Steelers vs. Ravens: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent INovember 30, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 06:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens hands the ball off to teammate Ray Rice #27 against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on November 6, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) vs. the Baltimore Ravens (9-2) is a game that everyone usually gets up for, but the rivalry isn't the same without Ben Roethlisberger quarterbacking the Steelers.

According to ESPN's Jamison Hensley, Roethlisberger is making progress this week but still lacks the necessary arm strength to get the ball down the field, making him highly questionable for this Sunday at the Ravens.

Hanging on by a thread to the sixth and final seed in the playoff picture, the Steelers are desperate for a win after dropping two straight—one of those losses coming at the hands of Baltimore—and will have their hands full with a surging Ravens squad.

Here's your guide for football action on Sunday between these AFC North rivals.


Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

When: Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS


Spread and Over/Under: N/A (according to Bet Online)

With no spread, this is a straight pick 'em, which really turns out to be a no-brainer.

I like Baltimore at home.


Key Injuries:

Steelers (via CBS Sports):

QB Ben Roethlisberger—Shoulder—QST

WR Antonio Brown—Ankle—PRB

S Troy Polamalu—Calf—PRB

LB LaMarr Woodley—Ankle—QST

QB Byron Leftwich—Ribs—OUT


Ravens (via CBS Sports):

WR Torrey Smith—Thigh—PRB

WR Anquan Boldin—Knee—PRB

TE Dennis Pitta—Neck—PRB

S Ed Reed—Shoulder—QST

LB Dannell Ellerbe—Ankle/Knee/Finger—QST

CB Corey Graham—Illness—QST

DE Pernell McPhee—Thigh—QST

S Bernard Pollard—Chest—QST

LB Terrell Suggs—Ankle—PRB


Fantasy Big Plays

Steelers: Mike Wallace

Sorry, but I'm not buying into Wallace being benched or demoted. He's clearly the Steelers' best WR and Mike Tomlin knows that.

It's true that Wallace hasn't been productive lately, but if you can find me someone from the Steelers' offense that has, I'll give you a cookie.

Baltimore isn't the same in the secondary without Lardarius Webb and I would like to think Wallace will use his burners to help out his fantasy owners. It's tough owning anyone on the Steelers right now, but I think Wallace is your best option, even if Big Ben doesn't play.


Ravens: Ray Rice

Rice didn't get it going like I thought he would in the first meeting with Pittsburgh this season, rushing for just 40 yards on 20 carries. He did, however, make up for it a bit in the receiving department, catching five passes for 53 yards.

Following his dominant day against the San Diego Chargers last week (97 rushing yards and 67 receiving yards), I think you'll see a different Rice this weekend against the Steelers, especially after seeing rookie Trent Richardson have a solid day against them in Week 12.

Whether it's on the ground or through the air, Rice is going to be the difference-maker for the Ravens' offense this Sunday.


Keys to Steelers Win: Shut Down Ray Rice

You can defend Joe Flacco all you want but Ray Rice is what makes the Ravens' offense go, as the Chargers found out last weekend.

Pittsburgh's defense did an impeccable job of containing Rice in their first meeting and they'll have to mirror that game plan again on Sunday afternoon.

What makes the fifth-year running back so difficult to prepare for is the fact that he gets the job done in all aspects of the game, whether it's rushing, blocking, receiving or decoying. 

Shutting down Rice and forcing Flacco to make plays is the Steelers' best chance at winning this game.


Keys to Ravens Win: Get After the QB

I don't care who starts for the Steelers—it could be Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch or Terry Bradshaw—putting pressure upon whoever's under center is the key for the Ravens.

Baltimore pressured backup Byron Leftwich in Week 11, sacking him three times on five quarterback hits, which lead to an interception.

Pittsburgh is having a ton of issues moving the chains, and sending extra pressure at the QB should lead to errant throws and mistakes in the backfield that go Baltimore's way.


Prediction: Steelers 13, Ravens 23

With Big Ben still questionable, I have to go with Baltimore. Even if Roethlisberger plays, I like Baltimore's chances of putting pressure on him and knocking him off his game.

Playing at home with a surging Rice leading the charge, it'll be all Baltimore in Week 13.


For more information on this game, click here.

Follow me on Twitter: 


    Warrant Issued for Michael Bennett's Arrest

    NFL logo

    Warrant Issued for Michael Bennett's Arrest

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Police: Bennett Assaulted Woman, Told Cops 'F--k Off'

    NFL logo

    Police: Bennett Assaulted Woman, Told Cops 'F--k Off'

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Greedy NFL Is Killing the Draft

    NFL logo

    Greedy NFL Is Killing the Draft

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report

    Osweiler Signs with Dolphins

    NFL logo

    Osweiler Signs with Dolphins

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report