Don’t overreact to Week 1 results is something you’re likely to hear a lot this week when consuming NFL gambling content. But either way, you bet the Miami Dolphins (1-0) at the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) in Week 2 is an overreaction.
The Dolphins beat the long-time division-nemesis New England Patriots 20-7 in Miami on Sunday, easily covering as 3-point favorites. It was a wire-to-wire win for Miami and the defense forced three New England turnovers.
Baltimore “hammered” the New York Jets 24-9 in Week 1 as 6.5-point road favorites. But I put “hammered” in quotes because the Ravens were underwhelming in their Week 1 victory. The Jets outgained the Ravens by 134 total yards (378-274), possessed the ball longer (32:30-27:30) and had 11 more first downs.
In fact, I’d argue laying it with the Ravens -3.5 is the overreaction. Taking the points with the Dolphins is the appropriate reaction. Furthermore, Baltimore laying only 3.5 points in this spot is alarming and Miami’s defense overwhelmed Ravens QB Lamar Jackson last season.
Betting Deets (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: DOLPHINS (+155), Ravens (-180)
- Against the spread (ATS): DOLPHINS +3.5 (-110), Ravens -3.5 (-110)
- Total (O/U) — 44.5 — O: -110, U: -110
Dolphins Defense vs. Lamar
Allegedly, Miami’s defense set the blueprint for how to defend Lamar. The Dolphins whooped the Ravens 22-10 on Thursday Night Football in Week 10 last season.
Miami’s defense bullied Baltimore, holding the Ravens to only 94 team rushing yards and Lamar to just 39. The Dolphins ran a “Cover 0” defensive scheme, which includes man-to-man coverage and a ton of blitzing.
We were unable to see if other teams could use Miami’s strategy to bottle up Lamar since he only played in two full games after the Dolphins game.
However, Miami’s defensive personnel remains intact despite replacing head coaches in the offseason. The Dolphins had one of the best secondaries in the NFL and can employ the same strategy as last year.
Also, Baltimore’s offense was terrible in Week 1 vs. N.Y. Sure, the Ravens covered but it’s because the Jets sucked. N.Y. was just 2-for-14 on 3rd-down attempts. Essentially, Baltimore’s win and cover Sunday vs. N.Y. were more about the Jets than the Ravens.
In this case, the overreaction is “Baltimore hammered N.Y. by double digits and the Ravens are back.”
The Spread Tells A Story
Maybe I’m reading the tea leaves wrong but the Ravens as only 3.5-point home favorites is a trap line. Hear me out though…
Baltimore was favored to win two more games than Miami entering 2022. Also, the Ravens were favorites to win the AFC North, which has the defending AFC champion. Whereas the Dolphins were projected to finish a distant second in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills.
On top of that, Baltimore has a sneaky strong home-field advantage and the Ravens were 7.5-point favorites in last year’s meeting with the Dolphins.
At the time, the Ravens were 6-2, the Dolphins were 2-7 and broke a seven-game losing skid the week prior. Yet the Ravens are just 3.5-point favorites in Baltimore?! The way I see it, the sportsbooks are making the Ravens cheap to entice bettors into backing the square side.
But, the Ravens are only 1-4 ATS as 3.5-5.5-point home favorites since 2019 (Lamar’s first season in Baltimore). While the Dolphins are 4-1 ATS as 3.5-5.5-point road underdogs over that span.
Finally, Miami’s defense can sellout vs. Baltimore’s run game (which was trash vs. N.Y.) because the Dolphins can leave their cornerbacks on an island against the Ravens’ below-average wideouts.
Go to DraftKings Sportsbook to BET the DOLPHINS +3.5 (-110) and SPRINKLE on Miami’s ML (+155).
- A $110 bet on the Dolphins +3.5 (-110) nets a $100 profit if Miami wins outright or loses by a 3 or fewer points.
- A $40 sprinkle on the Dolphins (+155) fetches a $62 win if Miami upsets Baltimore.
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