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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Moore can keep Miami heading in right direction

Baltimore offensive woes look set to continue

Miami quarterback Matt Moore
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Sky Sports Action, 1.25am Thursday night

Two struggling offences come under the spotlight in the first helping of the NFL's Week Eight, but Miami probably have more scope for improvement than Baltimore.

Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler is set to be sidelined for a few weeks with a rib injury and many of their followers would consider that to be a blessing in disguise as the former Chicago Bear has been floundering in recent weeks.

Many fans were calling for a change anyway and will be pleased to see Matt Moore get a chance after he won three of his four matches when he stepped in for Ryan Tannehill last season.

Moore showed some promise when throwing two touchdown passes as the Fins scraped over the line to claim a valuable AFC East win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

Despite that success, this have averaged a meagre 15.3 points per game - only winless Cleveland have a lower average - but they have won three times since failing to trouble the scorers in a Wembley washout against New Orleans and are in the thick of the action in their division.

Baltimore, meanwhile, have also had their problems, but the light at the end of the tunnel is perhaps not as bright.

Their average of 157.4 passing yards is the lowest in the league - admittedly, Miami are not much better at 30th in the rankings - but the Ravens come into the match in wretched form.

Their only win in their last five games was a 30-17 success over Oakland when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was injured and Ravens QB Joe Flacco is facing serious questions about his future in Maryland for the first time.

The Dolphins, who recovered from a 17-point deficit to beat Atlanta in Week Six,  should be able to hold their weakened offence at bay and look well placed to at least keep Baltimore to within a field goal.

Miami +3.5
2pts 5-6 Betfred

The lowdown
Venue M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
Surface Grass
Weather Clear, 9C
Vegas handicap Miami +3
Vegas points line 37.5

Team news
Quarterback Jay Cutler suffered cracked ribs in Sunday's win over the New York Jets, so Matt Moore is set to play. Running back Jay Ajayi has recovered from knee and elbow issues, while tight end Julius Thomas (knee) should also be fit.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs is questionable with a knee injury while tight end Benjamin Watson (concussion) and running back Terrance West (calf) are struggling.

Key stat
Baltimore have won six of their last seven games against Miami.

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Their only win in their last five games was a 30-17 success over Oakland when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was injured
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