Date/Time: October 20th, 4:25 PM ET
Spread: Steelers -2.5
AFC North rivals where hatred runs deep will duke it out on Sunday afternoon in a crucial NFL betting battle at Heinz Field, as the Pittsburgh Steelers hope to get back on track against the Baltimore Ravens.
This game is important for the Ravens, but it’s every bit as important for what it means to Pittsburgh. The last thing that Baltimore wants to do is to be the reason that a black and gold giant wakes up in the AFC North. It’s bad enough that the Cleveland Browns are better this year, and the Cincinnati Bengals seem to have the better of these two teams as well. Adding Pittsburgh back into the mix could be a catastrophe for the defending champs. As it is, we think that Baltimore has probably overachieved just a bit. The fact of the matter is that the passing game just isn’t that good any longer without the injured TE Dennis Pitta and the departed WR Anquan Boldin. The ground game hasn’t been good enough either. RB Ray Rice is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry this year, and that’s the same average that RB Bernard Pierce is putting together. Simply put, it’s not good enough when push comes to shove. These are the men that really have to get their acts together to get some pressure off of Flacco, who has more picks this year (8) than touchdowns (7).
As we already mentioned, this is a game where the Steelers can really get their acts together again. 1-4 isn’t the end of the world, and 2-4 is manageable. 1-5 seems like a disaster of epic proportions, especially in a division where it is going to take at least 10 wins, and maybe even more to win it. QB Ben Roethlisberger’s ground game is even more shoddy than that of the Ravens. At least the threat is there for Rice or Pierce to do something. Pittsburgh still doesn’t hand a single man with 100 rushing yards on the season, and the only man on the team with more than two carries that is averaging more than 3.2 yards per carry is Roethlisberger, who has six carries for 24 yards. There are only eight total offensive touchdowns in five games, and the defense only just forced its first turnovers of the season in last week’s win over the New York Jets.
The Steelers are a mess as we see it, and we think that this is the year when Baltimore is really going to put this team away. Don’t worry about the records or the names on the fronts of the jerseys. The names on the back are what matters, and the guys wearing purple and black are a lot better than the guys wearing black and gold. More often than not, we think that Baltimore wins this game, and that’s why we have to take the points on our side.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers Pick: Baltimore Ravens +2.5
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.