Free NFL Picks for Ravens vs. Dolphins in Must-Win AFC Match

Nikki Adams

Saturday, December 6, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

Review the current NFL odds trading for Ravens vs. Dolphins, where the public is betting its money & how we recommend betting in this must-win game for a tightly packed AFC playoff picture.

Baltimore Ravens (7-5SU, 3-3 away)
Baltimore Ravens are stuck on a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North with Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, all sat pretty on a 7-5 SU record. Only a game separates this triplet from the 8-3-1 Cincinnati Bengals.

Baltimore Ravens let one slip through their fingers when they lost to the San Diego Chargers in week 13 NFL betting. Ravens had the lead going into final quarter of the game only to lose 34-33 in the dying minute of the game as the home chalk on the NFL odds boards. Just 38 seconds were left on the clock when Philip Rivers' touchdown pass to Eddie Royal lifted the Chargers to the improbable victory. Ravens attempted a last-gasp drive but there simply wasn't enough time to complete their march down the field.

As disappointing as the defeat was for the Ravens, it doesn't take away from their form this season. They've been playing really good football for the most part. Impressively, their offense is right up there amongst some of the season's leaders. They boast the 16th ranked passing offense that averages 238.8 yards per game and the fifth best rushing offense with 131.8 yards per game. On the defensive side of the ball, their rushing defense is a formidable fourth in the league with just 86.3 yards per game.

Ravens are also amongst the best scorers in the league with 328 points scored and just 242 points allowed, which yields 27.3-points per game scored and 20.2-points per game allowed. Joe Flacco is 13th in the league with 2989 passing yards. He averages 249 yards per game has 15 TDs to his credit and a 93.5 passer rating. He has only 8 interceptions and has been sacked 15, amongst the fewest sacks.

 

Miami Dolphins (7-5 SU, 3-2 home)
The Dolphins are tied with the Buffalo Bills in second place in the AFC East, two games behind divisional leaders New England Patriots. Most recently, the Dolphins are coming off a gritty 16-13 win over the Jets but failing to cover as the hefty 7-point road favourites in NFL odds.

Dolphins have impressed many NFL bettors this season, performing above their perceived class to deposit a 7-5 SU record on the season. Notable victories over the Patriots and Chargers at home, and playing both the Packers (home) and Broncos (away) tough despite narrow defeats are just some of the many good accounts on the season.

Dolphins boast the tenth best rushing offense with 120.3 yards per game and the second best passing defense with just 198.2 yards per game allowed. Their passing offense is a modest 22nd in the league with 220.3 yards per game and their rushing defense is 22nd in the league with 118.6 yards allowed. Still, they have posted 301 points to 232 points conceded or 25.1-points per game scored on average and 19.3-points per game conceded on average.

 

NFL Betting Verdict: Ravens +2.5 over Dolphins
As things currently stand, the NFL betting public is fairly split on this game with 57% backing the Ravens as the nominal 2.5-point road underdogs and just 43% backing the Dolphins as the 2.5-point home favourites on their NFL picks. Early NFL betting markets opened with the Dolphins as the 3-point favourites but it's been steadily coming down.

As both teams are fighting for the sixth seed in the AFC Conference, the premium on the win couldn't be greater. Only four games remain before the playoff picture is determined, so each team will be looking to advance its bid. At this late stage of the season, consistency, form and experience are going to provide an edge, all of which tip the balance towards the Ravens in our opinion. That doesn't mean the Dolphins can't win this game, but rather were not confident they'll pull off the feat.

Last week, they barely beat the Jets, one of the worst teams in the NFL. Ryan Tannehill was somewhat shaky in that game, his worst game in recent weeks. And the injuries continue to mount in Week 14 for the Dolphins, which just doesn't augur well for them as they head down the stretch. Ravens are healthier for the most part. What's more, the Ravens have a 5-1 SU record over Miami, which includes winning their last four meetings in a row, three of which were in Miami. Last year, the Ravens beat the Dolphins 26-23 in Miami.

Dolphins may be the bookies favourites at home to win both SU and cover, but we're backing the upset on our NFL picks.

NFL Free Picks: Ravens +2.5 and at +125 to win SU at BetOnline

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