Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins (+2.5, 43)
The Cincinnati Bengals are threatening to turn the AFC North into a runaway and will go for their fifth straight win when they visit the skidding Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. Cincinnati is coming off a superb performance, getting a career-high five touchdown passes from Andy Dalton in a 49-9 mauling of the New York Jets. "This is one of the first games we were able to finish because we jumped on them early," Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. "This was just a statement game."
Miami, meanwhile, is in the midst of a major spiral, dropping its fourth straight game after blowing a 14-point halftime lead in a 27-17 defeat at New England on Sunday. So instead of thrusting themselves back into the AFC East race, the Dolphins are approaching must-win territory if they hope to remain in postseason contention. "If we don’t get wins in these next (few) games, I feel like (the season) could slip away,” middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network.
LINE: This game opened at a pick'em and has since moved to Bengals -2.5. The total has climbed from 41.5 to 43.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid 70s with partly cloudy skies and winds blowing east at 7 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cincinnati (-4.0) + Miami (+3.0) + Home Field (-3.0) = Miami +4.0
ABOUT THE BENGALS (6-2, 5-2-1 ATS): One of Cincinnati's concerns has been its reliance on the combination of Dalton to standout wide receiver A.J. Green, but fellow wideout Marvin Jones went a long way to allaying those worries by hauling in a franchise-record four scoring catches in Sunday's onslaught. Dalton has rebounded from a pair of middling efforts against Cleveland and New England to throw for 1,034 yards with 11 TDs and two interceptions in his last three. The Bengals are also getting it done on defense, tied for fifth in the league with 18.0 points allowed per game, but will likely be without linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee) for at least three weeks.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (3-4, 3-4 ATS): Losing streak aside, Miami has to deal with additional fallout from Sunday's defeat. Wide receiver Brandon Gibson suffered a season-ending knee injury in in the loss and, following the game, center Mike Pouncey was served with a grand jury subpoena in connection with the murder investigation of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. The Dolphins churned out a season-high 156 yards rushing but still have not been able to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has been sacked a league-worst 32 times.
* Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Road team is 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Dolphins are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Bengals are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
1. The away team has won the last three meetings, including the Dolphins' 17-13 win in Week 5 last season.
2. Cincinnati had two interception returns for TDs versus the Jets, the first time that's happened for the Bengals since December 1984.
3. Miami has had losing streaks of at least four games in five of the last 10 seasons.