Gambling With Gold TNF Preview Ravens vs. Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens (6-2) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-7)

Line: BAL -7.5

Total: 46.5

Preview

Welcome back to another Thursday Night preview. This week we have the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens heading to Miami on a short week to take on the Dolphins, who picked up their second win of the season last week against the Texans.

As of this writing, 79% of the bets are on the Ravens -7.5, while only 51% of the money is on Baltimore. The 28% difference, according to the Action Network, leads me to believe the sharp bettors are on the Dolphins in this matchup, though the number had not yet hit the key number of 7. 

As for the total, 65% of the bets and 54% of the money is on the over, though the total has dropped 1.5 points. This movement is likely due to the fact that there is some rain in the forecast in South Florida. 

The Ravens are a remarkable 6-2, despite many close calls and mounting injuries. Their last win, in OT against the Vikings, proved once more than this Ravens team, while flawed, is tough as nails and can come back in any game situation. Lamar Jackson has been excellent this season and his passing prowess is being underrated. That being said, they’re flying to Miami on a short week, after a grueling game in which they played almost 5 full quarters. Are they going to be able to get up for this game? Do they even need to?

Miami has been bad all season. Their two wins came last week, in a 9 turnover slopfest against Houston, and in Week 1 against New England. Their defense, which was supposed to be a top unit in the NFL, has struggled mightily defending the pass. The offense, under Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brisset, has been just a smidge above god awful. Some of that is not the fault of the QBs. The offensive line has been beyond porous and the weapons have been injured. 

So can the Dolphins find a way to make this game competitive? Sure. The team likely isn’t as bad as their 2-7 record would indicate, though their point differential and net yards per play would suggest their still one of the worst teams in the league. 

The Ravens are 4-1 in “close” games, while the Dolphins are 1-3 in the same situation. General those tend to regress back to the mean. The Dolphins are most definitely underrated, while the Ravens are likely a hair overrated. Does that matter in a one game situation? Probably not that much, but it’s worth considering. 

It looks like Jacoby Brisset is going to get the nod on Thursday. Tagovailoa is still nursing a mysterious thumb injury, but the drop off between the two QBs isn’t substantial at this point. 

I like the Ravens to win tonight as the superior team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out a little sleepy. The Dolphins may be able to hang within the 7.5, but I like betting them in the first half even more at +4. In order for Miami to cover, they’re going to need to slow down the Ravens passing attack, which could do damage in this game. 

Prediction: BAL 27 - MIA 21

Best Bets

Miami +4 1H

Lamar Jackson over 17.5 competitions (-135)

Lamar Jackson over longest completion 37.5 yards (-120)

Gaskin over 10.5 longest reception (-130)

Devonta Freeman under 54.5 total yards (-105)