NFL Sunday Night Football Predictions
Will Steelers Maintain First Place In AFC?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a shot at clinching home advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye. Steel City’s been keeping up with the New England Patriots by maintaining a seven-game winning streak. Beating the Ravens tonight will allow them to control their own destiny during their week 15 match with the Patriots next week.
Baltimore have set themselves up well for a wildcard playoff spot, and they’ll want a victory over the Steelers to maintain their advantage over the Bills, Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs. The Ravens put their three-game win streak on the line tonight as unpopular underdogs.
- Game: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Pick: Steelers Beat -5.5 Spread, Under 47.5
- NFL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
Ravens at Steelers – Vital Trends
Masterful Defenses Collide
Who knows where the Baltimore Ravens would be without their stout defense, which allows only 17.3 PPG, ranking third in the NFL. The Steelers rose to the top of the AFC North Division through defense as well, ceding an extra half-point per game compared to Baltimore. This game’s likely to be a tough-fought, low-scoring grudge match, decided by which defense steps up to earn their offense a slight advantage. Turnovers could be the determining factor, instead of a brilliant offensive performance.
Ben Plays Better At Night
Ben Roethlisberger enjoys primetime football more than other television timeslots, earning a 96.5 passer rating in the evening, throwing 96 TDs in 55 games. The Steelers have a 39-16 record when Roethlisberger starts at night, and he’s averaged three TDs per game over his last four, with a 101.9 passer rating. Joe Flacco has thrown two interceptions in four of five Ravens losses, including a 26-9 beatdown against the Steelers in week four. Pittsburgh will enjoy a significant advantage at the pivot position tonight.
Le’Veon Bell Ready To Roll Over Ravens
Bell was a monster in Pittsburgh’s week four win in Baltimore. Le’Veon found holes all over the field, rushing for 144 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns. He’s also become a threat as a receiver, catching 17 passes over his last two games for a total of 194 yards. He’s also making clutch catches, including a crucial touchdown against the Bengals. Bell’s the NFL leader in total rushing yards (1,057) and yards from scrimmage, with 1,559 in 12 games. Baltimore will need to find a way to stop Le’Veon.
Is Antonio Brown Injured Or Not?
Injury reports have listed Antonio Brown with an injured toe over the past couple of weeks, but he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down over the past three weeks. One of the true elite receivers in the league, Antonio has six TDs over his past three games, averaging 138 yards per game despite his toe malady. During the last Steelers-Ravens clash, Brown was invisible, catching four passes for a total of 34 yards. If the Ravens let their attention slip, Antonio will have a much better game this Sunday.
Alex Collins Battering TDs
The Baltimore Ravens offense may have found a clutch performer in Alex Collins. This running back has scored a touchdown in three consecutive Ravens wins, bashing the football over the plane in situations inside of ten yards. Considering the difficulties that Flacco has been experiencing, the ability to hand the ball over to a steady contributor in the red zone opens opportunities across the field. The Steelers need to keep an eye on Collins.
NFL Sunday Night X-Factors
This divisional grudge match has been even over the past ten matchups, with each team earning five wins apiece. However, the Steelers have earned two wins in a row, and their game last October was completely lopsided, which means that this series could be trending towards Pittsburgh. Line movement has also favored Pittsburgh during the run up to the game. Spreads started around four before the action nudged the line up to 5.5, signifying a popular vote for the Steelers.
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