Ravens vs. Steelers NFL Picks: Side With Baltimore -2.5 on Thursday Night Football

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 5:28 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2015 5:28 PM UTC

People are less and less inclined to put the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 4 NFL picks. Are the Baltimore Ravens ready to step up and take advantage of Michael Vick?

Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 30: 12-7 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 6-9 Total

The Baltimore Ravens are 0-3 SU and ATS this year. Only two other teams, the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, have stumbled out of the gate as poorly as Baltimore has. The Ravens are also 8-9 SU and 6-9-2 ATS versus the Pittsburgh Steelers since the John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco Era began in 2008. But people are betting on Baltimore for Thursday night's matchup (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFLN) at Heinz Field.

How many people? Our first advanced consensus reports for Week 4 are out, and at press time, Baltimore is pulling in 61 percent of bettors with a gigantic 92 percent of the monies wagered. The average bet size on the Ravens is $918, a staggering amount, while Pittsburgh is getting $119 a pop. Looks like the high rollers have spoken. Baltimore has moved as high as –3 on our NFL odds board, although most locations still have the visitors at –2.5.

Ravens vs. Steelers SU Pick

Ravens vs. Steelers Total Pick

Steelers Player Props

Ravens Player Props

West Coast Beef
Something doesn't compute here – and it's probably me. It seems like yesterday I would have told you that Michael Vick could make Pittsburgh a strong value play when he takes over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger. People tend to undervalue competent back-up quarterbacks, as well as dual-threat quarterbacks. The question is whether Vick is competent or a threat anymore.

Based on what we saw last year with the New York Jets, the answer is no. But as we said in our opening odds report, the 2015 Steelers are a superior team to the 2014 Jets, and that will make a ton of difference to Vick's performance level. On the other hand, Vick has been with Pittsburgh for just over a month now. He only has some familiarity with offensive co-ordinator Todd Haley's system, although it does have a basis in the standard West Coast offense.


I Know You, and You Know Me
The Ravens, meanwhile, have plenty of experience with Vick – specifically QB coach Marty Mornhinweg, who was Vick's offensive co-ordinator with the Jets last year, and also for four years with the Philadelphia Eagles. They ran the West Coast offense there, before Chip Kelly came to town and jazzed things up.

Let's not fall into one of those “Marty knows that Mike knows that Marty knows” leveling wars, though. There's a ton of presumably sharp money on Baltimore in this game, and the Ravens are just a few dropped passes away from being 3-0 SU and ATS. We'll recommend a very, very small bet on Baltimore, but we'll also leave you with this parting reminder before you place your NFL pick: The last time we were in this situation back in 2012, Byron Leftwich and the Steelers forced a push as 3-point home dogs in a 13-10 loss.

NFL Pick: Take the Ravens –2.5 (–105) at BetDSI

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