Ben Roethlisberger is out of Sunday’s night’s game against the Ravens with a shoulder injury.
While the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3 straight-up, 4-5 against the spread) are riding a four-game winning streak and only trail the Baltimore Ravens by one game in the AFC North, they will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for some time with a shoulder injury. Still, they have an experienced backup in Byron Leftwich and are 4-0 at home on the season.
Leftwich played decent when coming in for Big Ben in the Chiefs win, and he is familiar with the Steelers since he has been with them the last two seasons. His main targets are wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, who each have 42 catches, although Brown missed the last game with an ankle injury (click to get updated NFL injury report). While the Ravens crushed the Raiders last week, they still gave up 368 passing yards to Oakland QB Carson Palmer.
One of the main reasons the Steelers are winning is the play of running back Jonathan Dwyer, who had rushed for more than 100 yards in two straight games before being held to 56 yards on 19 carries by Kansas City. With the Steelers playing their backup QB, Dwyer should get a lot of carries in this game.
The Ravens (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) have won six of their last seven games along with two straight, and their offense just scored a franchise-best 55 points last week against the Oakland Raiders. However, Baltimore's defense has struggled all season, ranking 26th in the NFL. With the Bengals also struggling, the Ravens can take control of the division with a win this Sunday night.
In the win over Oakland, Ravens QB Joe Flacco played well, passing for 341 passing yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin each have nearly 548 yards on the season, but they will have a hard time padding their stats since Pittsburgh has the league’s top-ranked pass defense.
Baltimore running back Ray Rice has not put up big numbers in the last two games, and his play will be key not only running the ball, but picking up yards on passes out of the backfield. Pittsburgh has a solid run D, ranking sixth overall, but the Steelers just gave up over 140 yards on the ground to the Chiefs.
Steelers vs. Ravens Key Betting Trends
The Ravens have only covered the spread in two of their last seven games. In their last six games facing a team with a winning record, the posted total has gone "over" 5 times.
The Steelers have covered the spread in their last four home games. In their last seven home games, the posted total has gone "under" every time.
In the last 11 games between these two AFC North rivals, the underdogs have an ATS record of 7-3-1.
For more info on this AFC North rivalry game, click here.
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