|Monday Night Football: Steelers vs. Ravens Picks & Preview|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Monday, 05 November 2007 03:43|
Tough at Heinz
It’s back to divisional play Monday night as the (4-3) Ravens invade Heinz Filed to take on the (5-2)Steelers. This has been a fierce rivalry over the year’s that’s seen a wide variety of games. There’s been blow-outs, OT battles, season sweeps, but the main constant has been the fact that neither club has lost much in this series in their own house. That however wasn’t the case last year when Baltimore swept the season series from the defending Super Bowl champs. Expect the men in yellow and black to be out for blood this evening.
Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Pittsburgh -9.5 point spread favorites (View NFL Football odds) for Sunday's game, the over/under has been set at 36 total points (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 53% of bets for this game have been placed on Pittsburgh -9.5 (View NFL Football bet percentages).
The 2007 campaign has been a tough go for HC Brian Billick and the Ravens. They do enter this game above .500, but they haven’t fared well against the better competition they’ve faced so far. In fact, three of their four wins this season came against teams with a combined record of 3-20 (St. Louis/San Francisco/NY Jets), and the other came against AZ at home where they had to hold on for dear life. The offense has been hard to watch, and the defense has allowed 17 PPG to a very offensively challenged schedule thus far. Baltimore got a little bit healthier during their “Bye” week, but the guys slated to go will be watched very carefully. Injuries have certainly played a role in the Ravens first three losses this year, but this team didn’t get better in the off-season and they’re all a year older.
As for Pittsburgh, the Mike Tomlin era has gotten off to a solid start. The Steelers are yet to lose a game at home this season, and they’ve beaten their opponents by an average of 22 PPG. The Ravens came into Heinz Field last season and dropped 31 on the Steelers defense en route to the 24-point road victory. That beating should still be fresh in many of the Steelers minds, and I don’t foresee HC Tomlin having to motivate his men too much for this one.
Oddsmakers have deemed the Steelers 9-points better than the Ravens in this spot and set the ‘Total’ at 36’. Baltimore is a solid 4-1 ATS their L/5 road games vs. a team with a winning record, but a poor 1-6 ATS in their L/7 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0 points. As for the Steelers, they’re 4-1 ATS their L/5 vs. the AFC North, and a $$$-making 20-7 ATS in their L/27 games as a home favorite of 3.5-10.0 points. Total players should note, the ‘Over’ is 5-1 ATS the L/6 times these teams have hooked up in Pittsburgh.
This is the only pigskin slated to go Monday night, so be sure to tune your HDTV’s to ESPN at 8:30 ET to see what transpires on the field.
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