Baltimore Ravens (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (4-7)
This has been the season from hell for the Ravens. After going 11-5, winning a playoff game, and finishing the season 3rd in rate of moving the chains differential a year ago, the Ravens lost outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, wide receiver Torrey Smith, and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak this off-season. And then during the season, they’ve lost 1st round pick wide receiver (and Torrey Smith replacement) Breshad Perriman, wide receiver Steve Smith, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, center Jeremy Zuttah, quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett for the season with injury. They’re also likely going to be missing offensive tackle Eugene Monroe for the 2nd straight week this week, though left guard Kelechi Osemele returns from a one week absence.
As a result of all of these losses, the Ravens are 4-7, rank 26th in rate of moving the chains differential, and are even less talented than that suggests now with Flacco, Forsett and Monroe all going down within the last two weeks. The Dolphins rank 29th and have been horrendous defensively since losing Cameron Wake for the season week 8, but the line is only 3.5, down from 6 a week ago, a significant change. I love to fade significant line movements whenever it makes sense and it does here. The Ravens have a tough game next week, at home for the Seahawks, where they’ll be 4.5 point underdogs. Teams are 74-51 ATS since 2012 before being 4+ point home underdogs. Given that, I’m taking the Dolphins though it’s a no confidence pick. If it goes down to 3, I might consider bumping it up to low confidence, given that 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal.
Miami Dolphins 24 Baltimore Ravens 19
Pick against the spread: Miami -3.5