The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have had no shortage of bad blood over the years, and the AFC North rivals will renew acquaintances in a pivotal Week 9 matchup at M&T Bank Stadium. Sportsbooks opened the Ravens as 3-point home favorites with a total of 47.5.
Can the Steelers finally cover against the Ravens?
The Steelers are looking to exact some revenge after suffering a 26-14 home loss to the Ravens in Week 4, where Pittsburgh failed to cover the spread as -3 chalk. The matchup was tied at 14 at halftime, with all of the points in the final two quarters coming on four Justin Tucker field goals. That trend isn’t new for the Steelers, as Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in its past six meetings with Baltimore.
The Steelers haven’t lost since that contest, however, winning three straight, including a decisive 33-18 triumph over the Cleveland Browns in Week 8. James Conner has done an admirable job filling in for the absent Le’Veon Bell, as the 23-year-old rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns – his third straight game of 100-plus rushing yards. On the year, Conner has 922 scrimmage yards, which is the second-most in franchise history through the first seven games of a season.
UNDER is trending in this series
The Ravens have been trending in the opposite direction since that Week 4 matchup by losing three of four, highlighted by a 36-21 loss to Carolina last week. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for only 192 yards and was picked off twice, as it’s abundantly clear the whole team is ready for its Week 10 bye.
Trends are pointing to an UNDER in this one. The UNDER is 5-2 in the past seven meetings between the Ravens and Steelers, with an average combined score of 46.4 points. The Ravens have been going below totals on their own of late with UNDERs cashing in five of their past six games, with an average combined score of 37.9 points.
The Ravens have a top-ranked defense on paper, yet it’s shown signs of collapsing of late. Baltimore’s defense has given up six touchdowns and four field goals on its opponents’ last 13 drives. The good news for Baltimore bettors is the Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six when coming off a loss.
My pick: take the UNDER
The Ravens offense is sputtering right now, and while the defense has sprung a leak, I’m expecting the UNDER trend to continue cashing in Week 9 when the bitter rivals collide in Maryland. Don’t be surprised if yet another low-scoring affair occurs.
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