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Wildcard Round: Ravens vs. Dolphins Betting Trends + Pick

AFC Wildcard Odds Baltimore @ Miami

The Baltimore Ravens (11-5 SU, 12-4 SU, 9-6-1 O/U) have been the best defensive team in all of football for the better part of the last decade.

Now with a strong-armed rookie quarterback leading the team’s improving offense, the Ravens are a playoff opponent’s worst nightmare.

The Miami Dolphins (11-5 SU, 8-8 ATS, 6-10 O/U) completed the greatest one-season turnaround in league history and come into their improbable AFC wildcard showdown having won five straight games and nine of their last ten overall.  

Baltimore is coming off an emphatic 27-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, covering the spread fro BetUS NFL sports betting fanatics as a 10-point home favorite in the BetUS Sportsbook as rookie quarterback Joe Flacco completed 17 of 23 passes for 297 yards while running back Le’Ron McClain rushed for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 25 carries for Baltimore.

“This wasn’t just finishing up the season or a game that was going to get us into the playoffs. This was a playoff game,” center Jason Brown said. “That level of intensity, we had to come out full steam ahead. We’re not holding back any of our weapons, we’re not going to try and keep anybody fresh. We’re coming out and giving everything.”

“Back in training camp, we just knew how special this team could be,” linebacker Ray Lewis said.

The Dolphins laid a convincing 24-17 spanking on the New York Jets on Sunday, covering the spread as a 2.5-point road underdog in Week 17. Veteran quarterback Chad Pennington passed for 200 yards with two touchdowns for the Dolphins and Ted Ginn Jr. caught two passes for 71 yards with a touchdown in the win.

“It’s always a sweet feeling to be a champion,” the Dolphins quarterback said after beating the New York Jets 24-17 on Sunday. “That’s what we are: AFC East champions. It’s a great feeling. This organization has been unbelievable. They accepted me from the get-go. This has been an unbelievable ride.”

Miami completed its surprising turnaround from a franchise-worst 1-155 mark in 2007.

“We were able to change this around with a good coach who came in with pride and passion,” Ginn said. “We got a great quarterback and our D stepped up for us. That’s all you could ask for.”

Here is a look at tonight’s key trends, followed by my in-depth analysis and NFL Free Pick:

The Ravens are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
The Ravens are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
The Dolphins are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
The Dolphins are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
The Over is 5-0-1 in Ravens last 6 road games.
The Under is 5-0 in Dolphins last 5 Wildcard games.
The Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

NFL Odds

Baltimore Ravens -3 -125
Miami Dolphins +3 +105

Over 37½ -110
Under 37½ -110

Analysis: While I am thoroughly impressed by the Miami Dolphins’ turnaround, even as arguably the biggest Dolphins fan anywhere, I can’t pick the Dolphins to win this contest as I fully expect Baltimore to use its overwhelming defense to keep the Dolphins out of the end zone often.

Simply put, defense wins championships and they clearly have the better defense in this contest, no matter where it’s being played.

NFL Free Picks: Baltimore -3 Points/Under 37½ Total Points

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