Yes, it is only Week 2 of the 2014 NFL betting season, but the Baltimore Ravens already face their first must win game of the season against heated AFC North conference rivals the Steelers.
Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Baltimore Ravens
Spread: Ravens -2½ -125
Kickoff: Thursday Sept 11th 8:25 PM ET
TV: CBS/NFL Network
The Ravens are hosting their second consecutive game to begin 2014 and already 0-1 after their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals by a final score of 23-16. The Steelers escaped with a 30-27 victory over a Cleveland Browns after cruising to a comfortable lead in the first half only to have the Browns come back to tie the game late.
It’s always a big game when it comes to these two teams, packed with emotion. But the matchup here Thursday night comes amid the continuing after-shocks that have rocked the Ravens and the NFL from the Ray Rice domestic violence case.
Welcome to Baltimore. We are here #SteelersNation
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 10, 2014
The NFL and the Ravens are on the defensive for their handling of the matter, which came to a head Monday when Baltimore released its star running back and the league suspended him indefinitely. The moves came hours after a video posted on TMZ.com showed Rice knocking his wife out inside an Atlantic City casino elevator in February.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens Top Betting Trends To Know
- Since 1996, when they met for the first time, the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the all-time series against the Baltimore Ravens 23 wins to 16.
- Nine of the last ten regular-season games in this rivalry have been decided by three points or fewer, including the last five in a row that were decided by three points or less.
- QB Joe Flacco is 11-1 in September with his only loss coming against the Cincinnati Bengals last week.
- Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has compiled a 3-0 home record as a starter on Thursday night. Since Flacco entered the league in 2008, the Ravens are 39-10 at M&T Bank Stadium, the second-best home record (New England, 42-6) in the NFL during that span.
- Flacco is 6-6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and has thrown 13 TDs and 5 INTs in the series.
- With Ray Rice out of the picture, the Baltimore Ravens need to find a steady running back to fill the hole so the team can find a balance. Joe Flacco threw a weekend league-high 62 passes in week one.
- Since 2009, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger ranks first in the league with 1,784 passing yards on Thursdays. He has a 6-3 overall record in Thursday night with 12 TDs and 4 INTs.
- Roethlisberger has an 8-6 record against the Baltimore Ravens with 21 TDs thrown and 15 INTs.
- Roethlisberger has a 96-47 (.671) regular-season record as a starter, 3rd-best win pct. among active NFL QBs (min. ten starts)
- Steelers tight end Heath Miller has been a consistent target for Roethlisberger on Thursdays, recording the most receptions (34) and the seventh-most receiving yards (360) in the NFL over the past five seasons on Thursdays.
- The Steelers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six vs. AFC North. They covered both games against the Ravens in 2013.
- The Ravens have won eight of the last 11 games in the series played at M&T Stadium, but the Steelers have covered the spread in five of the last six visits.
- Baltimore is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games at home, but they have only covered the spread in one of the last five games at home.
- The Ravens have covered the spread in one of their last six Thursday Night games and only in two of the last seven games where they were listed as favorites.
- Baltimore is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in September.
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Baltimore’s last 11 games at home and four of the last five games when playing at home against Pittsburgh.