Week 10 of the NFL season kicks off on Thursday night with the Miami Dolphins hosting the Baltimore Ravens. These two teams appear to be going in different directions right now, but after the craziness that was Week 9, nothing can be taken for granted. That being said, the Ravens are 7.5-point road favorites, with the over/under set at 46.5 points.
To their credit, the Dolphins were able to snap their seven-game losings streak last week. However, they did it in an unimpressive fashion, beating the lowly Texans 17-9. That leaves Miami at 2-7 and fighting with the Jets to avoid a last-place finish.
Meanwhile, the Ravens sit atop arguably the best division in the NFL. Baltimore was able to bounce back from its humiliating loss to the Bengals by sneaking past the Vikings in overtime last week. That puts them atop the AFC North at 6-2, although all four teams in the division have a winning record, so there isn’t much margin for error.
Once again, the Baltimore offense has morphed into the Lamar Jackson Show, with everything revolving around the quarterback. He carried the ball 21 times last week and is by far the team’s leading rusher on the season. As a passer, Jackson is doing a little better job of getting the ball downfield, although his accuracy can wane at times, and he’s thrown four interceptions in his last three games, which is a concern.
Defensively, the Ravens rank closer to the bottom of the league than the top. While they’ve had some strong performances, Baltimore has also allowed 74 points over its last two games and allowed over 30 points in four of eight games this season. To be fair, injuries have played a role in that, although that doesn’t change the fact that the Ravens have a modest 15 sacks and just seven takeaways in eight games.
Does It Matter?
As of Thursday morning, there is still uncertainty over whether it’ll be Tua Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback for the Dolphins. Brissett was abysmal last week, albeit in a winning effort, while Tagovailoa has had some ups and downs this year. But with the two combining for nine interceptions on the season and the Dolphins having the worst rushing attack in the NFL, it may not matter that much which one starts.
Of course, Miami has just as many concerns on the defensive side of the ball. While they kept the Texans contained last week, the Dolphins have allowed at least 30 points four times this year and are giving up nearly 27 points per game. On the bright side, the Dolphins have been solid against the run this year, which will be critical when facing the Ravens.
The Ravens are far from a complete team right now, so going on the road during a short week won’t be easy for them. Miami has been decent against the run this year and might have some receivers who can trouble the Baltimore secondary and keep this game competitive. Bet on the Dolphins to lose a close game and beat the 7.5-point spread.
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