NFL Free Pick - Ravens at Dolphins

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by - 1/3/2009 12:55 PM Share
This could turn into one of the better games of the first round and if you like defense, this game should be for you. The Ravens and Dolphins square off in the first game on Sunday and this has the makings of a slugfest, grind-it-out type of game. The first time these two met back in October, they combined for 40 points on a total that closed at 35.5. We now get an extra two points of value early in the week. That first meeting can be tossed as when it comes to playoffs, two defensive oriented teams take over.

The Ravens have surprised this season with an offense that is scoring in bunches. Baltimore is 11th in the NFL in scoring offense, averaging 24.1 ppg but a lot of those points have come by way of the defense through turnovers and excellent starting field position. In terms of yards, the Ravens are actually below average as they are 18th in total offense, averaging 324 ypg. They are the third lowest team in the playoffs in offensive production so the public perception is in fact just a myth.

The Dolphins have always been known for their tough defense and this season they are a middle of the pack unit, allowing 329 ypg which is 15th in the league. It is more of a bend-don't-break defense however as Miami is allowing just 19.8 ppg which is 9th in the NFL and 7th among playoff teams. The Dolphins are 25th in passing defense but that does not tell the story as teams have been forced to pass to play catch up. They allow 7.00 ypa which is a much more respectable 18th in the league.

While the Dolphins are known for the defense, the Ravens own that category year in and year out and this season is no exception. Baltimore ended the regular season as the 2nd ranked total defense in the NFL, allowing 261.1 ypg. The Ravens finished 3rd in rushing defense, 2nd in passing defense and 3rd in scoring defense so there is not a weakness on that side of the ball. Baltimore allowed 10 points or fewer seven times and 13 points or fewer 11 times.

After finishing 28th in the NFL in total offense a season ago, Miami improved to 12th this season, averaging 345.6 ypg. That is 7th best of the 12 playoff teams so it is relatively average. Quarterback Chad Pennington brought life to the unit and while it has been efficient, it is far from a quick strike offense. The Dolphins finished 21st in the league in scoring, averaging 21.6 ppg and they scored 17 or fewer points in exactly half of their games. Ball control will be the key ingredient here and this one stays below the total. 3* Under Baltimore Ravens/Miami Dolphins

Fargo has been TAKING NAMES in the NFL this year as he went 67-47-8 ATS (58.8%) YTD! He closed the regular season going 4-1-1 ATS in Week 17 and he rides that MOMENTUM into the 1st round of the playoffs! Join him for his First Round Game of the Year that is backed by a Power Situation and Team Angles a combined 41-9 ATS (82%)! Do not miss out on this MONSTER!

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