By Abraham Gutierrez

When the (4-2) Buffalo Bills travel to South Florida for Sunday’s NFL Week 7 game against the (2-4) Miami Dolphins, they will do so as road favorites for the first time in almost a decade. Opening lines for this contest had Rex Ryan’s club favored by two-and-a-half points over Adam Gase’s bunch, but based on the early action, things have rounded off to an even three points, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.

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The Bills Favored Even On The Road 

Why is this significant? Well, simply because one has to look all the way back to Veterans Day 2007 to find the last time the Bills were favored on the road versus an AFC East foe. Oddly enough, Buffalo went into that contest as -2½-point favorite and covered the spread with a 13-10 win over Miami at Dolphin Stadium.

The win improved the Bills’ record to 5-4, while the Fins dropped to 0-9 on the year, despite the fact that they held a 10-2 lead heading into the fourth quarter. It’s clear that the 2016 NFL season hasn’t played out exactly the same as it did nine years ago leading up to their first head-to-head, however, there are some similarities worth noting.

Bills Are On Streak

First, Buffalo got this NFL campaign off to a dreadful (0-2) start, but since having found an identity – “boring” or not –they’ve seen positive results. Thus, the Bills come into Week 7 winners of four straight ballgames, a streak that’s tied for second best by any NFL team this season. 

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Meanwhile, it’s obvious that Miami is in a better place than it was about a decade ago when it started 0-8. Nevertheless, prior to last week’s upset win over Pittsburgh, this club was 1-4 and its playoff hopes were all but dead in the water.

Secondly, the Bills also get the nod in the “What Have You Done For Me Lately” category, heading into their first encounter with the Dolphins. In 2007, Buffalo jumped on the team plane toward South Florida riding a two-game win streak over the scheduled hosts, with both of those victories coming in decisive (double-digit) fashion. 

Fast-forward to present day: The Bills will land in the Sunshine State trying to extend their ongoing win streak over Miami to three games. Their last two encounters naturally happened last season, and ended with the Bills routing the Fins to the tune of 41-14 and 33-17, respectively.

Home Field Is No Advantage For The Fins

Finally, if ATS trends for Sunday’s game are correct, the home Dolphins will fall much like they did nearly 10 years ago when the visiting Bills extended their win streak to three, and subsequently, four games. Head-to-head statistics show that, not only is Buffalo 5-1 in its last six contests versus Miami, but that the betting favorite is 8-2 the last 10 times these intra-divisional rivals have met on the gridiron.

Can the Dolphins rise to the occasion and not only prove NFL Week 7 oddsmakers wrong, but also keep their slim playoff hopes alive? 

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Conventional wisdom—and recent ATS trends—suggests that Fins fans shouldn’t hold their collective breath, as Miami is 3-7 in its last 10 Week 7 games, 2-5 versus teams over the .500-mark, 4-10 after accumulating more than 250 passing yards the week prior, and 4-17 in its last 21 contests against the American Football Conference.