The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens will square off in a rare Wednesday afternoon matchup to conclude the Week 12 NFL schedule. Pittsburgh is 10-0 and toppled the Ravens earlier this season. Baltimore (6-4) has lost three of its last four games, and the Ravens will face a personnel disadvantage with multiple key players, most notably Lamar Jackson, sidelined due to COVID-19.
Kickoff is at 3:40 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Pittsburgh as a 10-point home favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 42.5 in the latest Steelers vs. Ravens odds. Before making any Ravens vs. Steelers picks or NFL predictions, check out what SportsLine’s resident Baltimore expert, Mike Tierney, has to say.
A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. He prefers to evaluate each game from the underdog’s point of view and has used that philosophy to dominate the NFL, going 66-44 against the spread in 2019 and 63-46 in 2018. Tierney entered the 2020 season with a 282-222 record at SportsLine (2016-19) on all NFL picks, returning $3,704 to $100 players.
He also has had a sharp eye for the tendencies of the Ravens, posting a remarkable 16-6 record in his last 22 against-the-spread picks involving Baltimore. Anyone who has followed his NFL picks is way up.
- Steelers vs. Ravens spread: Steelers -10
- Steelers vs. Ravens over-under: 42.5 points
- Steelers vs. Ravens money line: Steelers -500, Ravens +400
- BAL: Ravens are 4-4 against the spread in AFC games
- PIT: Steelers are 8-2 against the spread this season
Why the Ravens can cover
Offensively, Baltimore is one of the best rushing teams in the NFL, averaging 160.5 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. The Ravens are also a top-10 team in third-down conversion rate at 45.5 percent and have a track record of creativity to generate efficiency.
Defensively, Baltimore is outstanding, ranking near the top of the league in scoring defense at 19.5 points allowed per game. The Ravens are also above-average in total defense, giving up only 333 yards per game. Baltimore’s pass defense is stout, allowing only 6.6 yards per attempt and 217 yards per game.
Special teams are also a strength, with Justin Tucker missing only one kick of any length and the Ravens leading the NFL in kick return yardage at 30.4 per return.
Why the Steelers can cover
The Steelers are the league’s only unbeaten team thanks in part to an elite defense. Pittsburgh is allowing only 17.4 points per game and has an advantage given Baltimore’s extensive absences on the offensive side of the ball. The Steelers rank in the top five of the NFL in total defense (306.9 yards) and pass defense (203.5).
Beyond that, Pittsburgh leads the league in completion percentage allowed, interceptions, sacks and quarterback rating allowed, with TJ Watt, Bud Dupree and Stephon Tuitt wreaking havoc on the opposition. On the offensive side, the Steelers are also a top-five scoring team, averaging 29.8 points per game.
How to make Steelers vs. Ravens picks
Tierney has analyzed this matchup, and while he’s leaning under on the total, he has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing it here.
So who wins Ravens vs. Steelers? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Ravens vs. Steelers spread you should be all over Wednesday, all from the expert who is on a 16-6 run in his last 22 overall picks involving Baltimore.