NFL Free Pick: BAL/MIA

There could be a defensive struggle in South Florida this Sunday when the Miami Dolphins host the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the NFL Playoffs.

Check below to see if we’ll give our NFL free pick nod to Ray Lewis and the Ravens or Chad Pennington and the Dolphins.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for the NFL Playoffs.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Ravens -3 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 37.5 total points.

Key Trend: The Ravens are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games while the Dolphins are 1-5 against the number in their last six contests. The total has also fallen under the number in five of Miami’s last seven games when hosting Baltimore.

Key Stat: The Ravens are limiting opponents to just 15.3 points per game, while also stifling opponents’ running games to just 81.3 rushing yards per game and 179.8 passing yards per contest.

Game Outlook: The Dolphins had the single greatest turnaround in the NFL this season, going from 1-15 a year ago to 11-5 and a division title this year. But their dream season will likely end Sunday in South Florida, because this is a matchup made to favor Baltimore. Offensively, Miami has used multiple formations and trick plays for most of the season and they’ve been successful. But gaget plays don’t work against a defense like Baltimore, who will likely stuff the run and force quarterback Chad Pennington to try to beat them by throwing vertically up the field (something he’s had trouble with throughout his career). The Dolphins’ defense is highly underrated and will keep Miami in the game throughout, but the Ravens’ running game will eventually wear their front seven down and then rookie Joe Flacco can take shots over the top with play action. With the number being so low in this game, lay the points with the Ravens, because their defense is going to allow Pennington and the Miami offense to dink and dunk down the field. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the NFL Playoff Wild Card matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins is

BALTIMORE RAVENS -3

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Baltimore Ravens 16

Miami Dolphins 10

We also predict that this game will GO UNDER THE TOTAL (37.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 1/4/09 09:00AM ET

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