Ravens vs Dolphins Prediction: Physicality the key for home side victory

 | December 29 | 

5 mins read

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The NFL Playoffs are looming large on the horizon and seedings are very much in play for the first game on Sky Sports on Sunday evening.

@NFLGirlUK previews the Dolphins trip to take on the Ravens in Baltimore and we pick out a couple of betting selections for you to consider...

Ravens vs Dolphins Betting Tips:

  • Back Baltimore -3.5 on the Handicap @ Evens
  • Back under 19 points for the Miami Dolphins @ 15/8

Both the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens are coming off arguably their most impressive games of the season. That makes this upcoming matchup between the two of them that much more exciting. This could be a potential AFC Championship preview, so let’s dive into what we might see here.

Starting off in Miami, many people believed that they couldn’t compete with the top contenders in the league. They went straight up against the Dallas Cowboys and took the fight right at them, winning in the final seconds.

It was their most impressive win of the year, and the Dolphins made a play early on that helped set the tone. Dallas drove straight down the field on the opening drive before losing a fumble at the goal line, from there, the Dolphins defense clamped down and made yards very difficult to come by.

On the other end, Miami’s offense could have been even more explosive if they hadn’t missed on a few big plays. One of those plays being what could have been a 93-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill. Tua Tagovailoa threw it towards the outside, and Hill was further off the sideline than anticipated. He was able to get adjusted to the ball, but it just barely bounced off his fingertips. If he catches that, he scores an easy seven points and flips the momentum even further.

Overall, this was a statement from the Dolphins, that they can face off with teams that might be better than them and they won’t back down.

As for the Ravens, they faced off with the best team in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco was in the number one seed after destroying the Philadelphia Eagles not long ago, and boy did Baltimore run away with this one. Lamar Jackson was mistake-free all night, except for a safety due to intentional grounding. And, that safety wouldn’t have happened if the referee on the field hadn’t tripped and accidentally tackled Lamar in the process of him running to avoid a sack.

The big difference was the defense though, as they forced five interceptions and racked up four sacks. Their defensive line caused a ton of pressure, and their secondary was excellent at getting their hands on the football.

We saw a number of deflected passes come down for interceptions, and it’s something that will rattle a team early on. The Ravens have now demolished the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and the San Francisco 49ers without even breaking a sweat. All three of those games were double-digit wins that they controlled from the start. Nobody wants to see this Ravens team right now.

One thing that really worries me for Miami is their ability to compete with physical teams. The Cowboys were a good match for them because they aren’t that physical.

Dallas score a ton of points, they throw the football, they force interceptions, though they aren’t physically imposing all the time. Baltimore on the other hand is exactly that, and we saw it against the 49ers. I just can’t see Miami handling that well, and it’s why they won’t win this one.

Match Odds:

Baltimore are 4/7 favourites on the Money Line to win this game, with those looking to back Miami getting 7/5 with us at Betfred. The spread has been set at Baltimore -3.5pts, which we'll talk about more in the next section.

Points are expected with the Total set at 50.5.

Bet 1 - Baltimore-3.5pts on the Handicap @ Evens

Seeing Baltimore as the betting favourite is no surprise considering they went on the road at Christmas and beat the Super Bowl favourites.

What is a bit surprising however is that on the spread, they are only giving 3.5pts. That means on a neutral field, the oddsmaker have this one as a virtual pick 'em game. I just can't see why, considering the Dolphins are on the road and have struggled against physical teams. I like the Ravens to win this relatively comfortably, so happy to get Even-money with the 3.5 handicap.

Bet 2 - Miami under 19 Points @ 15/8

Rolling the dice a little bit here considering the plethora of top quality skill players Tua has at his disposal but the Baltimore defense has been outstanding seemingly for a generation. They tend to feast upon teams who like to throw the ball around and that is exactly Miami's style on offense.

The odds indicate a 34.8% chance of this happening and I think that is about right. Baltimore run the ball and keep the clock running. That means the Dolphins get one or two fewer possessions than they are used to and that leads to hitting the under in this extended market.

Remember to check out our NFL Betting Tips index page where we preview games live on Sky Sports along with a weekly Predictions column...

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