Baltimore is 0-3 yet laying points on the road to arch-rival Pittsburgh. Oakland is road chalk, too, despite losing 19 of its last 21 away matchups.
What gives in this weird Week 4? Injuries and ineptness that’s what.
The Ravens have made nine trips to Pittsburgh during the John Harbaugh era. They’ve been underdogs eight of the nine times. The only time Baltimore was favored was in 2012 when Ben Roethlisberger was out and Byron Leftwich was the Steelers’ starting quarterback.
Big Ben out, vick in for the steelers
Roethlisberger is out for Thursday’s game against the Ravens. Michael Vick is well past his prime to draw any marketplace respect so the Ravens draw the favorite’s role despite ranking 27th in points allowed and counting a road defeat to Oakland among their three losses.
Pittsburgh’s primary focus goes from Roethlisberger to Le’Veon Bell. The Ravens surrendered 37 points to the Raiders, but have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last 35 games.
RAIDERS RARE ROAD FAVORITES IN WEEK 4
The Raiders have been an underdog in 73 of their last 74 road and neutral site games. The only time they were a road favorite during the last 10 years was in their first road game of 2012 when they were minus 1 1/2 points against the Dolphins.
Oakland hasn’t been road chalk of two or more points since 2005 when Norv Turner was their coach. The Raiders have had six coaches since then.
But the alternative is to make the winless Bears a favorite. That’s even harder to digest. Chicago has been outscored 105-46. The Bears aren’t likely to have Jay Cutler again. That means Jimmy Clausen, who is 1-11 lifetime as an NFL starter. The Bears have also failed to cover in 16 of their past 20 games at Soldier Field.
JETS THE CHALK VS DOLPHINS IN LONDON
The first London game of the season is this week pitting the Jets against the Dolphins. Both the oddsmaker and betting market believe the Jets are the superior team. The game opened Jets at minus one and early Monday money saw the Jets at minus two.
Nobody is giving winless Detroit much of a chance in the Monday night game at Seattle. The Seahawks opened as nine-point favorites with the line currently up to 10 at some places.