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Steelers Ravens Spread Line and Predictions NFL Playoffs

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For the 2nd time in three years, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will meet three times in the same season. The last time that happened was the during the ’08/’09 playoffs that the Steelers went on to win. This year’s game will be the rubber match between the two hard hitting AFC North rivals, as they split the season series 1-1. They both finished the year with a 12-4 record, but Pitt won the division thanks to a tiebreaker and received a bye in the first round. Baltimore beat Kansas City in Arrowhead Stadium last week 30-7 to set up one of the most physical rivalries in all of sports. The game kicks off at 4:30 EST on Saturday from Pittsburgh.

Spread and Betting Line Comparison Chart:

Betting Site
Spread
Over/Under Line
Visit Site
BetED.com
Steelers -3 (-120)
37
Sportsbook.com
Steelers -3 (-120)
37
Bodog.com
Steelers -3 (-120)
37

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Baltimore played an excellent road game last week in Kansas City, disposing of the inexperienced Chiefs quite handily. QB Joe Flacco and TE Todd Heap broke franchise records for passing yards and receiving yards respectively. They quieted the crowd with a long drive to start the game and continuously gained chunks of yards in the passing game. This year’s Ravens are offensively different than last years. While last year they were successful in the running game, this year RB Ray Rice hasn’t been as effective from the backfield. Rice gained 1,139 yards on 254 carries in 2009 for 7 TDs, while this year his carries went up to 307 but his yards gained dropped to 1,120 and his TDs dropped to 5. Overall, his average yards per carry took a huge drop, going from 5.3 to 4.0. But during the second half of the year, the Ravens began to use Rice more in the passing game, and that’s where he’s been most effective. He was tied for 2nd in receptions for the Ravens last week with 5, gaining 42 yards for a TD while also taking the ball 17 times for 52 yards from the backfield. He converted on several 3rd downs which killed the Chiefs young defense and extended drives. The Ravens held the ball for a whopping 41 minutes, vs. the Chiefs 18. But it’ll be interesting to see how Rice’s quickness matches up against the Steelers ferocious defense this week.

The Steelers defense had another historical regular season. They held opponents to an average of 62 ypg on the ground, first in the league. They also finished the season in points allowed with 14.5. They welcome back a healthy Troy Polamalu after he ended 2 of the last 3 games on the bench. On the offensive side, the Steelers passing game has been a huge improvement. Roethlisberger finished the season with a blistering 8 yards a completion, and speedster Mike Wallace took over as the number one WR from veteran Hines Ward. These two teams match up so well and have such a storied rivalry; it’s the game to watch this week.

Steelers vs. Ravens Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Baltimore Ravens +3
@ Pittsburgh Steelers -3

Game Total:

Over (-110)
37
Under (-110)

Check out our Betting Odds Explained article if you don’t understand how to read sports betting odds.

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Steelers vs. Ravens Prediction for AFC Divisional Betting:

Spread Prediction (Top Play): The Steelers have won both playoffs meetings between the two teams, and Mike Tomlin has the edge over the Ravens in his career. He’s 6-2 lifetime against Baltimore, and the two losses came with Roethlisberger out of the lineup. But John Harbough has compiled quite an impressive road record as coach of the Ravens. He’s now 5-2 away from home after the win vs. the Chiefs last week. This is a hard game to pick, and you’d have to have a really good reason to think that it’d be more than a 3 point game. I have a reason. The Steelers passing game has been very underrated this year, while the Ravens pass D has faltered. In a series that historically sees close games, (both games were decided by 3 points this year) I rate the Steelers better by a TD this time around because of the Ravens troubles running the ball and because of the Steelers superior passing game. Roethlisberger shouldn’t have a problem picking apart an older and weaker Ravens secondary and I can’t see anyone on the Ravens side of the ball who can keep up with Mike Wallace.

Top Play Prediction = Steelers -3.

Game Total Prediction: Although the Ravens put up 30 points last week on the Chiefs, anyone who watched the game saw how many opportunities they got within KCs 30 yard line. Multiple turnovers by the Chiefs led to a short field and Ravens’ points, but when they started in their own territory they weren’t that impressive. I’ve been saying all year long that the Ravens offense will hurt them when it really matters, and this week is the week that I think my prediction comes true. The Steelers defense is just too much for the one dimensional Ravens and I don’t see them putting more than 13 on the board. With that being said, the Steelers can move it, but by my calculations it’ll take around 24 points by the Steelers to go over the number. Long, sustaining drives and solid defense will be the Steelers game plan, and they’ll execute.

Total Prediction = Under 37

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