The Baltimore Ravens travel to Florida in Week 1 of the 2019-20 NFL season to battle the Miami Dolphins. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on September 8th at Hard Rock Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Dolphins listed as 6.5-point home underdogs. That line has yet to change after early betting, as Miami is currently available at +6.5. The total for this matchup is 37.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 1 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Dolphins vs Ravens Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Dolphins could be in for a long year in 2019, as they clearly decided to go in the direction of a rebuild after finishing 7-9 in 2018 and missing the playoffs yet again. Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil are both gone after the pair was traded to Houston for three high draft-picks (two firsts and a second). The trade eliminates two of the best players from an already watered-down roster, which should leave plenty of opportunity for some fringe players hoping to make a name for themselves. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over the reigns for an offense that averaged just 19.9 points per game (26th overall) in 2018. Fitzpatrick has already shown some chemistry with WR Albert Wilson, who should see an expanded role after the departure of Stills. RB Kenyan Drake leads the way on the ground for a rushing attack that put up 108.6 yards per game last year (19th overall).
The Dolphins were also a bit of a disaster on the other side of the ball in 2018, giving up a healthy 27.1 points per game (27th overall). Miami was especially bad against the run, as they got torched for an average of 145.3 yards per game on the ground (31st overall).
Baltimore should be a team on the rise in 2019 after finishing 10-6 overall and won the AFC North. The Ravens had a disappointing end to their season, dropping the Wildcard game at home to Los Angeles 23-17. Sophomore QB Lamar Jackson played a pivotal role for the offense after taking over for Joe Flacco, sparking an overwhelmingly lethargic Baltimore offense with his big play ability on the ground. However, Jackson still needs to prove that he can be relied upon to throw the ball downfield after struggling with his throws pretty consistently. The strength of this offense is definitely their ability to run the football, something that the addition of former Saints RB Mark Ingram should only help solidify. Baltimore averaged a very impressive 148.9 rushing yards per game in 2018, which was second only to Seattle league-wide.
The Ravens were one of the NFL’s best scoring defenses in 2018, surrendering an average of just 18.2 points per game – second overall behind Chicago. Baltimore was equally as impressive against both the run and the pass, as they ranked 3rd and 5th overall respectively.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and ATS Pick: Ravens -6.5
This matchup is currently projected to be the lowest scoring game on the schedule in Week 1, so fans of offense might have a hard time making it through the entire game. However, despite the low total, I think that the Ravens should be able to put up some serious points in this one. For me, it all boils down to the strengths and weaknesses of each time. Unfortunately for Miami, they seem to have a lot of weaknesses right now. While Baltimore may or may not be able to move the ball through the air this season, that may not matter all that much against the Dolphins. The Ravens should be able to run the ball at will against a Miami defense that ranked almost dead-last against the run in 2018. Jackson and Ingram could both conceivably have big games, especially when considering how many big plays on the ground the Dolphins are prone to giving up.
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There isn’t a lot to like for Miami on the other side of the ball either, especially after the departure of Kenny Stills. Fitzmagic has shown a tendency to post huge offensive games right out of the gate over the past few years, but I think that trend will finally come to an end against a very tough Ravens defense. They don’t really seem to have a weak spot, as they were a Top-5 team on the ground and through the air last season. Honestly, I think having to lay less than a touchdown with Baltimore in this spot is an absolute steal. I’m all over the Ravens against the spread on the road here in Week 1!