The last three weeks have been tough for Pittsburgh, and this week’s Ravens at Steelers game is as close to a must-win for Mike Tomlin’s team as you can get. The NFL odds have the Ravens as 4.5-point road favorites to enter the week.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals buried Big Ben’s Steelers last Sunday. The Steelers are now 0-2-1 outright in their previous three and have given up 41 points in back-to-back games.
Meanwhile, the Ravens have won two straight games, albeit in less than convincing fashion, scoring just 16 points in each.
Let’s take a look at this exciting matchup.
The End of an Era in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a good run, but it appears that the end is fast approaching for the Ben Roethlisberger era.
Roethlisberger turned the ball over three times on Sunday against the Bengals and was sacked three times in a 41-10 blowout.
After an embarrassing tie with the winless Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh has lost two straight games and had their defense exploited along the way. At this point, Roethlisberger is still the best option that the Steelers have, but we will soon find out if he has one last run in him.
Baltimore Wins Ugly
The Ravens have scored just 42 points in their last three games combined, but I’m not too concerned about that, as they have faced three formidable defenses in the Dolphins, Bears, and Browns.
Their scoring drought could come to an end this Sunday when they face a Pittsburgh team that has been lit up to the tune of 82 points in the last two weeks. The Ravens average the second-most rushing yards in the NFL (150.7), and the Steelers rank 28th in rushing yards allowed (133.1). As a result, the Ravens should be able to control the clock by rushing the ball, keeping the Steelers’ offense off the field.
Ravens at Steelers: Best Bets
The Ravens, like the Bengals, are a tough team to run on (84.2 yards per game), meaning that for Pittsburgh to win, they’ll likely have to rely on their passing game.
I could see Pittsburgh having some success through the air against the Ravens pass defense, which ranks last in the NFL (275.7 yards per game). However, the issue for Pittsburgh will be stopping the run and getting enough possessions to put up points. The Ravens are one of the best running teams in the NFL, and despite their scoring struggles of late, they’re still 15th in points per game and 9th at converting red zone visits into touchdowns.
I believe that the Ravens will win outright, but there could be some value in taking Pittsburgh and the 4.5-point spread.
The total points are currently at 43.5 for this one. I think Baltimore will break out of its scoring slump and should be able to run the ball well against the Steelers. These two have a 9-13 record favoring the under this season, but 43.5 is not a lot of points. I’m banking that these two teams will combine for at least 12 points per quarter, so I’m taking the over. I expect a final score of 28-24 in favor of the Ravens.
Who Do You Have in This AFC North Showdown?
The Ravens at Steelers have provided us with many memorable matches over the last decade.
This year, I see the two teams going in opposite directions. I like the Ravens to widen their lead in the North this week with a third straight win. Be sure to keep up-to-date on BetMGM’s football lines and sign up for an account with BetMGM’s Pennsylvania sports betting site so you can place bets on this season’s NFL action.