The Steelers come into this game with a lot of help needed to get to the playoffs. It starts with an upset win in Baltimore. Pittsburgh is (7-8) on the season and needs to win their final two games to find their way in. They are currently one game behind the Miami Dolphins for the 7th seed but are also tied with the New England Patriots and New York Jets record-wise. Both the Patriots and Jets have the tie-breaker over the Steelers.
The Ravens are in but need to keep winning to have a better shot at a title run. Baltimore claims the 5-seed right now and that is where the Los Angeles Chargers are trying to creep up to. As it stands now, Baltimore would head to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars (who would clearly be the weakest team in the AFC — so we might think). Furthermore, the Ravens need a win and a Chargers loss to keep the 5-seed so they will be playing for a win, and a chance to hand Mike Tomlin his first-ever losing season.
Here are the Steelers-Ravens NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Steelers-Ravens Odds
Pittsburgh Steelers: +2.5 (-110)
Baltimore Ravens: -2.5 (-110)
Over: 35.5 (-106)
Under: 35.5 (-114)
Why The Steelers Could Cover The Spread
The Steelers can cover this spread if they can find a way to pound the rock. Baltimore only allows 87.5 rush yards per game which is 3rd in the NFL. With that said, Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren must have big games. Harris has been a little underwhelming this season averaging only 3.7 yards per carry. The former Crimson Tide RB has six TDs on 843 yards this season. If he can produce two straight solid performances then he can not only reach more than 1,000 rush yards on the season, but he can help his team reach the playoffs for the 2nd time in his young career. Warren is a unique backup that reminds me of a very young Austin Ekeler (great news for Steelers fans). He averages 4.5 yards per carry and has 22 catches for 185 yards on the season.
The defense must also stop the run game if they want to be successful. The Ravens average 166 rush yards per game and that is contributed by a committee of RBs and QBs. Since Lamar Jackson is out, Tyler Huntley has stepped up and produced in the run game. JK Dobbins is back and he has played well in his short time this year. They have a ton of weapons and the Steelers must find a way to force Huntley to throw the ball. If the Steelers can score early, that only helps the cause.
Why The Ravens Could Cover The Spread
Pretty much everything that was said about why the Steelers can cover, can be said about the Ravens. Pittsburgh produces a solid rush defense and is 6th in yards allowed. This won’t be an easy game for the Ravens to run all over them. However, the last time these two met was a few weeks back and Dobbins ran for 120 yards and a score. Najee Harris was only limited to 33 yards on the ground. I don’t think that will happen again as I expect both of those players to stand out. Huntley went 8-12 with 88 yards in the air. I expect the Steelers to force Huntley to throw the ball. The only way to avoid that if your Baltimore is if you have a game plan to consistently gain yards on the ground.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, Mitch Trubisky will not be starting at QB for the Steelers. Kenny Pickett is the man now and he likely will not throw three interceptions as Trubisky did. However, if they can force the young QB to make a mistake or turn the ball over then that is a huge advantage for the Ravens who hardly turn it over. The Ravens have only turned it over 16 times which is one more than the Detroit Lions and New York Giants who have the fewest at 15. The Steelers have turned it over 18 times this season.
Final Steelers-Ravens Prediction & Pick
I expect this to be another close game. The Ravens won by two points last time and it should be a similar score. Take the Steelers to cover on the road as they are aiming to back back to the playoffs. Consider the under as well in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Final Steelers-Ravens Prediction & Pick: Steelers +2.5 (-110); Under 35.5 (-114)
How To Watch
Stream: NBC app
Time: 8:20 ET (5:20 PT)
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