Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 11

This week’s Sunday night game of Baltimore at Pittsburgh was set to be a display of talent, that is, until last weekend. The Baltimore Ravens (7-2) lead the AFC North; the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) are 2nd in the AFC North. Obviously this is critical game for both teams but after last weekend the Steelers are now looking at far too many of their superstars on the injury report.

Early in the week Pittsburgh is favored to win this game with a 4.5 point spread and an over/under of 46 points.

This will likely change dramatically as the Steelers continue to update the public on key injuries. On Pittsburgh’s side they have QB Ben Roethlisberger listed as questionable with a serious SC shoulder sprain that is still not fully diagnosed and tests are on-going. Also for the Steelers, RB Rashard Mendenhall is listed as questionable as he fights an on-going Achilles injury. Furthermore, the Steelers will still be without Troy Polamalu as he is listed as doubtful and has been out for some time due to a calf strain. Baltimore has some minor bruises and bangs though they are mainly healthy but will still miss star LB Ray Lewis.
All that said, this leaves the Ravens mainly unchanged this week and the Steelers’ productivity on offense questionable. The Ravens have averaged 28.2 points per game this season. Each team averages 354 total yards per game on offense. Last week the Ravens demolished Oakland but were themselves demolished three weeks ago by Houston. The big question with this offense is consistency. They have neither a great passing game nor a great run game. For those last two reasons it would be a good idea to anticipate the Ravens to score close to their average points on offense and give them just under 28 points.

Pittsburgh likewise has an average ranked offense but the Steelers’ offense averages 23 points per game with recent games trending a little above 23 points. The problem is that if Roethlisberger is out this week and Mendenhall is not at full strength this 23 points would be a herculean effort for the Steelers. Once Roethlisberger left the game the Steelers’ offense looked almost impotent.

Fortunately for the Steelers the life blood of their team is their defense. Their defense is the best passing defense and the 6th best run defense in the league. However, and despite Baltimore having the 26th ranked pass and 26th ranked run defense in the league, both defenses have allowed roughly the same points per game. Baltimore has allowed an average of 21.8 points and Pittsburgh has allowed an average of 19.7 points per game.

So perhaps the Ravens score 24 points this Sunday, and this makes sense because even against good defensive teams like Dallas, Baltimore has managed about this many points. When it comes to Pittsburgh it’s very doubtful they can surpass their average. Pittsburgh’s back-up QBs are NFL veterans but they do not have Roethlisberger’s arm or command of the offense. So perhaps assume Pittsburgh can manage 14 points on offense. It certainly seems that without their QB, Pittsburgh cannot win this game and the Ravens can cover a 4.5 spread, or perhaps as high as a 10 point spread if the numbers change as more information is release on Roethlisberger.

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