Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers face off on Thanksgiving Night for a AFC North Rivalry game and a game with major playoff implications. The Ravens are -3 point favorites over the Steelers with an over/under point total set at 40.5.
The Baltimore Ravens have won two of their last three games but they are on the outside looking in at the playoffs in the AFC. The Ravens are a shell of the team that won the Super Bowl last year and while they have been one of the best when it comes to the NFL draft they simply had too much to replace this season. Joe Flacco has completed 59.1 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and he has been sacked 37 times. Ray Rice is averaging just 2.9 yards a carry and Bernard Pierce is averaging 2.7 yards as the rushing game ranks 27th in the NFL. Torrey Smith has 48 catches and three touchdowns while Jacoby Jones is back in action but he has just 21 catches for the year after missing time. Daryl Smith has 89 tackles, Elvis Dumervil has 9.5 sacks, and Terrell Suggs has 9.0 sacks. The Ravens offense is averaging 20.6 points and 308.8 yards per game while defensively they are allowing 19.5 points and 329 yards per game. Baltimore lost the earlier matchup of these two in Pittsburgh 19-16.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to a horrible start to the season but hey have won three in a row and five of their last seven games to get back into the playoff hunt. The Steelers have been crushed by injuries but over the last three weeks they have put it together to get it done. Ben Roethlisberger as completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while being sacked 36 times. LeVeon Bell is averaging 3.2 yards per carry with four touchdowns as he has taken over in the Steelers backfield. Antonio Brown has 80 receptions and six touchdowns and Emmanuel Sanders has 48 catches and three touchdowns. Lawrence Timmons has 90 tackles to lead the Steelers, Ryan Clark has 77 tackles, and Troy Polamalu has 53 tackles. The Steelers offense is averaging 22.1 points and 339.5 yards while defensively the Steelers are allowing 23.3 points and 343.2 yards per game. If the Steelers do make the playoffs it will be one of the greatest I season turnarounds in NFL history.
Baltimore is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games, 5-2 against the spread following a win, and 5-11 against the spread against a team with a losing record. Pittsburgh is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games, 4-9 against the spread against a team with a losing record, and 5-2 against the spread following a win. Pittsburgh has covered the point spread in four of their last five games in Baltimore.
Games between these two are defense first and hard hitting and at this point in the season and with so much at stake I expect this one to be no different. My pick here is on the under.