One of the best rivalries in the league hits the field for NFL week 9’s edition of Sunday Night Football on NBC when Baltimore (5-3, 2-2 away) travels to the Steel City to take on Pittsburgh (5-3, 3-1 home) in a matchup that could decide the outcome of the AFC North.
Many have looked at the Ravens as a powerhouse this season and the Steelers as a weaker franchise, and maybe that’s the case. It certainly looked that way in Week 2, when the Ravens took home an overwhelming win over their Pennsylvania rivals. These two teams are coming in with identical records, though, and the so-called almighty Baltimore franchise is going to be recovering from an expected but rattling nonetheless loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday.
Baltimore Stats Leaders
- Passing: Flacco – 173-279, 2049 yds, 14 tds
- Rushing: Forsett – 104 car, 571 yds, 3 tds
- Receiving: Smith – 41 rec, 675 yds, 4 tds
- Passing: Roethlisberger – 206-301, 2380 yds, 16 tds
- Rushing: Bell – 141 car, 691 yds, 1 td
- Receiving: Brown – 60 rec, 852 yds, 7 tds
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 28, 2014
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, Nov. 2nd
Time: 8:30 p.m. (EST)
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Stadium: Heinz Field
TV Info: NBC
Point Spread: EVEN
Ravens Vs Steelers Sunday Night Football Betting Pick Analysis:
Football handicappers should expect nothing less than an even betting line when Baltimore and Pittsburgh take to the grid-iron against each other. In the 2011-2012 NFL Season, Baltimore covered in both games, but one was a 23 to 20 victory and Baltimore was receiving 3.5 points. In the 2012-2013 NFL Season, the season where Baltimore won the Super Bowl, the Ravens and Steelers pushed in one game and the Steelers covered in the other game. In the 2013-2014 NFL Season, Pittsburgh covered in both contests, 16 to 19 in one game and 22 to 20 in the other.
That’s how close these two teams play each other. Baltimore did beat Pittsburgh 26 to 6 in the first meeting between these two, but that Pittsburgh team was much different than this Pittsburgh team. The Steelers have won two games in a row, a crazy 23 to 20 victory over Houston and an incredibly impressive 51 to 34 beat down of Indianapolis.
Ben Roethlisberger was phenomenal in the win over the Colts. He completed 81.6% of his passes and threw for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns. He secured a perfect 150 QB rating. The man was just unreal. He was so unreal, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine Big Ben coming within a smidgen of being as good against Baltimore as he was against the Colts.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 30, 2014
Baltimore’s defense should be the deciding factor in this game. Even though Pittsburgh has a much better offense, the Steelers average 25.6 points and 418.2 yards per game, Baltimore has the better defense. The Ravens allow opponents to score only 16.4 points per game against it on average. That ranks Baltimore second in the points allowed per game, but it doesn’t allow a lot of points. What it means is that opponents move the ball against the Ravens, but more often than not they have to settle for either a field goal or punt the ball back to Baltimore.y. Opponents rush for 90.4 yards against the Ravens’ D.
Baltimore does give up a lot of yards in the passing game, 256 per gam
The offense is actually decent. It isn’t as good as Pittsburgh’s but it could be good enough to give the Ravens the division. Quarterback Joe Flacco leads a passing attack that averages 247 yards per contest. More importantly, the Ravens rush for 128.4 yards per game and scores 27.1 points per matchup.
Both teams are good against the spread but the Baltimore Ravens are 1-3-1 against the spread in the last 5 games between these two. That’s not a great trend for the Ravens, but they’re the still the pick in this even line contest.
Baltimore lost to Cincinnati last week. They should bounce back against Pittsburgh and play very well while Pittsburgh might have been a bit too perfect against the Colts. In a game that will be extremely close, I’ll go with the Baltimore Ravens to beat Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
Sunday Night Football Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens