Expert Final Thoughts - How To Bet Ravens vs. Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers   players celebrating

Kevin Stott

Saturday, December 24, 2016 4:43 PM GMT

Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers have W5 straight and find themselves atop the AFC North division heading into this showdown with the second-place Ravens. With Baltimore 4-1 ATS the L5 and an even more impressive 5-1 SU the L6 in this rivalry, is backing the visitors and the taking the points the pick on Sunday?

Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5 SU, 9-4 ATS, 341 PS-276 PA) welcome Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens (8-6 SU, 6-8 ATS, 306 PS-263 PA) to Heinz Field (Grass) in Pittsburgh (PM Showers, 43°) for a special Christmas Day and week 16 present.

Offshore sportsbooks have the Steelers as 4½- to 5-point favorites with the total at 44½ everywhere in this AFC North matchup. The money line odds see Antonio Brown and Pittsburgh -225 favorites with Baltimore +195. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened up the host Steelers 6½-point chalks in its NFL Week 16 Advanced Line while in its 2016 games of the year, Pittsburgh was installed as 7½-point chalks, so the numbers justifiably reflect an improved Ravens team.

 

Christmas Day - Series, Side, and Totals Trends

The Over is an impressive 10-5 ATS on Dec. 25 while favorites are 7-8 SU and 6-8-1 ATS in 15 NFL games held on the holiday. Ben Roethlisberger (56-43-2 ATS at Home) and the Steelers are 13-3 ATS L16 in December, 4-1-1 ATS L4 vs. the AFC North—the lone non-cover was their Week 9 meeting in Baltimore, won by the Ravens 21-14 (PIT -3, 46½)—and 15-7-2 ATS L24 vs. teams with Winning Records.

Joe Flacco (37-35-5 ATS on Road) and Baltimore—who’ve only covered one Road game this Regular Season (Browns, Week 2)—are a stellar 7-0 ATS L7 vs. AFC North, 4-1 ATS both L5 on Grass and vs. AFC but the Blackbirds are 4-10-2 ATS L16 after SU Loss, 0-5 ATS L5 on the Road and 6-17 ATS L23 in December.

And, the L4 games in this series have either gone Under or Pushed the Total (35, 37, 43, 47 points scored).


 

Steelers Won’t Let Christmas Be Ruined by Ravens

The Steelers have been streaky, W5 (and covering) straight after L4, but the big things here are Situation and Site. And “the Situation” is that Baltimore has crapped on Pittsburgh in this series of late and with a potential AFC North tie looming, the Site should carry the homeboys to a double-digit Win, with the Holiday aura helping.

The Black and Gold skinny is that the Steelers will be ready here, wanting so many things not to happen because of a potential Ravens upset...like the continued stigma Baltimore has their number or the creation of a tie atop the AFC North or ruining Steelers’ fans sacred Christmas Day. And not even The Grinch would want that.

Behind an underappreciated Defense (19.7 ppg, #9 Scoring) and Saint Ben, expect Pittsburgh to excel in this spot with its star QB, RB (Bell) and WR (Brown) all shining brightly on Offense. The truth of sport plays rings around you knowing the Home side is 4-1-1 ATS the L6 in this rivalry and that Steve Smith and the Ravens lone Road cover this season was against Cleveland in a game in which they had to rally to Win after trailing 20-0 in the 1Q. The Browns.
 

Predicted Final Score: Steelers 27 Ravens 16Free NFL Pick: Steelers -4½ -112Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

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