UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
NFL Thursday Night Football: Dolphins at Ravens Online Betting
Dolphins at Ravens NFL Week 8
Well, lookie-lookie who has come alive in the AFC East. The Dolphins have actually won 3 straight games against the Jets, Falcons, and Titans. This is after a pretty ugly 2-game losing streak, where they were outscored 40-6. Meanwhile, the Ravens have struggled recently, and they’re losers of their last 2 games, after dropping games to the Bears and Vikings. These two teams are coming from different places, and it’s going to make for a great Thursday night game. Let’s see where the smart money is, betting-wise.
Prediction: The Miami Dolphins at Sports Interaction
The oddsmakers are giving the Ravens the slight odds here. Which is why I’m gonna zap while they zig. I like the Dolphins winning this game. This game will be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, which does give the Ravens home field. But keep in mind the Ravens have a losing record (1-2) at home, while the Dolphins have been rock-solid, with a road record of 2-1. Miami also has a quality win on the road against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, who have their own struggles right now. In any case. I’m picking Miami to win their third in a row.
If we were handing out almost-midway-through-the-season report cards, how would each team do? I’d give the Dolphins a B-, they’ve been pretty good, that rough patch notwithstanding. But their schedule is about to get a lot tougher for the rest of the season, including tonight’s road Thursday night game. They’re in the playoff picture right now, but we’ll see how that changes around New Year's Eve. Because this is a crucial stretch. If they do survive and make a wildcard appearance, they are not a team you want to meet in the first round.
As for the Ravens, they get a C+. They’re passing, but not exactly killing it. There have been no massive surprises in the AFC North this year, except maybe that the Browns are even worse than expected. But John Harbaugh has missed the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 years. If he wants to get his team there this year, they’re not in terrible shape, but they need to string a bunch of wins together. They get the Dolphins at home this week, then next week they’re in Tennessee to play a very good Titans team, then in Green Bay to play the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. So going 2-1 over the next 3 weeks would be awesome. Then the schedule gets a bit easier, with two home games, a tough one in Pittsburgh, then a stop to play the god-awful Cleveland team.
This will come down to both team's ability (or inability) to score the ball. Right now they are dead last in the NFL in total yards. The Dolphins are averaging 261.8 total yards per game. But HEY look who’s just barely in front of them, Baltimore. The Ravens are averaging 277.6 total yards per game, better than only Miami. The Ravens are turning it into slightly more offense, as they’re averaging 18.6 points per game (almost overachieving at 23rd in the NFL, overall), while the Dolphins are where you would expect them to be: scoring 15.3 a game, and just barely ahead of the winless Browns for worst in the NFL.
Now let’s take a look at the defense, which is what both teams would rather we talk about. The Dolphins have a decent defense and are holding teams to 18.7 per game, good enough for 6th overall in the NFL. And the only reason they have a 3 game winning streak. Because the first two games they won, they only scored 16 and 20 points, respectively. Their last 31-28 game was a bit of a head-scratcher.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are OK-to-average defensively. They’re giving up 21.1 points per game and only gave up 27 and 24 points in their last two losses. So, not terrible. But that offense needs to step up in a massive way.
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