NFL Thursday Night Football Preview & Free Pick- Week 4


Sep 2015

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NFL Thursday Night Football Preview & Free Pick- Week 4

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

Pointspread: Baltimore -3

Total Line: 44

 The Baltimore Ravens go on the road this week still looking for their first win of the year either straight-up or against the spread. Making things all the more harder is the fact that they will have to try and end this skid against the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

The Ravens fell to 0-3 (SU and ATS) with a 28-24 loss to Cincinnati this past Sunday as two-point home favorites. Many of the problems on offense revolve around the lack of a running game, but the biggest concern with this team is probably on the other side of the ball. Baltimore comes into this division grudge match with a defense that is allowing an average of 291 passing yards a game, which is ranked 29th in the NFL. This unit is also giving-up an average of 28 points a game, which is 27th in the league.

Pittsburgh grinded-out a 12-6 victory against St. Louis in Week 3 as a slight one-point road underdog. The win moved their record to 2-1 SU (2-0-1 ATS), but it came at a very steep price when starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with an apparent knee injury. The early prognosis has Big Ben out of the lineup for the next four weeks. The total stayed well UNDER the closing 48.5-point line and it has stayed UNDER in two of the Steelers’ first three games.

Head coach Mike Tomlin turned to veteran quarterback Mike Vick for the rest of Sunday’s game and he completed 5-of-6 throws for 38 yards to help preserve the win. That is not going to get it done against the Ravens so Pittsburgh is going to have to get more production from its running game. The return of Le’Veon Bell to the lineup following a two-game NFL suspension should help the cause, but he only managed to rush for 62 yards on 19 carries against the Rams for an average of 3.3 yards a carry.

These two teams have a long history against one another and if you look back at some of the recent betting trends you would find that Baltimore is 2-3-1 ATS in its last six road games against the Steelers and it is just 5-12 SU in its last 17 road games against Pittsburgh.

I am going against the grain in this one with a play on Baltimore to get the SU win and cover the three points on the road. The rust will be obvious in Vick’s game and the Ravens do just enough to cover the three points.