In Week 1 NFL betting action the Miami Dolphins will host the Baltimore Ravens as +4 point underdogs with a total of 37.
The Ravens and their stingy defense went 10-7 straight up last year, losing in the AFC Wild Card game to the Chargers. They were 8-9 against the spread.
The Dolphins were once again lost in a sea of mediocrity, finishing out of the money once again with a 7-9 record, 8-8 ATS.
Dolphins Officially Rebuilding
The Dolphins took a different approach this offseason. Rather than trying to fill a hole here and there a piece together a team, Miami cleaned house. They parted ways with many high priced veterans. The Fish are now officially in rebuilding mode.
Generally a rebuild sees a team take a couple of big giant steps backwards in order to pay dividends a couple of years later. A couple of steps backwards from 7-9 won’t look to pretty. But the Dolphins did pick up a couple of very capable QB’s in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. At this writing, Fitzpatrick looks like the starter.
Ravens Ready to Win Now
The Ravens as you might imagine took a different approach. Rightly so. When you field the #1 defense in the league, you need to make moves to win now, not later.
They did lose some veteran leadership (Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith) but drafted accordingly. Still, the defense may take a step back, particularly the pass rush.
But most “experts” agree, the key to the Ravens success, or lack of it, in 2019, is Lamar Jackson. If Jackson can make a marked improvement in year #2, things could get interesting in Baltimore.
Our Predicted Winner Against the Spread
These two teams did not play each other last season. They last faced each other in 2017, a 40-0 Ravens win. But for predictive purposes, let’s suppose this game takes place week 16 last season.
In the above scenario, our NFL predictive model would have predicted a 12-15 point Ravens win.
What impact will the offseason moves of these teams have on the predicted margin? Should the margin increase, decrease or stay the same?
The Ravens may take a small step back. However, the Dolphins will definitely at the very least, take a small step back. More than likely, it will be a big step back.
So at the very least, the predicted margin would stay the same, 12-15 points. In which case, laying -4 on the road with the Ravens is the way we’re going in this one.
The total in this game is set at 37. That makes this total the lowest of all NFL games to be played week one. Our model predicts the Ravens to score 30+. The over may be worth strong consideration here.
Our Picks – Ravens -4 and Over 37