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Ravens and Steelers Haven’t had a Total this High in Last 73 Matchups

After turning FitzMagic into FitzTragic on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers are under the bright lights once again as they host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4’s Sunday Night Football game. The win over Tampa pushed their winning streak in night games to an amazing 13 straight. The victory may have been a turning point in a season that’s been highlighted by lots of drama, but this could be the best Ravens team in years as they look poised to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. The Steelers opened as a 3-point favorite with the point total coming in at 51.

Shark Bites
  • The Steelers are 13-0 SU in their last 13 games at night, with an average win margin of 11.77.
  • The Ravens are 9-24 SU in their last 33 games on the road vs the Steelers.
  • The Steelers are 10-0-1 SU in their last 11 games vs divisional opponents (avg. winning margin: 6.27).

Ravens vs Steelers Game Center

My best bet: UNDER 51 Points

Interesting note, right off the bat: This is the highest total for this matchup in OddsShark’s database which goes all the way back to 1984. That means these teams have played 73 times and haven’t seen a total this high. (Well, I suppose you already read that in the headline, so maybe not as interesting the second time around.)

With Pittsburgh seeing combined scores of 79 in Week 2 vs the Chiefs and 57 vs Tampa in Week 3, many bettors will be giving the OVER a hard look, but I think the Ravens defense will be able to get enough stops to keep the game from getting too out of hand. They currently rank first in the league, holding opponents to just 4.3 yards per play, which is on par with their 2017 mark of 5.0, which had them tied for sixth-best.

Looking specifically at this matchup, only three of the last 15 games have topped the 51-point mark, with last December’s 39-38 Steelers win being an extreme outlier. Of those 15 games, the average combined score was 43.86.

Another consideration is that Joe Flacco had been very un-elite vs the Steelers in recent seasons with at least one interception in six straight games and an average QB rating of 42.6 in those contests. As a result, Baltimore’s best course of action might be to milk the clock and attempt to move the ball on the ground.

Steelers Prefer Working at Night

If only Pittsburgh could play all of its games at night. The Steelers are currently on a run that’s seen them win 13 straight in prime time, winning by an average combined score of 11.77. That’s certainly impressive, but the Ravens are on a nice stretch during night games themselves, going 14-6 SU in their last 20. They’ve also won six of the last eight prime-time games in this matchup.

One last thing to keep in mind — if you’re considering fading Pittsburgh due to playing on a short week, don’t. They’ve won four straight games following a Monday nighter, so it’s not much of a red flag.

This matchup has been as tight as a…

I’ll allow you to come up with the rest of that sentence yourself. If you’re looking for a head-to-head edge between the Ravens and Steelers, you won’t find one. Going all the way back to December of 2004, a span of 30 games, each team has won 15 games with Baltimore covering in 15, Pittsburgh covering in 13, and two pushes. The OVER/UNDER is 15-13-2 during that stretch. Seventeen of those games were in Pittsburgh — the Ravens covered in eight, the Steelers covered in seven and two games were pushes.

To let you behind the curtain, outliers are a sports betting writer’s best friend and this game isn’t exactly full of them, at least as far as head-to-head play is concerned. That’s probably a testament to how great this rivalry truly is, but that doesn’t do spread bettors who are looking for an edge any favors. In what I expect to be a tightly contested game that could come down to a last-second field goal, I’ll be sticking to my UNDER bet and am staying away from a side.