Welcome to smash mouth football in an AFC North tilt that will have postseason implications. Joe Flacco and the winless Ravens travel to Heinz Field to face the Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFL week 4 odds makers have the Steelers as 2.5-point home underdogs to beat the Ravens. Can you trust the short-handed Steelers with your betting bucks? Should you back the 0-3 Ravens? Are Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown good enough to carry a whole city’s hope? Can Steve Smith keep owning opposing defenses in his last year as a pro? For answers to those questions and more, keep reading and happy hunting!
Baltimore Ravens Vs Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Week 4 Betting Tips
What: Baltimore Ravens (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
When: Thursday, October, 1, 2015
Kickoff: 8:25 PM ET
Where: Pittsburgh, PA
Stadium: Heinz Field
Weather: 61° F / Sprinkles Late
Spread: Ravens -2.5
Moneyline: Baltimore -133 vs Pittsburgh +113
Game Total: 44
Watch: CBS / NFL
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Baltimore vs Pittsburgh
The Baltimore Ravens suffered a heartbreaking 28-24 loss against AFC North rival Cincinnati in their Week 3 divisional matchup while failing to cover the spread as a 2.5-point home favorite.
Baltimore’s surprisingly generous defense allowed Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton to hook up with veteran wide receiver A.J. Green for the go-ahead score with a 7-yard touchdown pass in a wild fourth quarter that produced 31 combined points.
"Obviously, a tough loss, very disappointing," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said following his team’s crushing loss. "We had the lead twice in the fourth quarter and couldn’t hold onto it. It’s happened too much lately."
Baltimore was the only franchise in league history to never have a 0-3 start and will enter their Week 4matchup against Pittsburgh totally desperate.
The Ravens got a spectacular performance from veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. as the possible future Hall of Famer set a franchise record with 13 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 32 of 49 passes for 362 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
"It’s wins and losses," Smith said. "That’s what we consume ourselves with and we lost. We have to put our tissues away and go out and practice."
The Pittsburgh Steelers took down a game St. Louis Rams team 12-6 in Week 3 to cover the spread as a 1.5-point road dog, but saw starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger go down with a knee injury with 5:35 remaining in third quarter that will sideline the Super Bowl winning signal-caller for up to six weeks.
"I was kind of stunned," the Steelers backup quarterback Michael Vick said after finishing up in place of Roethlisberger. "You never want to see a guy like Ben go down."
Roethlisberger was knocked out of the game when Rams safety Mark Barron was blocked and rolled into Roethlisberger’s leg on a sack. Roethlisberger was on the turf for several minutes before limping off the field.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had little information on Roethlisberger, except to say he was "being evaluated" and would have an MRI after returning to Pittsburgh. "I promise I’ll give you more when I have it," Tomlin said after the game.
Before departing, Roethlisberger completed 20 of 24 passes for 192 yards with an interception. He had entered the game needing 223 passing yards to reach 40,000 for his career.
"This was a good, tough ballgame," Tomlin said. "It’s good to come out on top of those. We have to be able to go on the road in a hostile environment be able to win. We can check those two things off today and hopefully we can grow from it."
— SI NFL (@si_nfl) September 28, 2015
Betting Tips Related To This Matchup:
With Ben Roethlisberger out of the lineup, Pittsburgh has moved from what would have been an opening line featuring them as slight 1.5-point home favorites to 3-point home dogs.
Having said that, I can understand why two-thirds (66 percent) of the betting public likes Baltimore to cover the spread with the outright road win.
Still, I’m a bit skeptical mostly because Baltimore’s perennially stout defense looks nothing like it generally does on an annual basis.
Pittsburgh averages 25.3 points per game this season to Baltimore’s 23.3 per game, but again, it is on the defensive side of the ball where the Ravens are really struggling. While the Steelers are limiting their opponents to just 17.3 points per game defensively, Baltimore is allowing opponents to put up 28.0 points per game up on the board and I believe that spells trouble against a Steelers team that I believe will be very focused in coming into this important divisional showdown.
Baltimore is just 2-4-1 ATS in its last seven games against Pittsburgh and 2-3-1 ATS in its last half-dozen road games against their division rivals.
Conversely, Pittsburgh has gone 6-2 SU in its last eight home games and a bankroll-boosting 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games overall.
With Pittsburgh also going12-5 SU in its last 17 home games against Baltimore, I say the Steelers get the outright win at home to cover the NFL betting line as a home dog.