How to watch, betting odds

Date: Sunday, January 7, 2024

Time: 8:20 PM

Location: Miami Gardens, FL

Venue: Hard Rock Stadium

TV: NBC

Live Stream: Fubo TV (try for free)

Betting Odds: Buffalo Bills -3 (via DraftKings)

Bills player props: Bet Josh Allen Over 1.5 passing touchdowns

The Buffalo Bills offense will need a big game against an opportunistic, but vulnerable Dolphins’ defense.  Coming off a mediocre game against the Patriots, Josh Allen will need to do it with his arm in this one and limit the turnovers.

Josh Allen - American Football Quarterback
Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

In a player prop that seems like easy money, Allen should at least have two touchdowns in this one.  Tight ends Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid are red zone threats who are tough to cover once Allen keeps plays alive with his feet.  And of course, Stefon Diggs is a threat from anywhere on the field so the Dolphins will have to find a way to collapse the pocket around Allen which is tough for any defense as the Dolphins defensive coordinator highlighted earlier this week.

"They're really running the ball well right now and when you are running the ball that well, the play-action game is opened up,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of the Bills’ offense. “So that's really helping them. They are really talented on offense. They have two really good tight ends. Everybody knows about (Stefon) Diggs. Their slot's a good player. (Gabe) Davis is a good player. (James) Cook is the best back they've had in Buffalo maybe since Thurman Thomas. Their line is doing a good job and obviously everybody knows about Josh Allen and his ability. They're highly ranked in most offensive categories and when you watch the tape, you can see why."

Dolphins player props: Bet Tua Tagovailoa Under 263.5 passing yards

In this game Tua Tagovailoa won’t have his full complement of weapons, so expect the Dolphins to turn to De’Von Achane and their running game a little bit more to control some clock.  Even without Mostert, the Dolphins will attempt to establish the run against an aggressive Bills’ defense locked in on creating pressure on Tua.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

While Hill will get his, it’s the other offensive weapons (or lack thereof) that will limit Tagovailoa’s explosive numbers in this one.  In all, the Dolphins QB knows what he is up against in this one.

"They are very sound defensively. They're coached well. They know where their problems are. They hide their problems well”, Tagovailoa said.  “I mean, they are really good in that sense. They're really good also with their disguise and showing shell and then going one-high, and disguising that with their other coverages and their two-high deal. They present some good problems for us, and it's going to be a good challenge for us this Sunday."

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GameDay Prediction: The Dolphins will have a lot of prove in this AFC East battle, but the injuries may be too much for Miami to overcome going up against a Bills team that could be in a win or go home situation by kickoff time. The game will start off like a track meet with both teams moving up and down the field, but eventually the Bills’ defense will make plays and start to limit what Miami does in the second half of the game.  Bills take the AFC East:  Buffalo Bills 34, Miami Dolphins 23.