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Buy Bengals, sell Dolphins

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POSTED October 31, 2013 1:18 a.m.

The Bengals are on a tear, the Dolphins are in a slump. When they meet Thursday night in Miami, nothing indicates a Cincinnati loss. Yet Miami is only a 2½ -point underdog.

That seems charitable for the Dolphins, who have dominated this series, going 15-5, but are stuck in a rut. They’ve followed three opening victories with four losses, can’t protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and have seen Tannehill lose a league-high five fumbles.

“We are in a tough spot, obviously coming off of four losses,” Tannehill said. “Big game at home, short week, it’s a very good opponent. It’s a big game for us.”

He knows the Bengals (6-2, No. 8 in the AP Pro32) can get after the quarterback — they have 22 sacks shared among 10 players. He also knows his counterpart, Andy Dalton, is on a torrid streak, throwing 11 TD passes in the past three games. Cincinnati has won four in a row and gets a bye next week. Miami (No. 19, AP Pro32) won’t curtail the Bengals’ momentum. BENGALS, 22-20

• No. 14 Chicago (plus 11) at No. 7 Green Bay, Monday night: Battered Bears in for more punishment against archrivals. BEST BET: PACKERS, 33-17

• No. 27 (tie) Atlanta (plus 7 1-2) at No. 12 Carolina: Who would have thought the Panthers could be such heavy favorites against Atlanta? UPSET SPECIAL: FALCONS, 21-20

•  No. 1 (tie) Kansas City (minus 3) at No. 20 Buffalo: Some see this as Chiefs’ first loss. We don’t, but a close one. CHIEFS, 17-16

u No. 30 Minnesota (plus 10 1-2) at No. 13 Dallas: Hurting Cowboys lucky they get woeful Vikings this week. COWBOYS, 34-16

u No. 4 New Orleans (minus 5 1-2) at No. 17 New York Jets: Jets’ string of wins in odd-numbered games ends here. SAINTS, 30-20

• No. 21 Tennessee (minus 3) at No. 24 St. Louis: Rams showed toughness on defense against Seahawks. RAMS, 17-13

•  No. 11 San Diego (pick-em) at No. 23 Washington: Chargers come off bye, Broncos on tap next. Trap game. REDSKINS, 27-23

•  No. 31 Tampa Bay (plus 16 1-2) at No. 1 (tie) Seattle: Been burned plenty by laying big point spreads. Haven’t learned from it. SEAHAWKS, 30-10

•  No. 15 Baltimore (minus 2 1-2) at No. 26 Cleveland: Keep waiting for the real Ravens to show up. Maybe this week? RAVENS, 17-13

• No. 5 (tie) Indianapolis (minus 2 1-2) at No. 29 Houston: Keep waiting for real Texans to show up. Not this week. COLTS, 23-17

• No. 27 (tie) Pittsburgh (plus 7) at No. 9 New England: Roethlisberger thinks Brady is best of all QBs. PATRIOTS, 21-16

• No. 25 Philadelphia (off) at No. 18 Oakland: Uncertainty at Eagles QB eliminates spread. RAIDERS, 24-16

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