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Ravens Steelers Betting – Roethlisberger Gets Edge In Another AFC North Battle

Posted by Stan Simmons on 1/13/2011 9:40:49 AM
ravens steelers betting

Online betting players know that Pittsburgh Steelers - Baltimore Ravens is one of the top-three rivalries in the NFL, and whenever these two get together, it’s a physical battle, someone will likely get hurt, and it’s going to be a close game. These two go head-to-head once again this Saturday, and we’re giving the edge to the quarterback with a pair of Super Bowl rings.

  • What: NFL betting
  • When: Saturday, January 15th, 4:30 PM ET
  • Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -3

What’s On The Line

The Ravens put a 30-7 beating on the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game, setting up a rubber match with their AFC North rivals from Pittsburgh, who had a week off for winning the division. Baltimore edged the Steelers 17-14 in Pittsburgh in Week 4, but the Steelers recovered for a 13-10 win in Baltimore in Week 13, and the last four meetings between these two have been decided by three points.

Offensive Matchups: Ravens Steelers Betting

Outside of a pair of fumbles, the Ravens played almost perfect offensively against the Chiefs, as Joe Flacco threw for 265 yards and a pair of scores, while the Ravens also ran for 142 yards. The Chiefs had no idea how to handle tight end Todd Heap, who had 10 catches for 108 yards, and he’ll be even more important against the Steelers and their blitz-happy linebackers. Flacco has a 78.0 rating in six career games against the Steelers, and he was decent against them this season with 522 yards, two touchdowns and a pick with a 58.6% completion rate, but since you can’t run on the Steelers, he needs to be better.

The Steelers were 14th in the league offensively, even with Ben Roethlisberger missing the first four games of the season due to suspension (one of those games was the Week 4 loss). Roethlisberger finished fifth in the league in passer rating, two spots ahead of Flacco, but he also got a massive hand from Rashard Mendenhall, who ran for 1,273 yards. The big threat on the Steelers’ offense is Mike Wallace, who had 1,257 yards and was second to the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson with 21.0 yards per catch. But the Ravens did a good job on him during the regular season, and Baltimore is almost as good as Pittsburgh when it comes to stopping the run, so Wallace (as well as Hines Ward) have to get open for Roethlisberger, who also sacked five times against the Ravens.

Betting Edge: Draw

Defensive Matchups: Ravens Steelers Betting

Baltimore forced five turnovers against the Chiefs, racking three sacks, and they were led by the leaders, linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, as well as safety Ed Reed (who missed the Week 4 win), who was also dealing with the disappearance of his brother back home. Like the Steelers, the Ravens have a lot of veterans who have been through these wars with Pittsburgh, so nothing is going to surprise them. Baltimore did a good job of slowing down Mendenhall and Wallace during the regular season, and Suggs had at least a sack in both games, so we shouldn’t expect any kind of drop-off from the Ravens this weekend.

Even though the Ravens were 10th in the league defensively during the regular season, there’s only, maybe, two defenses we would take ahead of them when everyone is healthy. However, one of those defenses would be Pittsburgh, who allowed more than 30 fewer rush yards per game than anyone else in the NFL and set a franchise record (which was set in a 12-game season). It’s all about the linebackers: James Farrior, James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley may be the best in the league, and you never know who is coming, and who is dropping back. But the Steelers are different when safety Troy Polamalu is healthy, much like Baltimore is with Reed, and it’s telling that Polamalu’s seven picks was second only to Reed’s eight interceptions.

Betting Edge: Steelers

Notable Injuries: Ravens Steelers Betting

It doesn’t look as though anyone got hurt last week for Baltimore, and while Reed (personal) will probably go back home for a few days to be with his family, you can bet he’ll be on the field on Saturday afternoon.

Polamalu (Achilles) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) will likely be held out of practice, but they’ll play, along with linebacker and special-teams ace Jason Worilds (knee) and running back Mewelde Moore (knee). However, end Aaron Smith (triceps) is likely out for the Steelers.

Betting Edge: Ravens

Outlook and Pick: Ravens Steelers Betting

NFL betting odds have the Steelers as a 3-point favorite at home in this tiebreaker, and as we said before, their last four meetings have been decided by a field goal. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers are 4-1 SU, and 2-2-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Ravens. These two have met twice in the playoffs, in 2001 and 2008, both in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers came out on top both times. We’re going with the Steelers to come out on top in this one as well, because we’re going with the quarterback with two Super Bowl rings (Roethlisberger), and Flacco’s only win in Pittsburgh came when Roethlisberger wasn’t playing. When it comes down to two minutes left, to win the game, which quarterback do you trust more? However, we’re betting on a push ATS, due to their recent history of close games. So, take Pittsburgh on an SU bet, but go with the tie in your sports betting book.

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers


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