Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 6th 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Maryland
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PIT +2 / BAL -2
Over/Under Total: 44
This Sunday at 1:00pm tune into CBS to catch an AFC showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers and Ravens rivalry has become a good one in recent years seeing as how both teams for the better part of the last decade has been a contender for the AFC. This time around, Pittsburgh comes in at 4-3 while Baltimore is 3-4 and looking to get themselves back to .500 and primed to make a playoff push as the season goes on.
The line opens with Baltimore as the two point home favorite over the Steelers. The total points are set at 44 combined. Currently, 56% of the action is actually on Pittsburgh to get the road cover while just 44% of gamblers like the Ravens to take care of business at home. As for the total points, 61% of the documented action likes this game to stay under the 44 combined points. The bookmakers appear to be expecting a close low scoring game this Sunday in Baltimore.
The Steelers come into this game at 4-3 and 1st place in the AFC North division just one game ahead of both Cincinnati and Baltimore. The Steelers do not want to lose any ground in the division because in my opinion, there will be no wild card team from the AFC North. You either win the division or go home. No team in this division has impressed me so far and I do not see any team making it out of the divisional round of the playoffs.
Pittsburgh is coming off the bye week and boy did they need it. Ben Roethlisberger missed the last game due to an injury, but it looks as if he will return this week to take on Baltimore. So far in 2016, Big Ben has thrown for 1,685 yards and 16 touchdownsPittsburgh NEEDS him back in a major way. On the season, not only has Roethlisberger played well, but the Steelers as a team has looked pretty solid. Pittsburgh ranks 12th in the NFL in both points scored and points allowed. The Steelers passing offense ranks 8th in the league with an average of 268 yards per game in the air. The offense is pretty balanced. To go along with a top 10 passing offense, the Steelers are also averaging over 100 yards per game on the ground. Led by LeVeon Bell, the Steelers run game is ranked 21st in the league and that is just good enough to keep defenses off balance in key situations. The goal this weekend for Pittsburgh is to get some offense going. The Ravens boast a top ten defense and are allowing just 19.9 points per game. If the Steelers cannot get in the mid 20s against Baltimore, it could be a long Sunday and they could potentially see themselves no long alone in 1st place of the AFC North. Score, score, scorethat is the Steelers goal this Sunday. Oh yeah, and stop Baltimore too.
Other than the top ten defense for Baltimore, the Ravens as a team are just pretty average. They are 3-4 overall and statistically are not very impressive. Baltimore ranks 18th in passing yards (241 per game), 26th in rushing yards (86.3 per game), and their offense is averaging just under 20 points per contest which also ranks them 26th in the NFL. This Sunday, just like Pittsburgh, Baltimore needs to get some offense going. In order to do this, they need a balanced attack. Joe Flacco cannot do it by himself. The Ravens need to establish some sort of running game in order to open up things for Flacco and the passing game of Baltimore. The Ravens need Terrence West to get in rhythm and keep drives alive. This will be a very hard nosed, low scoring game and whichever team can control the clock and the time of possession will probably walk away the winner of this one.
To me, this game is a pure toss up. I could see either team getting the win here but one thing I am certain of, well at least I think I am certain of, is that this will be a low scoring affair. I believe whichever team hits 20 first will win this one. Both defenses are pretty good and both teams play very physical. I am not sure who comes away the winner, but I like this game to end up being something like 19-17 or some ugly score like that.
Typically, I do not like following the public in these types of games, but I think the Steelers are just a tad better than the Ravens. Both teams are respectable but neither team is a world beater and I do not consider either team a true contender in the AFC. If you are giving me the two points for the Steelers, I will take it. I think Pittsburgh wins an ugly game, moves to 5-3 overall, and most importantly covers the Vegas spread.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the Pittsburgh Steelers plus the points and also go UNDER the posted total
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