Pittsburgh has covered three meetings in a row with rival Baltimore and is 5-2-1 against the spread over the last eight editions of arguably the toughest rivalry in the NFL.
Oddsmakers and bettors alike are trying to judge the impact of the Ray Rice situation, and the line has been holding steady throughout the media frenzy.
The Ravens opened as 2.5-point favorites; the total was 43.5. (Line updates and matchup report can be found here.)
Why the Steelers Can Cover the Spread
The Steelers won their opener, and while things got a little dicey late, a win is a win, and it's a better start than last year. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 27-3 lead Sunday over Cleveland, piling up 364 first-half yards.
While that lead eventually evaporated, the Steelers then got a couple of key completions from Big Ben on the final drive and a game-winning 41-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham. Roethlisberger threw for 365 yards, Le'Veon Bell helped provide balance with 109 yards on the ground and Pittsburgh held the ball for over 32 minutes.
The Steelers were dogs seven times last year and they won three of those games outright, going 4-3 ATS. And the Steelers have been money makers in divisional play while the Ravens have been money losers (4-10-1 ATS according to the Odds Shark NFL database).
Why the Ravens Can Cover the Spread
The Ravens basically got outplayed for about three quarters in their opener Sunday at home against Cincinnati, and they still had a chance to win the game.
After trailing 15-0 Baltimore came back to take a 16-15 lead with five minutes to go, only to give up a Dalton-to-Green bomb two plays later for the losing score. In the end the Ravens had held the Bengals to 79 yards on the ground and beat them in first downs 26-16.
And RB Justin Forsett, playing in place of the now-departed Ray Rice, came up with 84 yards on 16 touches, with a touchdown.
These rivals have split the last eight meetings, and split the season series the last two seasons. Also, the last five games in this rivalry have been decided by a total of 14 points.
A field goal might come in handy Thursday night, so the pick here is with Pittsburgh and the points.
- The total has gone OVER in five of Pittsburgh's last six games
- Baltimore is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
- Steelers 5-1 ATS last six games vs. AFC North
- Ravens 4-10-1 ATS last 15 home games vs. AFC North
- Ravens 0-3 ATS streak as home favorites