Steelers vs Ravens NFL Week 9 Odds & Expert Pick
In Week 4, the Steelers lost 26-14 at Baltimore. The game was tied 14-14 at the half, and all the second-half scoring came from the foot of Baltimore’s Justin Tucker, one of the NFL’s best kickers. Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards and two scores. John Brown caught three passes for 116 yards and a TD.
Ben Roethlisberger finished 27 of 47 for 274 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Steelers. Antonio Brown caught five passes for 62 yards and a TD. Pittsburgh had just 47 yards after halftime. In six second-half series against the Steelers, the Ravens’ defense produced: punt (three-and-out), punt, punt (another three-and-out), punt, an interception and a turnover on downs.
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
The Steelers are 3-0 since that loss to Baltimore after winning 33-18 vs. Cleveland on Sunday – which got Browns head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley fired. The Steelers (4-2-1) overcame a slow start and their own mistakes to win their 15th straight at Heinz Field over the Browns, who have lost 25 consecutive road games — one shy of the NFL record.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 24-of-36 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown for both scores in the second quarter. The first was a 43-yard play in which Roethlisberger climbed the pocket and Brown got behind the Cleveland defense. The second was a 1-yard screen right before the first half came to a close. Brown caught 6-of-8 targets for 74 yards and those two scores. Brown now has scored a touchdown in five straight games and has eight touchdowns through seven games on the season.
James Conner rushed 24 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns while catching 5-of-6 targets for 66 yards. Conner started off slowly, notching just 33 yards on the ground with 12 yards on one catch in the first half. He then wore the Browns out in the second half, rushing for 14 times for 113 yards and both scores after the break with four catches for 54 yards after the break. He broke long runs of 30 and 22 yards, the latter a game-ending dagger for a touchdown that put the Steelers ahead 33-12. Conner now has four games with over 100-yards rushing and two touchdowns on the season.
Conner has 922 scrimmage yards, the second-most in franchise history through the first seven games of a season, trailing Bell’s 938 in 2014. That number pairs well with an improving defense that hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in the last three weeks. Could this be the week that Le’Veon Bell returns, though? Bell could show at 4:01 p.m. ET Tuesday, one minute after the deadline expires. If he decides to come back this week, Wednesday might make more sense because that’s the first official day of game planning. Tuesday is an off day for players.
Steelers cornerback Artie Burns was late to a team activity last week, according to sources, with one source saying that activity was a walkthrough. Burns did not play a defensive snap against Cleveland despite productive moments in practice.
Why Bet on Baltimore?
The Ravens are 1-3 since that Pittsburgh win. They were dominated 36-21 at Carolina on Sunday. Unlike two Sundays ago when they needed three fourth-quarter touchdowns to erase a 17-0 deficit and beat the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles 21-17, the Panthers took it to the Ravens early and often. The Panthers rolled up 386 yards against a Ravens defense that had come in allowing a league-low 280.6 yards and 14.4 points per game.
Joe Flacco completed 22-of-39 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the loss. Flacco averaged just 4.9 yards per attempt and hasn’t had a 300-yard day since Week 4. Flacco’s touchdown was a nine-yard hookup with Buck Allen late in the second half with the game well out of reach already. Lamar Jackson played late in the fourth quarter and threw a touchdown to Hayden Hurst.