There’s just something about the Baltimore Ravens that brings out the worst in the Miami Dolphins. And there’s something about the Harbaugh family that also leaves the Dolphins floundering. It was the John Harbaugh-coached Ravens who crushed the Dolphins 40-0 last season. The Dolphins hadn’t suffered a shutout setback that embarrassing since 1997, when the Indianapolis Colts, led by quarterback Jim Harbaugh – John’s brother – whipped Miami 41-0.
And of course, before they were the Indianapolis Colts they were the Baltimore Colts, so that only serves to add another layer to these mysterious beatings. Baltimore has won seven of the last games played against Miami in the regular season and it goes to eight of nine when you factor in last season’s 31-7 Baltimore triumph in the first-ever preseason game between the two teams. The Dolphins did beat the Ravens 15-13 in the last regular season game at Miami in 2015, but Baltimore has won four of five at Miami.
Every Which Way They Lose – The Dolphins aren’t just losing to the Ravens, they are also taking a beating at the betting windows. Miami is 1-7 straight up in the last eight games against Baltimore, but the Dolphins are an even worse 0-8 against the spread during that eight-game stretch, so even when they’ve won, you lost if you placed a wager on the Dolphins. The Ravens have won last two regular-season games against the Dolphins by average of 36 points. They won the lone preseason game against Miami by 24 points.
Miami is 0-1 against Baltimore in the preseason, 6-9 all-time against the Ravens in the regular season and 0-1 against Baltimore in the postseason. The Ravens drubbed the Dolphins 27-9 in an AFC wildcard game played Jan. 4, 2009 at Miami. That was the first Miami-Baltimore playoff game since 1971, when the Dolphins beat John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts 21-0 in the AFC Championship Game to go to their first Super Bowl.
The Dirty Lowdown – While the Ravens have been piling up the points, the Dolphins couldn’t find the end zone if they installed GPS in their helmets. The Dolphins have averaged 8.5 points per game in their last four regular-season games against the Ravens. In their lone preseason game with Baltimore, they scored seven points. Including the preseason encounter, the Dolphins have scored 10 points or less in five of their last eight meetings with Baltimore.
Super Bowl Shuffle – The Dolphins appeared in Super Bowls VI, VII and VIII, joining the Buffalo Bills (Super Bowls XXV, XXVI, XXVII, and XXVIII) as the only teams to appear in at least three Super Bowls in succession. The Dolphins won Super Bowls VII and VIII, becoming the second team after the Green Bay Packers (Super Bowls I and II) to win consecutive Super Bowls. The Ravens are 2-0 in Super Bowl play, the only team to play in more than one Super Bowl without ever suffering a loss.
What are the chances that either the Ravens or Dolphins add to their legacy in the big game in Super Bowl LIII? Not good. Not good at all. At +5500, the Ravens are the 22nd betting choice in Bovada’s Super Bowl LIII future book. At +12500, the Dolphins are right near the bottom of the Super Bowl LIII contenders. Only the New York Jets (+17500) are given worse odds than Miami to win the Super Bowl. Even the Cleveland Browns (+7500), 0-16 last year, are considered a significantly better bet to win the Super Bowl than Miami.
First They Gotta Make It – Before either team can think about going to the Super Bowl, they first must secure a playoff berth. Baltimore squandered a wildcard playoff spot last season by losing its regular-season finale to Cincinnati. The Ravens were most recently in the playoffs in 2014, and that was also when they recorded their last postseason victory. The Dolphins were an AFC wildcard playoff team in 2016, but they haven’t won a game in the postseason since 2000.
But are the playoffs even a remote possibility for either of these squads in 2018? Bovada pegs the odds on the Ravens being a playoff team at +150. You’ll get odds of -180 if you bet the Ravens to miss the playoffs again this season. As for the Dolphins, Bovada puts Miami’s odds of being postseason participants at +500. Play the Dolphins to miss out on the playoffs and the odds you’ll receive are -800.
Tannehill Or Over The Hill? – Ryan Tannehill figures to be back under center for the Dolphins again this season after missing all of last season due to his second knee injury in as many seasons. But to suggest the future is now for Tannehill would be a masterstroke of understatement. In 2016, prior to his December injury, Tannehill posted career highs in passer rating (93.5), completion percentage (67.1) and yards per attempt (7.7). Without him last season, Dolphins QBs were 28th in the NFL in passer rating (78.7).
Bovada has Tannehill listed at odds of +4000 to lead the NFL in passing yardage during the 2018 season. But at +550, he’s the co-second betting choice with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers to lead the NFL in interceptions. Only Houston Texans QB DeShaun Watson (+500) is given better odds. Betway has Tannehill listed at odds of +2500 to take the NFL comeback player of the year award this season. He’s the 11th betting choice on the board.
Average Joe – Compared to Tannehill. the numbers on Baltimore QB Joe Flacco are off the board, and Flacco actually played all of last season. And he’s quarterbacked a team to a Super Bowl title. Still, Flacco is listed at dismal odds of +10000 by Bovada to lead the NFL in passing yardage. He’s +2000 to be the league’s interception leader. He’s also +10000 to be named the MVP of the NFL. Curiously, MyBookie doesn’t offer odds on Flacco in their MVP future book, but they do on QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore’s top 2018 draft pick.