Baltimore Ravens (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 0-1 O/U) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U)
NFL: Thursday, August 17, 2017, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida, 7 pm ET
Lines: Miami -3, Over/Under: 39.5
It’s week 2 of the preseason slate for the National Football League with a pair of AFC opponents meeting down in South Beach. Baltimore won their preseason opener as they rolled over Washington 23-3 at home on Thursday night. Miami managed to outlast Atlanta 23-20 at home in their preseason opener Thursday night. The teams have split 12 regular season meetings with the Ravens rolling to a 38-6 victory at home in the last meeting on December 4, 2016.
Baltimore Ravens Looking to Fill Holes
Baltimore cruised to the win in their preseason opener but there are still some spots that are going to be needed to figure out. Joe Flacco continues to nurse a back issue: the team announced that he was not going to play at all in the preseason but they still plan to have him start in the season opener September 10 against Cincinnati. Ryan Mallett struggled while playing the first half of the contest as he hit 9 of 18 passes for 58 yards in the game. He’ll need to play better in order to maintain the #2 role on the depth chart. Josh Woodrum hit all four of his throws for 85 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown strike to Tim White.
Taquan Mizzell led the team on the ground with 15 carries for 51 yards while Terrance West had five carries for 23 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run. With Kenneth Dixon done for the year, the running back depth chart is up for grabs. Eleven different players caught a pass for the Ravens with Javorius Allen (21 rushing yards) leading the team with three grabs for 11 yards. The Ravens’ defense had three sacks while limiting the Redskins to 138 yards of total offense. Justin Tucker, coming off a tremendous season last year, looked to be in midseason form already: he hit from 37, 59 and 21 yards.
Miami Dolphins Turning to Cutler
Miami won their preseason opener by knocking off the defending NFC champs. The team has had to make a change at quarterback as it was announced that Ryan Tannehill would undergo surgery and miss the entire season. Rather than staying pat with Matt Moore, the team inked Jay Cutler to a one year, $10 million deal to lure him out of retirement. The Dolphins rallied from a 20-10 deficit after three quarters by outscoring Atlanta 13-0 in the fourth to get the victory. Miami scored their winning touchdown on a 99-yard touchdown pass from David Fales (8 of 17, 184 yards, 2 TD, INT) to rookie Damore’ea Stringfellow (two grabs, 116 yards, TD) with 8:47 to play.
Brandon Doughty (7 of 12, 69 yards, TD, INT) shared the majority of the reps with Fales as Moore threw just one pass, completing it for five yards. The run game sputtered as with Jay Ajayi out with a concussion issue, Kenyan Drake led the team with 21 yards on four carries. Damien Williams added 18 yards on six carries while De’Veon Smith had seven carries for 12 yards. Francis Owusu (from 17 yards) and Leonte Carroo (from 33 yards) each caught a touchdown pass as well in the game. The Dolphins have to do a better job of extending drives as they lost the time of possession battle by a 34:53 to 25:07 margin.
- Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass
- Ravens are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. AFC
- Dolphins are 9-20 ATS in their last 29 vs. AFC
Both teams are going to have guys starting at quarterback in this one than who they originally projected for week 1 of the regular season. Flacco is going to sit out the preseason while Tannehill is done for the year after knee surgery. However, while Flacco is expected to be back for the regular season, the Dolphins are going to have to develop some chemistry offensively with either Cutler or Moore. It’s going to be a tough one to figure out as Cutler is prone to turning the ball over repeatedly. Look for Baltimore’s defense to carry them to a victory here.
Pick: Baltimore Ravens +3
This one is going to be a challenge for both teams: the Ravens put together a stifling defensive performance to get the win in their preseason opener. Miami has an unsettled quarterback situation with Tannehill done for the year, leaving Moore and Cutler to battle for the spot. Given the eight figure investment on the one year deal that Cutler received, one has to think that he’s going to have the upper hand. Miami is dealing with the Ajayi injury, taking their #1 back from the ground game, and now has an unsettled quarterback situation.
The under is 5-2 in the Ravens’ last seven games on Thursday. Miami has seen the under go 8-0-1 in their last nine Thursday games. The teams have stayed under the total in seven of the last 10 meetings in Miami. Given the unsettled depth charts for both teams on the offensive side of the ball, look for this one to fall under the total as well.