Pro Football Betting -- Steelers Look to Continue Nice Run Against Ravens
The Pittsburgh Steelers are making a move in the AFC North, and it is critical that they keep on winning. On Thursday night they will take on the Baltimore Ravens in pro football betting action that is scheduled to get underway at 8:30 PM ET on NBC.
As most people who follow the NFL are aware, the Steelers started to season 0-4 and were left for dead by many, and now have come on strong to insert themselves into the wild card race in the AFC. There is a logjam for that sixth spot, and the Ravens are also part of it. Both teams are 5-6 straight-up, although the Ravens, perhaps surprisingly, are the team that has the better record against the football pointspread, at 6-4-1.
Baltimore Ravens -3 +100
Pittsburgh Steelers +3 -120
Over 41 Points -110
Under 41 Points -110
One of the important things about what Pittsburgh has been doing during the process of winning five of its last seven games is that it is moving the football better on the ground. They are not doing anything earth-shattering, mind you, but they are at least doing enough to keep some opposing defenses honest, and certainly a lot of football bettors have noticed. They were waiting for Le'Veon Bell, the rookie from Penn State, to get healthy, and he has.
Bell came into the lineup on September 29 against Minnesota and gained 57 yards. He has not had a 100-yard game yet, and has averaged only 3.2 yards a carry, but at least opponents know that the Steelers are willing to run the ball.
But the Ravens have actually had less success, and this is a team that should be establishing a ground game. It is interesting that this team has compiled such a winning record against the NFL odds when they average 2.9 yards per rush as a team. Ray Rice, for example, had 30 yards on 16 carries against the Jets this past weekend. That's okay when you are getting great quarterbacking, but Joe Flacco, who signed that big contract after winning the Super Bowl MVP, has not performed up to expectations, completing 59% with 14 TD's and 14 interceptions.
Customers at BetAnySports have noticed that the Ravens have generally won games when the opponent's quarterback has under-performed. Last Sunday Geno Smith was just terrible, going nine for 22 with a pair of interceptions. Ben Roethlisberger went 17 of 23 for 160 yards (his season low) and no interceptions in the previous meeting (October 20), a 19-16 Pittsburgh win.
That game was very typical. If you look at Baltimore's results, six of their last eight games have been decided by three points or less. And six of the last seven times these teams have tangled in regular season play, the game has been decided by exactly three points. For NFL bettors, it could come down to giving the total a very long look, or considering strongly which team brings more of a head of steam into this contest, especially if they're the team getting points (wink, wink).
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