NFL: Ajayi to shine in dour Thursday night offering

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NFL nut Kyle Robbins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) shares his expert opinion on the best bets from Thursday night’s action involving the Dolphins and Ravens.

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens | Friday 27th October 2017, 01:25 | Sky Sports

Thursday night’s encounter in Baltimore is sure to be one of the least attractive offensive games of week eight but hey ho, we make do with what we’ve got.

After suffering cracked ribs in last week’s victory over the New York Jets, Jay Cutler will be replaced by veteran Matt Moore for Thursday night, but that may not be a bad thing.

Moore received the loudest cheer Miami has heard this season when entering the game to replace the injured Cutler, and his performance was, it’s fair to say, good.

Miami to attack the running game

Moore threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns, despite entering the game at the beginning of the third quarter. His target for both those touchdown passes was the reliable veteran Kenny Stills, and whilst he’s a very decently priced 13/5 anytime touchdown scorer with Unibet, the running game is where I’ll be looking for Miami to have most of their success.

The Ravens rank a respectable seventh against the pass, limiting opposing quarterbacks to an average of just 189 passing yards per-game. Their running defence however, well, that’s a completely different story.

Off the back of allowing Latavius Murray to tear them for 113 yards off just 18 carries last weekend, Baltimore ranks dead last in rushing defence, giving up a whooping 145.3 rushing yards on average per-game.

To say Baltimore has struggled against running backs, would be something of an understatement. Jordan Howard torched them for 167 yards just two weeks back, whilst Le’Veon Bell posted similar numbers at the start of this month, with 144 yards and two touchdowns.

It would seem teams certainly know where and how to attack this Ravens defence, so don’t expect Miami to deter too much from the run game either.

Jay Ajayi has certainly had his struggles but has still been able to post some respectable rushing numbers, despite having not yet got into the endzone once this season.  His workload has increased over the past three weeks, and with his line set at 84.5 with SkyBet at 10/11, I’ll certainly be taking that, as well as the 7/4 (SkyBet) for him to finally break his duck and get into the endzone.

Baltimore’s offensive struggles

The Joe Flacco-led Ravens are one of the least explosive offenses in the NFL. Averaging just 18.6 points per-game, they rank 32nd (dead last) in passing, with just 157 yards per-game, whilst ranking 12th in rushing offence, averaging close to 120 yards per-game.

Their lack of a game changing player at running back, however, often means the load is split between their three backs and non of them can ever really get going.

Now the Ravens may have posted 27 points against the Chicago Bears and 30 points against the Oakland Raiders, but don’t let those numbers fool you, their offence still sucks.

If it wasn’t for two special team scores against the Bears, they would have been blown out, and they were facing a Raiders team deterred by injury and a seeming lack of motivation without their starting quarterback.

It often seems the case that if teams can stay turnover free whilst not allowing any scores on special teams, they’ll be more than half way to limiting the Ravens ability to score points.

Given these stats, and the fact they’re facing a tough Dolphins defence who allow on average just 18.7 points per-game, the best bet looks to be for the Ravens to score under 19.5 points, which is very appealing 1/1 with Betfair.

Best Bets

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore Raves under 19.5 points (1/1 Betfair)

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens – Jay Ajayi anytime touchdown (7/4 SkyBet)

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens – Jay Ajayi Over 84.5 Rushing Yards (10/11 SkyBet)

 

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