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Bills are narrow victors in AccuScore's forecast

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills haven't won in a month, but they're favored to beat the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

AccuScore's computers -- after two weeks of predicting blowout Bills losses -- agree the Bills will win a close one.

The Bills won 53.8 percent of AccuScore's 10,000 computer simulations. They averaged 21.6 points to the Dolphins' 20.0 points.

Only two other matchups produced a tighter margin: the New York Jets at St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers.

Interceptions emerge as the critical stat for Thursday night.

When Ryan Fitzpatrick threw no more than one interception in AccuScore's sims, the Bills won 62 percent of the time. When he threw two or more, the Bills' chances plummeted to 35 percent.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw more touchdowns than interceptions 35 percent of the time, and the Dolphins won 67 percent of those games.

When the Bills had more rushing yards, they won 80 percent of the sims. In games the Dolphins had more rushing yards, they won 70 percent.

AccuScore is 7-2 straight up in Bills games and 4-5 against the spread.

AccuScore also runs a weekly forecast for the remainder of the season. In the latest calculations, Buffalo won the AFC East 0.2 percent of the time and made the playoffs 7.8 percent.

The Bills' most favorable projection was after Week Three, when AccuScore gave them an 18 percent chance to win the division and a 44 percent chance to reach the postseason.

The Dolphins had a 50 percent chance to make the playoffs two weeks ago but lost back-to-back conference games. The Dolphins now are projected at 9.5 percent.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |