It’s time once again for some winning prop plays courtesy yours truly in what could be an ugly game tonight between the Ravens and Dolphins. There's still plenty of betting value to be had.
Matt Moore is taking over the Dolphins’ quarterback duties in this one, and heading to Baltimore is not a great matchup for your first start in a while. However, Moore looked pretty solid against the Jets last week, and even though the Ravens’ defense is good, Moore should be able to move the ball on them some.
The problems for the Dolphins will likely be the red zone. The Ravens’ defense has been one of the best red-zone units in football this season, with a conversion rate of 38.1% for opposing offenses. That means we can bet that around 60% of the Dolphins red-zone chances will either be turnovers or hopefully field goals. Bovada is offering +120 odds for the over on the Dolphins’ field goals, and in what could be a sloppy game I see a lot of field goals being kicked.
The Ravens probably still don’t know how many of their skill players will be in and out in this one, and with the possibility of having zero run game, the Dolphins have a chance to possess the ball a lot tonight. This is going to be a possession game, and field goals come with possession games. Cody Parkey has done well on the road this season, nailing 6-for-6 field goals, and that was mostly with Jay Cutler under center. The insertion of Moore helps the Dolphins’ offense enough to make two or three field goals in this one, but probably not get into the end zone much.
Plus, in their last five games the Ravens have allowed kickers to go 14-for-15 on field goals.Free NFL Pick: Over 1½Best Line Offered Both: Bovada Julius Thomas O/U 2½ Receptions
It’s kind of amazing how fast Thomas fell off in Jacksonville after getting big money and not panning out immediately after leaving a Peyton Manning-led offense. Here on a short week, Thomas has a chance to be a nice safety valve for Moore against this strong Ravens defense.
Baltimore has been one of the strongest passing defenses in this NFL this season, but a main reason for that has not been yards but a lack of touchdowns allowed to pass catchers. The Ravens have allowed just 3 touchdowns to wideouts this season, and on average they give up less than 110 receiving yards per game to receivers. Against tight ends is another story. They have allowed 6 touchdowns to tight ends to go with an average of 4 catches and 52 yards per game. They have also allowed this against some pretty average tight ends.
Thomas is another average tight end, but Moore coming in makes this passing offense a little more appealing. If the Ravens take away the downfield game for Moore, I see him dinking and dunking to Jay Ajayi and Thomas all night. All we need is 3 catches from Thomas to cash the over, and considering he’s getting 4-to-5 targets per game, I like his chances.Free NFL Pick: Over 2½