The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have had some of the most brutal and physically abusive battles in all of pro football in recent years as they have regularly contended for supremacy in the AFC including a 2008 AFC Championship Game matchup that the Steelers won en route to the Super Bowl title.
Sbg sportsbook has opened with Pittsburgh as a 1.5 point home favorite on Sunday with an over/under of 34.5. The game will be telecast by CBS.
AFC North Showdown
The AFC North looks to be one of the best and most competitive divisions in football. The Steelers currently lead the race at 3-0 with the Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals right behind at 2-1. This will be the first of two meetings between these two rivals as Pittsburgh will visit Baltimore on December 5.
The Ravens have won just 1 NFL bet with the spread despite being 2-1 straight up. Quarterback Joe Flacco continues to struggle and regress after a promising rookie season in 2008. Flacco has a 66.3 quarterback rating which is one of the worst in the league. He has completed just 54% of his passes and has a 66.3 QB rating while averaging just 6.1 yards per attempt. Meanwhile the vaunted Baltimore ground game is underperforming as well with Ray Rice averaging just 4.0 yards per attempt compared to his 5.3 average of last year.
Pittsburgh meanwhile continues to win despite being down to 4th string at quarterback with Charlie Batch, who threw 3 touchdown passes in last week’s win at Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh is covering their quarterbacks with a power running game led by Rashard Mendenhall, who is averaging 5.2 yards per attempt.
Pittsburgh’s defense ranks as the best in the NFL for points permitted and have been the backbone of the team. The Steelers will need to bring it yet again this week against a Ravens team looking for a share of the division lead.
Baltimore has failed to cover the last 4 matchups in this NFL wagering online series and Pittsburgh has paid out over Baltimore in their last 2 meetings in the Steel City. Just 1 out of the last 8 meetings in this series has gone under the total.