DOLPHINS (1-2) AT BENGALS (1-2), 8:25 p.m.
TV: NFL; Radio: WCBS (880)
Bengals by 7.5; O/U: 44
If there’s one thing we learned from last Thursday night -- other than to never doubt Bill Belichick, no matter who starts at quarterback, it’s that the home team on these quick turnaround games has a huge advantage.
Another thing to note: While most players and coaches would tell you they don’t like having only three-plus days to prepare, playing on Thursday night could be welcomed by a team that wants to erase a poor showing from the previous Sunday.
Enter the Bengals.
They lost their home opener to the Broncos, and let rookie quarterback Trevor Siemian throw for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns. Think Cincinnati’s defense wants to get back out there and make a statement in prime time?
Both these teams easily could be 0-3, but the Bengals have enough talent to still compete for a playoff spot. Not so sure about the Dolphins, who as a 10-point favorite in their home opener on Sunday needed overtime to hold off the winless Browns.
The Dolphins are one of those teams that tend to play up to their competition (see: Week 1 at Seattle) and then play down to their competition (see: Week 3 vs. Cleveland). They’ve been a tough team to figure out in recent years.
Andy Dalton hasn’t been able to figure out the bright lights of prime time. The Bengals quarterback is 4-9 overall. One of those wins was a Thursday night rout at home last year against the Browns in which Dalton threw three TD passes. With the possibility of starting 1-3 overall and 0-2 at home, expect him to have a strong performance.
While this spread could open the door to a backdoor cover, the wise play is to lay the points. Look for the good Dalton to connect with A.J. Green early and often, and for the Bengals defense to regroup at home.
The pick: Bengals
Tom Rock Bengals
Bob Glauber Dolphins
Kimberley A. Martin Bengals