NFL Best Bets for Thursday Night Football: Ravens-Dolphins

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Thursday Night Football once again brings us a blah matchup. I wonder when they make these schedules out if they think that the teams will be better, or if the travel schedule only matches up so this is the only option, or maybe they just need to get everyone at least one primetime game? Either way, we can enjoy the betting angle even if the teams don’t make us that excited.

Every now and again you get a game that makes you really wonder what is going on. That’s this Thursday Night Football matchup between the Ravens and Dolphins. It is a bit of a headscratcher because I feel like the Dolphins without Tua Tagovailoa should be bigger underdogs. Not that he’s a great quarterback, but Jacoby Brissett strikes fear into no one. If this line is placed with the assumption that Brissett is the starter, then you almost certainly should take it IF you think Tua plays, because the Dolphins would get fewer points in theory.

As for the actual game, I don’t care who the Dolphins starter is. I’m taking the Ravens to cover this game. They are by far the better team, and while they seem to do better at home, and the NFL players could spend their nights living it up in Miami, causing some upset opportunities, I think it is less likely on a Thursday night game than a Sunday game. For me, the Dolphins simply won’t have an answer for the running game of Baltimore. While they only are allowing 110 rushing yards per game to opponents, Baltimore’s run game is different. Play the Ravens -7.5 at -110. If you want to wait for Tua’s status, go ahead, you could get this game at a -7 or better.

I also feel like this is a good opportunity for Lamar Jackson to find the endzone. Normally, I don’t like playing these props if they aren’t plus money. But, Jackson is a difference-maker with both his legs and arm. His legs might be more dangerous anyway. So, in this case, I like it. Josh Allen just faced the Dolphins a few weeks ago and he also is a talented runner. He scored and racked up 55 rushing yards. Maybe the Ravens don’t need Jackson to scramble at all in this game, but I’ll take a shot on it at -105.

A couple other smaller plays I’ll put a sprinkle on: I like Chuck Clark to get under 4.5 tackles + assists at -102. He’s averaging 4.8 on the year, but I don’t know that Brissett will get people deep enough in the secondary for Clark to make a ton of tackles. I’ll take a small shot on this. The other small play is on Justin Tucker. I like him over 7.5 points at -102. Two field goals and two extra points makes this a winner. That to me seems very reasonable. I guess the worst-case scenario would be four touchdowns and a field goal, which is also possible, but I’ll once again take my chances on this one that maybe the Dolphins can have a bend but not break defense long enough for Tucker to score the points needed.