You can bet that the hitting will be hard on Sunday Night Football this week, and we are set to make our NFL picks for the incredibly important clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the AFC North.
Year To Date Record: 28-26 ATS
Upset Record: 8-13, -$575
Week 9 NFL Matchup: Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, November 6th, 8:25 ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
NFL Week 9 Lines: Pittsburgh -3.5
Week 9 NFL TV Schedule: NBC
Ravens Notes: If the Ravens can win this game, they’ll be back in charge of the AFC North and will have control over this division for the rest of the season with the tiebreaker over the Steelers. The possibility will also be there to go 6-0 in division to boot. QB Joe Flacco has had a rough go of it this season, especially against some of the best defenses in the game. He has the tendency of having happy feet, something that you know that the Steelers are going to try to take advantage of. RB Ray Rice is going to be under the gun in this one. He came up with over 140 yards and two touchdowns in total against the Steelers in the first go around of these two teams, and he has the potential to do it once again in this one. He might not have a choice, though, as Flacco and this passing game might struggle once again without WR Lee Evans in the fold.
Steelers Notes: Pittsburgh has a whole heck of a lot on the line in this one. A victory leaves the Steelers with the best record in the conference, and it makes them the first squad to reach seven wins on the season in the AFC. It also ensures that they will at least have split the regular season series with the Ravens and will give them a game and a half lead on them that will have to be made up. QB Ben Roethlisberger looked absolutely terrible when these two teams met the first time around, turning the ball over five of the seven times on the day. That being said, it was the first time in eight tries that the Ravens were able to win this game with Roethlisberger in the saddle. The question marks are going to come on defense, believe it or not. LB James Harrison hasn’t played in over a month with an eye injury, and that isn’t likely to change on Sunday Night Football, and LB LaMarr Woodley is likely out of the fold as well, and so could LB James Farrior. That being said, as many as five starters on this defense from the start of the year could be out, and that would be a heck of a lot to try to overcome.
The Final Word: As much as we think that the Steelers are going to get some payback in this game, we just have a hard time thinking that Baltimore can’t come on the road and win. It would be a huge, huge accomplishment for a team that has probably underachieved this season. The Pittsburgh defense is just too beaten up to really want to lay more than a field goal. In the end, we’re willing to take the points in a series which has seemingly always been very, very close. Remember that before the blowout in Week 1, the mass majority of the games in this series had been decided by nine points or fewer.
Week 9 NFL Pick: Baltimore +3.5
NFL Football Prediction: Pittsburgh 30 – Baltimore 20