As of late Wednesday evening, the Baltimore Ravens are listed as three-point home favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The point total is set at 43, which represents a 23-20 Ravens victory. Considering that the Steelers are ranked ten slots better than the Ravens in most NFL power rankings, and that Ben Roethlisberger is expected to play, granting the full three-point home field advantage shows the gambling world has respect for the Ravens.
Both teams are rested and healthier after concurrent bye weeks. In terms of statistics, the Steelers offense has outpaced the Ravens offense by about 40-yards per game, but the Ravens defense has held opponents to almost 90 less yards that the Steelers on average over the first seven games of the season. Week 9 will pit Pittsburgh’s capable offense against Baltimore’s tough defense and the Ravens underachieving offense against the Steelers underwhelming defense. Baltimore has a plus-2 turnover differential while Pittsburgh is at negative-1. And the Ravens have the special teams edge.
A review of the last five meetings between these rivals:
- 9/11/14 Ravens won 26-6 at home when favored by 2.5
- 11/2/14 Steelers won 43-23 at home when favored by 2
- 1/3/15 (playoffs) Ravens won 30-17 as a 3-point underdog
- 10/1/15 Ravens won 23-20 as a 3-point road favorite
- 12/27/15 Ravens won 20-17 as an 11-point home underdog
Most of the trends favor the Ravens in the contest. John Harbaugh is 6-2 against the spread immediately following a bye week and Joe Flacco is 22-16 at home against spreads of less than a touchdown.