Two long-standing AFC-North rivals gunning to make the playoffs will meet this Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Baltimore Ravens in Maryland, and our grid-iron expert is on hand with free Week 18 NFL Picks for the game. Plus, find out how to claim a $1,000 deposit bonus ahead of the final week of regular-season action at BetOnline.
- NFL – Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers
- Sunday, January 9 at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
- The game begins at 13:00 EST
- Broadcast live on CBS
The Ravens (8-8) and the Steelers (8-7-1) are both still in with a chance of making the playoffs in the AFC via a wildcard spot, and, in what could be Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger’s final game in the famed yellow and black, the two teams go head-to-head in a huge divisional showdown on Sunday.
This is what football is all about! So, for up to date odds at BetOnline, a full betting preview, team news, and our expert’s Free NFL Picks for the game, read on:
Ravens vs Steelers Odds
Below are the odds for Steelers at Ravens as seen on BetOnline on Thursday, January 6 (odds subject to change).
Our preferred NFL betting picks are highlighted in bold.
|Spread||-5.5 (-108)||+5.5 (-112)|
|Total Points||U41.5 (-112)||O41.5 (-108)|
|NFL Picks on the Prop Market: Baltimore Total Field Goals Over 1.5||-141||n/a|
Ravens vs Steelers Preview
The last time we saw the traveling Steelers, a fine performance on the ground from rookie-RB Najee Harris (188-yards; 1 TD) was enough to help Ben Roethlisberger to a final win in front of the Heinz Field faithful, Pittsburgh running out 26-14 winners vs Cleveland Browns.
It’s been a hit-and-miss year for the Steelers on the whole, as evidenced by their 8-7-1 record. But, recent wins over divisional rivals the Browns and the Ravens, plus a huge conference win over the Tenessee Titans a fortnight ago has kept coach Mike Tomlin’s team in the hunt for a playoff birth.
On the year, the Steelers offense has run the ball with much more regularity than they did in the previous campaign. After last week’s top-drawer performance vs Browns, rookie RB Najee Harris now has 1,182-yards on the ground – so that’s a definite plus on the year and something Baltimore’s No.1 ranked rush defense (84.1 YAPG) will need to keep an eye on.
However, Big Ben’s lack of mobility and dwindling arm-strength in the pocket has led to the QB’s worst return in terms of yardage since 2012. Roethlisberger hasn’t been helped by shaky catching from the likes of Diontae Johnson and Mapletron either. But, should the Ravens D get on top of Harris in the early-goings, this game is likely to come down to the arm power and accuracy of Roethlisberger who will need to wind the clock back a few years to get the job done, in our humble opinion. Roethlisberger is also nursing a pectoral injury that further damages the Steelers cause.
The Ravens season has been severely impaired due to injuries. First, the running backs went down in pre-season. Then, the stars of the secondary went down during the early goings of the regular season. And then, most recently, QB and 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson went down in mid-December, missed five games straight, and the Ravens haven’t won since – played five; lost five without Action Jackson, most recently suffering losses to the Rams and a crushing 21-41 defeat vs division rival the Bengals.
If somebody had told me in November that John Harbaugh’s team would need to win at home vs Steelers on the last day to possibly make it into the playoffs as a wildcard option, I would have scoffed at the notion. But, that’s the predicament the Baltimore fanbase finds itself in.
Still, the Baltimore defense continues to dominate at the line of scrimmage and, as mentioned, is the league’s best D up against the run. However, this stat is majorly offset by the fact that the Ravens weakened secondary is the worst-ranked in the NFL, ceding an average of 281.7-yards per game (32nd).
Offensively, IF Jackson is finally deemed fit to play, you’d always give Baltimore a chance at a win. The Ravens have had issues converting in the red zone of late but Jackson’s early-season form means they still rank 7th in the NFL for total yards per game (378.7 YPG) and the likes of Marquise Brown (981-yards; 6 TDs) and rookie Rashod Bateman (493-yards; 1 TD – mostly since midseason) will provide a stern test for the Steelers secondary if they get going. That is they will if the Ravens OL can hold up against Steelers T.J. Watt and the rest of the NFL’s No.1 ranked team for sacks (52 sacks!).
In a nutshell, everything points to a tight contest, a fact evidenced by the 20-19 win for the Steelers last time the two teams met.
Ravens vs Steelers Team News
The big news for the Steelers is that legendary QB Ben Roethlisberger is struggling with a shoulder injury. Big Ben was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice but we’re expecting to see him suit up for one final assault.
LT Dan Moore, C Kendrick Green, and RG Trai Turner are also questionable to appear in Mike Tomlin’s offense. While on defense, Steelers have concerns over the fitness of S Terrell Edmonds, and starting LCB Joe Haden is out (COVID).
The Ravens are hopeful of having Lamar Jackson (ankle) back in the fold for the biggest game of the year, but the QB did not practice on Wednesday and is likely to be a game-time decision for John Harbaugh.
Ravens also have injury worries concerning LG Ben Powers, LCB Anthony Averett, and rookie LB Odafe Oweh.
NFL Picks: Ravens vs Steelers
As mentioned, this game is likely to be incredibly tight – it usually is. And, with both teams needing a win to possibly make the playoffs (dependant on Colts vs Jaguars result), you can throw the form book out of the window.
We’re going with history today. The Steelers have won 31 to 21 all-time and have emerged victors in three games straight vs Baltimore.
You’ll get superior odds on the moneyline, but with such a close game expected, the wise money is on the Steelers to beat the +5.5 spread at -112.
Prediction: Steelers edge out a close one to give Big Ben a chance at the playoffs one last time… but take it on the spread to be safe! And, don’t cry when the Colts beat the Jags.
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