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Ravens Steelers Betting Tips – Ravens Enter Sunday Night As Favorites Against The Steelers

Posted by Tony Bryant on 11/14/2012 5:38:27 PM

The Baltimore Ravens were a likely underdog against the Pittsburgh Steelers when they finished their most recent NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 11. Now, they're a clear favorite. What changed?

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday, November 18    
NFL betting line: Baltimore -3

Why Baltimore Will Win

The betting websites in America are ready to make the Ravens a road favorite against Pittsburgh, something that would have been hard to do in recent weeks, given the spate of injuries that have diminished Baltimore's defense this season. Pittsburgh was supposed to have enjoyed a matchup advantage, given that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was going to get a chance to face a Baltimore defense without Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis, the team's two best defensive players.

Now, though, everything is different. Roethlisberger suffered a sprained shoulder and a rib injury in Monday night's win over Kansas City. He's not going to play this weekend, and it's quite likely that he's going to be available for the next several weeks, thereby imperiling the Steelers' chances of winning a single playoff game this season. Pittsburgh is a substantially diminished team without Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, in its lineup. Backup Byron Leftwich is a shadow of the player Big Ben is, and that's going to matter in this rivalry game, one of the most physically rugged games each season on the NFL calendar. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco does not inspire supreme confidence, but he's a lot better than Leftwich, and he now knows that he will win this game for Baltimore as long as he doesn't make really big mistakes. Flacco's added margin for error will likely reduce the Ravens' turnover count, and that will have a huge impact on this contest in the end.

Why Pittsburgh Will Win

When you are playing online poker, make sure that Dick LeBeau is not the man staring at you from the other side of the poker table.

LeBeau is the longest-serving active coordinator in the NFL, the Steelers' defensive mastermind since 2004. No other active NFL coordinator has served longer than six years with his current club (2006), and only two men have served that long. The rest of the 29 NFL coordinators have served their current clubs for no more than four years, since 2008. LeBeau is centrally responsible for the run of success Pittsburgh has had under former coach Bill Cowher and current boss Mike Tomlin.

Pittsburgh's offense lies in tatters because of the loss of Ben Roethlisberger due to injury, but if there's a single coordinator in the league who can come up with a great game plan to win a game solely on the defensive side of the ball, it's LeBeau. He can confuse Joe Flacco with different alignments and disguised coverages, thereby baiting Flacco into turnovers and setting the table for a Steeler upset.

Who Will Win

The absence of Roethlisberger is too enormous to ignore when making a pick on this game. Baltimore should be able to shut down Pittsburgh's offense. It might not score a lot, but it will score more than the Steelers. Take the Ravens on the road.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Baltimore


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