RAVENS (-2 1/2) V. STEELERS
Arguably the most bitter rivalry in all of sport it seems somewhat ironic that the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers will do battle on this day of thanks.
A few weeks ago this one seemed like it would be a Thanksgiving Night dud, particularly after the Steelers got off to a 0-4 start. But both teams are in the thick of the playoff chase in a very watered down AFC. No longer will the tryptophan threaten the nation’s ability to stay awake through this one.
It will be a slobberknocker!
I could go on and say that the Ravens need to spread out the Steelers defense and force Troy Polamalu to play away from the line of scrimmage and that they will need to use the pass to set up the run.
I could go on and say that the Ravens need to keep Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket and not let him break containment.
I could go on and say that the team that protects the football best will win the game.
But you know all of those things. You know that this will be a close, physically fought game that will come down to one key play. How could you not? After all 8 of the last 10 games played in this series have been decided by 3 points. In those 8 games each team has scored a total of 139 points.
The Steelers will attempt to snap a Thanksgiving voodoo of sorts. They haven’t won on Turkey Day since President Truman was in office (1950). They are 1-5 all-time on the fourth Thursday in November. The Ravens as you know are 1-0 having won Harbaugh Bowl I back in 2011.
When this game showed up on the schedule, it had a decided advantage for the home team, particularly on a short week and after a Sunday road game for the visiting Steelers.
- During 8 of the last 10 meetings these teams have averaged 17 points each. Both will score 20+ tonight. Line is now at Ravens -2 ½, Under/over at 41.
- Torrey Smith will crack 100 yards receiving.
- Ravens will be + 2 in turnovers
- There will be a total of 8 sacks in the game
- Jacoby Jones will return a punt for a touchdown
- Heath Miller will score both Steelers touchdowns
Last Game: 1-0 v. Winner, 1-0 v. Spread
Season Total: 5-6 v. Winner, 6-4-1 v. Spread
The odds are decidedly against the visiting team on a short week, particularly one that was on the road the previous Sunday. That’s just too much to ask from a team when engaged in such a physical battle, typical of a Ravens v. Steelers game. The Steelers will wear down and fade in the end as the Ravens advance to (6-6) after a 26-20 victory.