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Matchups Week 2: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Dolphins vs. Ravens
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) runs away from Patriots defenders on his way to scoring a touchdown during second quarter action of their game against New England Patriots during NFL game Sept 11, 2022, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Miami Dolphins (1-0) vs. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Spread: Ravens -3.5.

Game Total: 43.5.

Team Totals: Ravens (23.5), Dolphins (20)

Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns. 

The Line Report

  •         This line opened as Ravens -3.5.
  •         This line has settled at Ravens -3.5.
  •         DraftKings Pick’Em has the Ravens -3.5.
  •         Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Ravens -3.5.
  •         This total opened at 43.5-points.
  •         This total moved up to 44.5-points as of late Thursday.

Notable Injuries

Ravens: RB J.K. Dobbins (Questionable), FB Patrick Ricard (Questionable), LT Ronnie Stanley (Questionable), CB Marlon Humphrey (Questionable).

Dolphins: CB Byron Jones (Out), WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. (Questionable), LT Terron Armstead (Questionable), RT Austin Jackson (Questionable), DL Christian Wilkins (Questionable), S Brandon Jones (Questionable).

The Ravens Offense vs. the Dolphins Defense

If Ravens left tackle Ronnie Staley is good to go for this matchup, we can treat this as a relative draw between an average Ravens line and an average Dolphins front four.

When these two teams met for Thursday Night Football last year in Miami, the Dolphins won 22-10 behind Miami’s aggressive defensive gameplan. Lamar Jackson was sacked four times and limited to 39 yards rushing. Brian Flores was the Dolphins head coach for that matchup, so that’s a noticeable change from then to now. Regardless, Miami has recently shown they can shut down Lamar Jackson.

Notes and Observations

  • The Ravens are 1-0 against the spread this season.
  • The Ravens are 0-1 on overs this season.
  • Per The Edge, Lamar Jackson was tenth in play-action pass percentage on opening day.
  • Jackson had the highest air yards per attempt on opening day.
  • The Dolphins allowed the 18th most rushing yards and the 18th most receiving yards to running backs on opening day.
  • Miami yielded the ninth fewest receiving yards on the fourth fewest receptions to wide receivers in Week 1.
  • The Dolphins surrendered the 12th most receiving yards on the eighth most receptions to tight ends last week. 

The Dolphins Offense vs. the Ravens Defense

Baltimore’s pass rush made a massive impact against the Jets last week, posting the most hurries and the second most pressures on opening week. From a macro sense, I’m treating the Ravens front four vs. the Dolphins offensive line as a matchup with no significant edge. That said, if the Ravens front plays as well this week as it did on opening day, I’ll be moving them up my rankings. 

I’m just going to come out and say it. I think the Dolphins have the best, most dynamic wide receiver duo in the league in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Ravens secondary is the strength of their defense, making this a strength vs. strength matchup. That said, from a pure speed perspective, virtually everyone is playing at a disadvantage against Miami in this phase. 

Notes and Observations

  • The Dolphins are 1-0 against the spread this season.
  • The Dolphins are 0-1 on overs this season.
  • Per The Edge, Tua Tagovailoa had the highest play-action pass percentage on opening day.
  • Among opening day starters, Tua was 13th in air yards per attempt.
  • Mike McDaniel’s new passing attack starts the season with two very difficult opponents in the Patriots and now the Ravens.
  • The Ravens allowed the 15th most rushing yards and the fourth most receiving yards to running backs on opening day.
  • Baltimore allowed the sixth most receiving yards on the most receptions to wide receivers in Week 1.
  • The Ravens gave up the sixth-fewest receiving yards on the 12th fewest receptions to tight ends last week.

This is What You’re Betting On in Dolphins vs. Ravens

A bet on the Ravens is a bet on one of the most consistent football operations over the last two decades. It’s a bet on former MVP Lamar Jackson, playing in a year where he is “betting on himself” from a contract standpoint. It’s a bet on Baltimore’s defense, which has remained consistently viable even after the Ray Lewis and Ed Reed peak from days gone by. The biggest downside in a Ravens bet here is that the Dolphins dominated them in their Thursday Night matchup last season, and Miami has a far more dangerous offense this year.

A bet on the Dolphins is a bet on an intriguing football operation with a ton of potential. The duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle gives quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and new head coach Mike McDaniel a matchup edge against virtually every opponent in the league. Despite changing head coaches this offseason, the Dolphins defense still dominated the Patriots on opening day. Miami shut down Lamar Jackson in their matchup last year. The biggest concern I have with a Dolphins bet here is Tua Tagovailoa facing a very capable Ravens pass defense. 

Dolphins vs. Ravens Pool Picks

Winner/ Confidence Pool: In large field winner pools with weekly payouts, I will consider taking the Dolphins as a differentiator pick. In confidence pools, I will likely take Baltimore, but I will have them towards the bottom of my consensus ranks.

Spread Pool: The Dolphins +3.5 will be among my ATS tournament considerations.

Survivor: This contest should be avoided for survivor purposes.