The Baltimore Ravens (4-4) will try to end their two-game skid and move closer to the AFC North lead on Sunday when they host the rival Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2-1) as small home favorites at sportsbooks.
The Ravens were considered the best team in the division just two weeks ago, but consecutive losses and a three-game winning streak for the Steelers has switched things up atop the standings heading into Week 9.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 28.4-20.8 Ravens (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Steelers can cover the spread
Pittsburgh has won three of the past four meetings with Baltimore, with the lone loss during that stretch coming in Week 4 at home this season. The Steelers lost that game 26-14 as three-point favorites, with running back James Conner rushing for just 19 yards on nine carries.
There has not been much news on the Le'Veon Bell front following the trade deadline, so it looks like the team will continue to ride Conner for the time being. Conner's strong play since that loss has been one of the main reasons for the turnaround, with him averaging 122.3 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
Why the Ravens can cover the spread
This is a must-win for Baltimore's playoff chances since another setback would put the team below the .500 mark in a competitive conference. Last year, the Ravens missed the postseason with a 9-7 mark, and a tie-breaking scenario for a Wild Card berth could be in play this season too.
Regardless, they have gone 16-6 straight up in their last 22 divisional home games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and defensively shut down Pittsburgh the first time around. If the Ravens can hold the Steelers in check offensively again, they will have a great chance to win and cover the spread again.
Smart betting pick
Pittsburgh's 8-0-1 record in its last nine road games is daunting here because it shows how mentally strong this team really is this season. Baltimore is well-coached but psychologically could be at a disadvantage with doubts arising from the last two losses.
The Steelers have not played well this year overall but still lead the division when it seemed like another team like the Ravens or Cincinnati Bengals would end their reign. Baltimore has been exposed during its losing streak, so look for Pittsburgh to pull off the small upset.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in five of the Steelers' last seven games vs the Ravens.
The total has gone under in five of the Ravens' last six games.
The Steelers are 8-0-1 SU in their last nine games on the road.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.