The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to square off in Sunday Night Football betting action this week at Heinz Field. But before you make your NFL picks for the big game on Sunday, check out some of the great NFL betting trends that we have for the duel!
Baltimore Ravens Notes: Obviously, this game for the Ravens is brutally important. Winning it would move the team to 6-2, and potentially into the No. 1 overall spot in the AFC for the time being. And, even more importantly, it will hold the season tiebreaker against the Steelers having swept the season series. The team did win last year here on the road in the regular season, but was knocked off in the playoffs in spite of the fact that it once had a two touchdown lead. Baltimore is 27-13-1 ATS in its last 41 games played on grass, but it is just 1-4 ATS in its last five games as underdogs of between 3.5 and 10 points.
The defense for Baltimore is key. This unit has been all over the field this year with sacks and forced turnovers. The defense has forced 10 turnovers in the last three meetings of these two teams, including seven in the first game of the year, the 35-7 romp at M&T Bank Stadium. With a virtually totally healthy unit, there is little way that we can see the Ravens having any problems turning Pittsburgh over once again, something that is going to be the key to winning this game on the road.
WR Lee Evans is going to be out of the lineup once again this week with an ankle injury for the Ravens, but the emergence of WR Torrey Smith as a deep threat really has neutralized that injury. DT Haloti Ngata has a thigh injury, but we just can’t picture him missing this game under much of any circumstance. Others that are listed as questionable include C Matt Birk, WR David Reed, G Ben Grubbs, and RB Anthony Allen, none of which have long term injuries or huge roles on the team that we are all that afraid of.
Pittsburgh Steelers Notes: The Steelers have the best record in the AFC right now, and the truth of the matter is that there might not be another game on the schedule this year in which they are going to be the underdogs (or at least the decided underdogs). That being said, they have just a 4-4 ATS record this year, but some fantastic NFL trends in this game. Pittsburgh has covered four games in a row in Week 9, and it has gone 4-0 ATS in its last four games as favorites of less than double digits. The Steelers are 23-9 ATS in their last 34 home games as favorites of between 3.5 and 10 points, and they are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as favorites overall.
It’s all going to be on Big Ben in this one. QB Ben Roethlisberger has had plenty of wins against the Ravens in his career, as he had won seven in a row against this team before getting reamed in Week 1 of the season. That being said, Roethlisberger still has a patchwork offensive line in front of him that has gotten him into a lot of trouble, and he has had to make something out of nothing quite a bit. Big Ben still has 2,302 passing yards with 14 TDs against just seven picks this year, and he has really come on strong in recent weeks.
The injury bug has bitten this team and bitten it hard. We already know that C Doug Legursky is going to be out of the fold in this one, and we are fairly certain that WR Emmanuel Sanders and LB LaMarr Woodley are as well. The receivers and linebackers have been crippled due to injuries. WR Hines Ward missed last week with an ankle injury, but he is listed as probable for this one. Meanwhile, LB Jason Worilds, LB James Harrison, and LB James Farrior are all listed as doubtful or questionable, and DT Chris Hoke likely won’t play with a neck injury as well. This could be a very, very patchwork defense that has to stop this Baltimore running game, something that the team couldn’t do before all of the injuries happened in Week 1.
Head To Head: We’ve already mentioned the importance of this game. The winning will at least have a tie on first place in the AFC North, and the loser will probably slip to third in the division. The Ravens won the first go around 35-7, again, marking the first time after seven straight wins that Roethlisberger was beaten by Baltimore. Pittsburgh is 5-2-1 ATS and 5-3 SU over the course of the last eight games in this series, and the last time that the Steelers lost at home with Roethlisberger at quarterback against these guys was in 2006.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.