On Thanksgiving, the main course will be an AFC North battle as two bitter rivals clash with the Baltimore Ravens heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.
The Ravens are falling down the divisional ranks and need a big win to get back on track. The Steelers remain unbeaten on the season and would love to sweep Baltimore this year.
Can Baltimore pick off the Steelers or will Pittsburgh feast on raven for dinner? Kickoff inside Heinz Field is at 8:20PM ET.
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Baltimore Ravens||+3 (-110)||+158||Over 45.5 (-105)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-3 (-110)||-178||Under 45.5 (-115)|
|Betting Data||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|2020 ATS Home||2-3||4-1|
|2020 ATS Away||2-2-1||4-1|
|2020 O/U Home||2-3||4-1|
|2020 O/U Away||2-3||1-3-1|
These bitter rivals have played against each other 53 total times. The Steelers hold the advantage in this series with a record of 29-24. Pittsburgh won the first matchup between these teams in Week 8 of thes season, but they have lost two straight games at home against Baltimore.
The Ravens and the Steelers have played against each other before on Thanksgiving back in 2013. Baltimore won that matchup 22 to 20.
Pittsburgh is 2-6 all-time on Thanksgiving with their last appearance coming in 2016. They beat the Colts 28 to 7 that year. The Steelers are the 3rd undefeated team to play on Thanksgiving this century.
Baltimore hasn’t played on Turkey Day since the win over Pittsburgh in 2013. They’re 2-0 all-time on Thanksgiving.
I have a hard time seeing how this game will end up differently than the Week 8 matchup between these two teams where Pittsburgh won 28 to 24.
In that game, Pittsburgh came back to outscore Baltimore 21 to 7 in the second half. And, they did that by playing stellar defense. The Steelers forced four turnovers that game. They also gave up 11 minutes in time of possession to the Ravens, but still won.
Since that matchup, Baltimore has gone 1-2 with losses to the Patriots and the Titans who both found success running the ball against the Ravens defense. In fact, Baltimore is giving up 116 rushing yards per game, which is rather surprising.
In their two losses, Baltimore has been outplayed in the 4th quarter which also hampered them against the Steelers in Week 8. I don’t see anything that makes me believe they will improve on this aspect of the game come Thursday.
Baltimore rushed for 265 yards in their first matchup this season while the Steelers rushed for 48 yards. Pittsburgh will need to fix this lopsided stat if they want to win on Thanksgiving. Pittsburgh only allows 103.4 rushing yards per game, so they do have the potential to slow down the Ravens ground game.
If anything, I expect Pittsburgh to stack the box and force Lamar Jackson to beat them by throwing the ball from the pocket.
Offensively, the Steelers’ passing attack has been unstoppable as of late. Although they’re only averaging 254.3 passing ypg, Pittsburgh has four solid wide receivers and prove to be a nightmare matchup for any secondary. They also have a solid TE in Eric Ebron.
Pittsburgh’s best shot on offense is spreading out the Baltimore defense with at least four receivers. This will allow Big Ben to see the field and force the Ravens to play man against receivers like Chase Claypool who had five receptions for 42 yards and a TD in the Week 8 game.
Baltimore is 2-4 ATS in their last six games and 1-3 SU in their last four games. Pittsburgh is 8-2 ATS this season, 6-2 ATS as a favorite this year, 6-0 ATS in their last six AFC games.
I’m taking Big Ben and the Steelers to not only win the game outright, but to do so by at least a field goal. The Steelers have the better defense in this matchup and I expect the black and gold to force at least two turnovers this week, which will lead to points and the big divisional win.
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