Steelers vs. Ravens Betting Preview

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Published on:
Dec/02/2010
Steelers vs. Ravens

This Steelers vs. Ravens betting preview is courtesy of our friends at Don Best Sports.  The spread on this game as of press time Wednesday afternoon was Pittsburgh -3.  Few books were moving off this line. 

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was serving the final game of his four-game league-imposed suspension when his Steelers played the Baltimore Ravens during this season’s Week 4 matchup.

The Ravens took advantage of the situation by registering a 17-14 victory with a spread of 2 ½ as road underdogs thanks to an 18-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 32 seconds remaining in the game.

Though the combined 31 points dipped ‘under’ the 34 ½-point closing total, the ‘over’ is still 6-2-1 in the last nine series meetings between these AFC rivals.

Most sports books monitored by Don Best Sports opened Baltimore as a three-point home favorite for this Sunday night NBC-TV affair. The ‘total’ has been set at 40 points.

Charlie Batch was 12-of-21 for 141 yards in Roethlisberger’s absence. He did not have a touchdown pass and was intercepted once. The Steelers, with just 84 yards rushing on 27 attempts, had the ball for just 29 minutes and 29 seconds on offense.

According to the Don Best Sports injury report, Roethlisberger is scheduled to start in this spot despite suffering a minor right foot sprain last week against the Bills.

Flacco was 24-of-37 for 256 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception in that win against the Steelers. The Ravens’ time of possession totaled 30:31.


Get the latest odds and game previews at DonBest.com

 

Both clubs enter Sunday’s matchup with identical 8-3 SU records, though the Steelers are 6-5 ATS and the Ravens are 5-5-1. Pittsburgh is a nifty 5-1 SU on the road, but just 3-3 ATS. Baltimore is a perfect 5-0 SU at home, but just 3-2 ATS.

Five of the last six meetings between Pittsburgh and Baltimore have been decided by four points or fewer. The one that wasn't - the Steelers' 23-14 win in the hard-hitting AFC championship game Jan. 18, 2009 - was a two-point game until Troy Polamalu's late interception return for a touchdown.

In addition to sole possession of first place, the Ravens would gain a huge edge with a victory considering they have already defeated Pittsburgh once this season. Pittsburgh would own the tiebreaker if it wins, due to Baltimore's Week 2 division loss at Cincinnati.

Roethlisberger has missed four games against Baltimore due to injury or suspension since entering the league, and the Steelers have lost all four. However, the Steelers have won seven of nine when he has been behind center, including the last five in a row.

Baltimore safety Ed Reed, who also missed the first meeting between these teams, should be back in the lineup. Reed has four interceptions and a forced fumble since returning from a hip injury in late October.

Pittsburgh enters this contest with the league’s third stingiest defense, as the club is allowing just 16.5 points per game. The Steelers are ranked fifth in yards allowed, with an average of 304.5 yards per game.

The Steelers rank 16th in the league offensively, scoring an average of 23.1 points per contest. They average 334.5 yards per outings, which ranks 18th.

Pittsburgh is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games as a road underdog, and 8-2 in its last 10 efforts as a road ‘dog of less than three points. The ‘under’ is 4-1 in the Steelers’ last five outings as a road ‘dog.

Baltimore is yielding just 17.1 PPG, which ranks fifth. The club allows an average of 307.4 yards per outing, which ranks eighth. The Ravens rank 17th offensively with a 22.7 PPG average. They average 348.3 yards per game, which ranks 14th.

The Ravens are 8-3-1 in their last 12 games as a home favorite of three points or less, but 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 contests against teams with a winning record. The ‘under’ is 14-3 in the Ravens’ last 17 home games versus teams with a winning ledger.

The underdog is 5-1-1 in the last seven series meetings between the Ravens and Steelers.

Barry Daniels of Don Best Sports and Special Contributor to Gambling911.com

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