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Ravens-Steelers Betting Odds: Preview

Written by:
Barry Daniels
Published on:
Jan/12/2011
Ravens-Steelers Betting

The Ravens-Steelers betting odds were listed at -3 in favor of Pittsburgh and this line has really not moved much over these past few days.  Barry Daniels of Don Best Sports has more on this crucial divisional playoffs game. 

Most sports books monitored by Don Best Sports probably didn’t have too much difficulty opening the Pittsburgh Steelers as three-point home favorites in their Saturday AFC playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

After all, the last four series meetings have been decided by three points or less, including both matchups this season.

It is interesting to note that the Steelers are 6-0 in the last six meetings against the Ravens when Ben Roethlisberger is their starting quarterback and 0-3 when someone else is behind center.

That statistic held up this season when the Ravens registered a 17-14 victory in the first meeting on Oct.3 when Roethlisberger was still serving his league suspension. The Ravens closed as two-point road favorites, with the combined 31 points dipping ‘under’ the 34 1/2 –point closing total.

Charlie Batch completed 12-of-21 passes for 141 yards in Roethlisberger’s

Ravens quarterb absence. He was picked off once and did not register a touchdown pass. The Steelers had just 14 first downs compared to Baltimore’s 22, though they possessed the ball just one minute less than the Ravens.

ack Joe Flacco was 24-of-37 for 256 yards. He tossed one touchdown pass and was intercepted once. The Ravens fumbled twice and lost one of those miscues, while the Steelers recovered their lone fumble.

Roethlisberger returned for the Dec. 5 rematch and led the Steelers to a 13-10 victory as three-point road underdogs. The combined 23 points never threatened the 38-point closing total. Though the ‘under’ has cashed in both meetings this season, the ‘over’ is still 6-3-1 in the last 10 matchups.

Big Ben, who completed 22-of-38 passes for 253 yards with one touchdown and one interception, threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Redman with just under three minutes to play for the winning score.

Baltimore drove to Pittsburgh's 32-yard line in the final minute, but coach John Harbaugh elected to go for it on fourth-and-2 rather than attempt a 49-yard field goal into the wind.

Flacco misfired on a pass to tight end Ed Dickson, sending the Ravens to their first home loss of the season. Flacco went 17-of-33 for 266 yards and one touchdown.

The Steelers had 15 first downs to Baltimore’s 11 and held a nine minute advantage in time of possession (34:08 to 25:52).

Baltimore enters this playoff contest with a record of 13-4 SU and 9-7-1 ATS. The club is a sparkling 7-1 SU and 6-2-1 ATS on the road, which has helped it improve to 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 road dates.

The Ravens are scoring an average of 22.3 points per game, which ranks 16th. They are allowing 16.9 points per game, which is the third fewest in the league.

The Steelers own the league’s stingiest defense, yielding just 14.5 points per game. They are also first against the rush, yielding a meager 62.8 yards per game. Overall, the defense yields just 276.8 yards per outings. The offense ranks 12th with a 23.4 PPG average.

The Don Best Sports injury report has Baltimore wide receiver Dennis Pitta and tight end David Reed listed as “questionable.” Pittsburgh defensive tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) and linebacker Jason Worilds (knee) are also “questionable.”

The Don Best Sports trends page lists Baltimore as being 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road playoff games and 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 road encounters as an underdog of 3 ½ points or less. The ‘under’ is 11-4-1 in Baltimore’s last 16 road games and 6-2-1 in its last nine road playoff games.

Pittsburgh is 8-0 ATS in its last eight January games and 7-1 ATS in its last eight playoff contests. However, the Steelers are 7-21-1 in their last 29 efforts as favorites of 3 ½ points or less. The ‘over’ is 9-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 10 home playoff games and 13-3 in its last 16 overall playoff encounters.

The ‘over’ is 5-1-1 in the last seven series meetings between the Steelers and Ravens in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are 4-1-1 ATS in the last six overall series meetings, but the road team is 3-0-1 in the last four matchups.

- Barry Daniels, Don Best Sports

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