Dolphins vs. Ravens Odds, Predictions, Picks: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Thursday Night Football Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
- Recent reports indicate Jacoby Brissett is set to start Thursday Night Football in place of Tua Tagovailoa, moving the Dolphins vs. Ravens odds as a result.
- The spread has moved a full point since our expert made his pick -- but even with Brissett under center instead of Tagovailoa, there's still value on betting the underdogs.
|Time||8:20 p.m. ET|
Editor’s note: Dolphins-Ravens odds in the above table have been updated as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday to reflect the most recent spread and over/under, although the following preview was written on Wednesday, and thus different odds are cited at some points — though our expert’s pick is still good.
The Thursday Night Football total has fallen from 47.5 to 46.5 points despite 65% of bets coming in on the over (find real-time public betting data here). I’m guessing the one-point drop is due to the potential threat of rain at Hard Rock Stadium, so watch for the total to rise or fall based on the updated weather report.
That said, I’m not seeing value on the over/under — instead, I’m targeting the spread. Let’s dig into out how (and why).
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Ravens vs. Dolphins Injury Report
- RB Latavius Murray: Doubtful
- G/C Patrick Mekari: Doubtful
- TE Nick Boyle: Questionable
- WR Sammy Watkins: Questionable
- DT Brandon Williams: Questionable
- QB Tua Tagovailoa: Questionable
- DB Elijah Campbell: Questionable
Note that NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported that backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett is expected to start for the Dolphins on Thursday night, but that the team is “leaving the door open” for Tagovailoa, depending on how pre-game warmups go.
Ravens vs. Dolphins Matchup
|Ravens Offense||DVOA Rank||Dolphins Defense|
|Ravens Defense||DVOA Rank||Dolphins Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Ravens Could Be Overvalued …
The Ravens’ 6-2 start is remarkable considering how decimated they’ve been by injuries this season. They have seven players on IR right now who I would consider better than replacement level: RB J.K. Dobbins, RB Gus Edwards, LT Ronnie Stanley, DE Derek Wolfe, LB L.J. Fort, CM Marcus Peters and S DeShon Elliott.
They’ve also been on the positive side of luck in one-score games with a record of 4-1 in matchups decided by seven or fewer points. They could be slightly overrated by bettors and will have let-down spots like their 41-17 loss to the Bengals from time to time as a result.
I fear this could be one of those spots — on the short week and coming off an emotional overtime win against the Vikings to take control of the AFC’s No. 2 seed.
… and Dolphins Could Be Undervalued
The Dolphins are coming off a 17-9 win over the Texans last week but are still viewed as below-average by the market thanks to their dreadful 2-7 record.
Heading into the season, one reason I thought the Dolphins could finish below .500 was their inexperienced offensive line. That has turned out to be the case as the unit has allowed a league-high 234 QB pressures. I suspect this will be an issue that will plague them the rest of the season, but the market is currently underrating this team.
Unlike the Ravens, the Dolphins have a losing record in one-score games (1-3), but we can assume that one-score records will typically regress toward .500 — regardless of the quality of a team.
Another reason to believe the public could be overrating the Ravens while underrating the Dolphins is that Miami has a higher average game time with the lead (22:52) than Baltimore (22:05), per Football Outsiders.
NFL Pick: Ravens vs. Dolphins
The elephant in the room is that Tua Tagovailoa (questionable) is shaping up to be a game-time decision. But even if Tagovailoa can’t start, Jacoby Brissett is one of the NFL’s best backups, and there isn’t much drop-off (at all) between the two quarterbacks in terms of their value to the spread.
That’s why I’m locking in the Dolphins at +7.5, before the sharps potentially bet it down to 7, or before potential news about Tagovailoa’s availability pushes it down to the key number.
I actually think the sharps are already on the Dolphins, considering the line hasn’t budged from 7.5 despite a significant amount of action coming in on the Ravens. I suspect the pros also see the underlying data I highlighted above that indicates the gap between these two teams is closer than we think.
The Dolphins can keep this to a one-score game.
Pick: Dolphins +7.5 | Bet to: Dolphins +7
Update (6 p.m. ET): The best line available is now Dolphins +8.5
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