Ravens vs. Steelers NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Preview for Week 13
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson
|Time||4:25 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Parx. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
After winning their last two games, the Ravens now have the AFC’s best record. The Steelers are a .500 team but still in the thick of the playoff race, as they’re half a game behind the final AFC wild-card spot. Every game will be crucial down the stretch in the AFC, which has 12 teams with a .500 or better record, including every team in the AFC North.
This game features a pair of banged-up defenses. T.J. Watt headlines that group, but the Steelers are also likely to be without two of their top four cornerbacks. The Ravens, on the other hand, could be without impactful rookie edge rusher Odafe Oweh (five sacks on the season) and top cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Ravens vs. Steelers Injury Report
- WR Miles Boykin (finger): Doubtful
- WR Devin Duvernay (thigh): Questionable
- TE Nick Boyle (knee): Questionable
- G/C Patrick Mekari (ankle): Questionable
- CB Marlon Humphrey (illness): Questionable
- CB Anthony Averett (shoulder/ankle): Questionable
- CB Jimmy Smith (neck): Questionable
- CB Chris Westry (thigh): Questionable
- CB Tavon Young (illness): Questionable
- LB Patrick Queen (ribs): Questionable
- OLB Jaylon Ferguson (illness): Questionable
- OLB Odafe Oweh (Shoulder): Questionable
- CB Joe Haden (foot): Out
- DE Isaiahh Buggs (quadricep): Questionable
Ravens vs. Steelers Matchup
|Ravens Offense||DVOA Rank||Steelers Defense|
|Ravens Defense||DVOA Rank||Steelers Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Ravens Carried by Jackson
The Ravens continue their march toward a more balanced offensive approach. They rank 15th in pass attempts per game this season after ranking 32nd last year. Lamar Jackson has attempted at least 26 passes in every game he’s played — last season he averaged 25.9.
They’re still a more effective running team — as indicated by their 20th-ranked DVOA in passing offense. That could come in handy this week because Pittsburgh’s already poor passing defense (26th in DVOA) could be missing some key contributors.
Of course, the rushing attack is still the key to Baltimore’s offense, also led by Jackson. His 5.7 yards per rush attempt is third in the NFL, behind only standout running backs Nick Chubb and Jonathon Taylor. Pittsburgh’s run defense isn’t much better — ranking 24th.
Defensively, Baltimore struggles against the pass, ranking 24th in DVOA and fifth against the run. Opposing teams have figured that out and are passing against Baltimore at the league’s second-highest rate. That will likely be the Steelers’ game plan too, especially if Marlon Humphrey misses the game.
Don’t expect much from the Steelers ground game though, with Baltimore excelling there. The strength of their defensive front — which allows the fewest adjusted line yards in the league — matches up very well against the weakness of the Steelers offensive line (which produces the fourth-fewest Adjusted Line Yards).
Steelers’ O-Line is a Liability
The strengths of the Steelers offense align nicely with what Baltimore gives up on defense. Pittsburgh throws the ball at the fifth-highest rate in the league. That will be the optimal way to attack Baltimore on Sunday, given their relative strengths. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the player he used to be, but he’s still a serviceable quarterback, particularly at home.
Despite their passing rate, the Steelers would love to be a run-first team. They invested a first-round pick in running back Najee Harris, who’s performed reasonably well. Their offensive line is a major liability though and will continue to be in this one. Pittsburgh might try to “establish it” early but will likely abandon that plan fairly quickly.
The Steelers’ strength this year has been their pass rush, with Watt being a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The team has 30 sacks on the season — with over 40% of them (12.5) belonging to Watt. Watt is out this week with COVID, raising major question marks about the Steelers’ chances of slowing down Baltimore.
Their run defense isn’t great either, ranking 24th in DVOA. That’s not ideal against a Ravens team with a top-10 rushing offense. They haven’t faced any of the league’s top rushing quarterbacks this year but did allow Justin Herbert to run nine times for 90 yards. Jackson could have a field day with his legs in this one.
Ravens vs. Steelers Predictions, Picks
Both teams have major injury questions on the defensive side of the ball, with T.J. Watt’s absence being most impactful. Both of these teams’ offensive strengths also align nicely with the corresponding weaknesses in the opposing defense — Baltimore’s running game and Pittsburgh passing.
These teams have combined to score 44.3 points per game on the season while combining to allow 46.1 points per game. Both of those numbers are (slightly) above this games 44-point total, but they also involve the past play of healthier versions of their defenses.
I generally don’t like betting overs in divisional games late in the year — but this is the first time these teams are meeting for the season. That’s another good sign for betting the over. It’s a bit scary given the play of Ben Roethlisberger this year, but I’m also banking on his famous home/road splits to boost the offense this week.
Finally, this game should be reasonably fast-paced. Baltimore plays at the 11th-quickest pace with a lead — which is likely to be the scenario for much of the game — while the Steelers play at the quickest pace in the second half of games.
Second-half totals will likely have some value here, but keep an eye out on live betting opportunities if this one starts slow. Even so, the full-game over should get there, even if it looks rough in the first half.
Pick: Over 44 | Bet to: 45
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