The Pittsburgh Steelers’ long win streak in prime time is under the strain of a short week, along with facing the rival Baltimore Ravens, who are a tough out as a narrow road underdog.
The Steelers, with Ben Roethlisberger behind center, are 3-point favorites on the Sunday Night Football odds against the Baltimore Ravens with a 50.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The OddsShark NFL Database shows that the Ravens are 16-8-3 against the spread as a road underdog of 3.0 or fewer points since John Harbaugh became their coach in 2008. The Ravens are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games against their AFC North counterparts.
However, the Steelers are 13-0 straight-up in their last 13 games at night and 10-0-1 straight-up in their last 11 games against AFC North teams with an average winning margin of 6.27 points. That’s counter-balanced by being 0-6 ATS in their last six home games at Heinz Field.
The Ravens, who are 2-1 SU and ATS, are on something of a heater in the red zone, where quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense are 12-for-12 at finishing drives with touchdowns. Some regression toward the mean will be inevitable at some point for an offense that is 20th in the 32-team NFL in yards per pass (6.9) and 31st in yards per rush (3.1).
Flacco and his re-worked supporting cast of wide receivers Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, though, are facing a Pittsburgh pass defense that is 28th in yards per attempt and has allowed 10 touchdowns through the air, tied for most given up in the league.
The Steelers, who are 1-1-1 SU and 1-2 ATS, offer the Ravens defense the stiffest challenge it has faced after a three-game stretch where the starting quarterbacks it faced were Nathan Peterman, Andy Dalton and Case Keenum. While Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown haven’t busted out big-time, the Steelers remain 10th in the NFL in yards per pass with the chunk-yardage plays coming via JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight ends Jesse James and Vance McDonald.
Like the Ravens, the Steelers have been sporadic in the rushing phase, ranking 23rd in yards per rush with James Conner at running back due to Le’Veon Bell being a holdout.
With Roethlisberger as their quarterback, the Steelers are 21-3 SU in prime-time games. However, the Ravens have also acquitted themselves in prime time, with a 14-6 SU record in their last 20 games at night. However, Pittsburgh is 2-3 SU and 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games as a home favorite or 3.0 or fewer points, so it’s fair to wonder if the tight turnaround after a Monday night road game against Tampa Bay will be a tipping point.
The total has gone OVER in six of the Ravens’ last eight road games, with an average combined score of 46.88. The total has gone OVER in the Steelers’ last five divisional games at home.
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