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Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, 0-1 ATS) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-1, 0-1 ATS)

*ATS= against the spread

BETDAQ Line: Baltimore -2.5 (44.5)

Significant Injuries

Pittsburgh: WR Lance Moore (out– groin), RB Dri Archer (out– ankle)

Baltimore: CB Ladarius Webb (questionable– back)

Recent Trends

Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. AFC North opponents

Pittsburgh is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 September games

Baltimore is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record

Baltimore is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games

Baltimore is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Thursday night games

The UNDER is 9-0 in Pittsburgh’s last 9 Week 2 games

The OVER is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 6 games overall

The UNDER is 8-3 in Baltimore’s last 11 home games

The OVER is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these 2 teams

Three reasons to back Pittsburgh

1. The Ravens have just been a losing bet lately– they’re 0-4 against the number in their last four home games and have covered just once in their last 6 games overall. Furthermore, they never cover on Thursday nights– 1-6 ATS in their last seven– or in division games (1-5 ATS last 6). If you’ve been paying attention, you know that this is the worst possible situation for a Baltimore bet: at home on a Thursday night against a division opponent. The value is sure to be on the other side.

2. The Steelers have developed into a borderline-elite passing offense, and the fact that Ben Roethlisberger threw for 365 yards in Week 1 against a good Cleveland defense doesn’t bode well for the Ravens, who surrendered 300 passing yards to Andy Dalton and the Bengals last week. Roethlisberger is much better than Dalton, so…

3. The Ravens are a mess on the offensive side of the ball. New coordinator Gary Kubiak has introduced a new scheme, and its debut last week wasn’t too impressive: 91 rushing yards and 16 points. The running game was a major issue for the Baltimore offense last season, and it sure doesn’t seem like the problems have been solved. The fact that the team’s best running back– Ray Rice– has now been released isn’t helping things, either.

Three reasons to back Baltimore

1. This is a team with a lot of professional pride whose collective backs are now against the proverbial wall: they opened the season with a home loss to a division opponent, now they get another home game against a division opponent– and their most bitter rival, at that. While no game in Week 2 is truly a “must-win”, this is a very, very important game for Baltimore. Fortunately, they have a veteran team, they’re playing at home, and their opponent is very beatable.

2. The Mike Tomlin/Ben Roethlisberger Steelers are traditionally a bad bet early in the season. They’ve now failed to cover in six consecutive September games and they nearly lost outright last week despite entering the game as a heavy favorite over the lowly Browns.

3. Calling Pittsburgh’s defense “vulnerable” is putting it mildly. Last week they faced Cleveland, a team with arguably the worst offensive personnel in the league, and they were trampled. Not only did they manage to make seat-warming journeyman backup Brian Hoyer look like a Pro Bowler, they surrendered 183 rushing yards to the stable of retreads and unknowns that make up the Cleveland backfield. This week they faced a Baltimore offense that racked up 345 passing yards against the stout Cincinnati defense in Week 1. This could get ugly.


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