Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5,
Just when it appeared the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the verge
of being written off as a playoff contender, Ben Roethlisberger
and a revitalized offense have propelled them back into the AFC
North race. The Steelers look to avenge one of their uglier
performances of the season when they host the Baltimore Ravens
on Sunday night in a key division matchup. Baltimore routed
Pittsburgh 26-6 in Week 2, a rare outcome in a series in which
nine of the 10 previous meetings were decided by three points
While the Steelers have won two in a row, the Ravens lost at
Cincinnati 27-24 last week in a showdown for first place in the
division to drop into a tie with Pittsburgh, one-half game
behind the Bengals. Roethlisberger, meanwhile, set franchise
records with six touchdown passes and 522 yards as the Steelers
demolished Indianapolis 51-34. “They have a lot of pride over
there,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said of Pittsburgh. “But
we’re very comfortable in that rivalry. We’re very comfortable
in that stadium. And we understand what it takes to win there.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE HISTORY: The Steelers opened as 1.5-point home
faves, but that line has moved to +1.5. The total opened 47.5,
moved to 48 and has dropped a full-point to 47.
INJURY REPORT: Ravens – RB Justin Forsett
(Probable, ankle), TE Owen Daniels (Questionable, knee), CB
Jimmy Smith (Questionable, foot), WR Torrey Smith
(Questionable, concussion). Steelers – NT
Steve McLendon (Questionable, shoulder).
WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid-30s and wind
blowing across the field at 5 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Ravens (-2.75) – Steelers
(+1.25) + home field (-3.0) = Ravens -1
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Ravens got swept by the Bengals
which could come back to haunt them in a possible divisional
tiebreaker. They are 19-7-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning
record. Pittsburgh won its second game of its three-game
homestand as it rolled past the Colts. Revenge game against
Ravens this week. 2-6 ATS L8 after a win by 14 or more.”
Expert Matt Fargo.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “This spread has seen the full
swing from one side to the other. The early money came in on
Pitt and then gradually we’ve made the Ravens road chalk. I
think this closes near a PK.” John Lester,
ABOUT THE RAVENS (5-3 SU, 4-3-1 ATS, 4-4 O/U):
Baltimore allowed Cincinnati to drive 80 yards for the winning
TD with just under a minute to play and had an apparent
go-ahead score negated moments later when wide receiver Steve
Smith was penalized for offensive interference. The Ravens’
running game was in tatters when the teams last met, coming
three days after Ray Rice had his contract terminated, but
Justin Forsett has since stabilized the ground game by
averaging an AFC-high 5.5 yards per carry. Despite throwing two
interceptions in each of the past two contests, quarterback Joe
Flacco is on pace for his first 4,000-yard season and his top
target is Smith, who is tied for the league lead with four
100-yard games. Baltimore’s defense is No. 2 in the league with
an average of 16.4 points allowed.
ABOUT THE STEELERS (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS, 5-3 O/U):
Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to
register a pair of 500-yard passing games and is only the
fourth QB in the Super Bowl era to win 100 of his first 150
starts. Wideout Antonio Brown has become a near-unstoppable
force for Pittsburgh following his 10-catch, 133-yard, two-TD
performance last week, leading the league in receptions (60)
and ranking second in yards (852). Running back Le’Veon Bell is
second in the NFL with 1.086 yards from scrimmage, but he was
limited to 59 on the ground by the Ravens in Week 2 and has not
scored a rushing touchdown since the season opener.
Pittsburgh’s defense is vulnerable against the pass, permitting
250.1 yards per game, and is among the league’s worst teams
with only 12 sacks.
* Over is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings in Pittsburgh.
* Ravens are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in Ravens last five road games.
* Under is 8-3 in Steelers last 11 vs. AFC North.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers Consensus, 55
percent of wagers are backing the Steelers.