The Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3-1) travel to Maryland this weekend for a tough divisional matchup against the Baltimore Ravens (4-4). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on November 4th at M&T Bank Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Ravens listed as 3-point home favorites. That line has remained unchanged after early betting, as Baltimore is currently available at -3. The total for this matchup is 47.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 9 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Ravens vs Steelers Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Pittsburgh won their third straight game last weekend after beating up on Cleveland by a score of 33-18. The Steelers were dominant on both sides of the ball against the Browns, who decided to part ways with both Hue Jackson and Toddy Haley on Monday. In any event, Pittsburgh moved ahead of the 5-3 Cincinnati Bengals for first place overall in the always tough NFC North. QB Ben Roethlisberger now has thrown for 2,290 yards and 14 touchdowns in eight games. He has had a ton of help from his favorite receiving target, WR Antonio Brown. Brown has had an up and down year but has really picked things up as of late, including a 74 yard, two touchdown performance in Week 8. While Pittsburgh is still without the services of Le’veon Bell, RB James Conner has been absolutely fantastic in his absence. Conner has racked up almost 600 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns in his eight starts so far this year. As a whole, the Steelers are currently averaging 29.1 points per game (5th overall) on 418.1 yards of total offense (4th overall).
While there has been some exceptional plays at key times during games, Pittsburgh has looked pretty average defensively so far this season – they are currently giving up an average of 24.6 points per game (16th overall). They haven’t been that great against the pass so far this season, allowing opponents to average 265.3 yards per game through the air (24th overall).
Baltimore was looking pretty good a couple weekends ago, sitting at 4-2 overall on October 14th. Things have really taken a turn for the worse since then, as the Ravens have lost consecutive games to drop back to .500 overall on the season. They didn’t look good at all in Week 8, losing 36-21. QB Joe Flacco didn’t play well at all, throwing for just 192 yards through the air while also getting picked off twice. Flacco has now thrown for 2,259 yards and 12 touchdowns so far this season. On the ground, RB Alex Collins leads the way with 358 yards and five touchdowns. As a whole, Baltimore is currently averaging 24.6 yards per game on 379.2 yards of total offense.
The Ravens have been pretty impressive defensively over their first eight games of the season, giving up an average of just 17.1 points per game (1st overall). They have really looked good against the pass, holding opponents to only 195.6 yards per game through the air (2nd overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Pittsburgh +3
These longtime rivals appear to be heading in different directions as of late, as the Steelers have been playing inspired football while the Ravens appear to be heading backwards. While Pittsburgh has a tendency to perform much better at home – especially in divisional games – I still think they hare the better team in this matchup. I know that Baltimore pulled off a hard fought 26-14 road victory when these two teams met back in Week 4. However, things have changed since then, especially the play of WR Antonio Brown. Brown was all over the map to start the season and had several public altercations with his own teammates and coaching staff. He has really started to look like his old self over the past several weeks, which could be big trouble for a Ravens defense that has been pretty stingy against the pass.
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Pittsburgh is a very solid 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams while the underdog is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between the Steelers are Ravens – both of which bode well for Pittsburgh. Baltimore has also looked good against the spread lately, going 13-5 ATS over their last 18 games against AFC North opponents.
There is no doubt that the Steelers have found another gear offensively in their last several outings- they have now scored at least 30 points in five out of their last six games. On the other hand, Baltimore has failed to score more than 30 points since a lopsided Week 1 victory over the hapless Buffalo Bills. I honestly think this game should be a pick’em, so the fact that I’m getting three points with Pittsburgh in this particular spot is a huge bonus. I’m taking the free points – but I’ll go out on a limb and say that I won’t even need them, as I’m expecting the Steelers to win outright.