Ravens vs Steelers Prediction — Can the Steelers Lock up the North?

Posted: 12/25/2016 by levcohen in Football

I think Pittsburgh-Baltimore has been the best NFL rivalry of the 21st century. No other rivalry so frequently meant so much for both teams both in terms of pride and actual playoff implications. This year is no exception. The Steelers sit atop the AFC North at 9-5; they can clinch the division with a win. The Ravens are a game back but still control their own destiny thanks to a win over Pittsburgh in the first matchup between these teams. They’d be eliminated with a loss but have a 52% chance to win the division with a win (per FiveThirtyEight). This is going to be a really fun game to watch, with super high intensity given the stakes and history between the two teams.

Baltimore Ravens (8-6, 5-9) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5, 9-5):
Spread: Steelers favored by 6
Over/under: 46.5
My prediction: The Steelers are undoubtedly the more talented team. That’s almost always a case when you have Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. Bell and Brown give them an offensive floor that should ensure 20+ points. Bell had hands-down his worst game of the season against the Ravens in Week 9, with just 32 yards on 14 carries, but it’s worth noting that Baltimore’s stingy run defense has been a lot softer of late. They gave up a season-high 156 yards on the ground to the Eagles last week and have allowed 4+ yards per carry in two of the last three weeks after doing it twice in their first 11 games.

I like the Ravens to keep it close. They need to establish the run against a solid Pittsburgh defense, but if they do they should be able to move the ball between the 20s. In the end, the difference will be the Steelers’ ability to punch the ball into the end zone one more time than the Ravens. I know they kicked six field goals last week, but they’re just too talented to settle for so many field goals again. Steelers win 24-20.
Ravens cover


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s