Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers: 2014 Week 9 NFL Pick

Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)

The Steelers put up 51 points last week in an impressive 51-34 victory over a very good Indianapolis team. However, last week’s performance could easily hurt them this week. Underdogs are 12-27 ATS since 1989 after scoring 40 or more points as underdogs. It makes sense. The Steelers could easily be overconfident this week, which would be really dangerous for them considering the odds makers have deemed them underdogs in back-to-back weeks at home. The odds makers generally have a strong feel for teams, so the Steelers probably aren’t nearly as good as they probably think they are right now. The public also probably thinks they’re better than they are too as they are on the underdog here. I love fading the public, especially when they’re on an underdog. Whenever the public thinks a different team should be favored than the odds makers, it generally is bad news for them.

We’re not really getting any line value with the Ravens. The Ravens have played well this season, ranking 4th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 76.72% rate, as opposed to 71.19% for their opponents, a differential of 5.53%. The Steelers, however, are also having a solid season in that aspect, ranking 8th, moving the chains at a 76.87% rate, as opposed to 74.10% for their opponents, a differential of 2.76%. That suggests this line should be right about where it is (Baltimore -1). However, if we take into account that last week’s performance by the Steelers was a fluke, we get a little bit more line value, as the Steelers ranked 13th going into last week, with a differential of 0.87%.

The Ravens are also in their 2nd of two road games. Teams are 181-184 in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.10 points per game, as opposed to 254-364 in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 3.28 points per game. This would probably be more powerful if the Ravens were underdogs here, as teams are 108-70 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 92-48 ATS when it’s their 2nd straight (and not 3rd straight) road game and they next play a home game. However, the Ravens are barely favorites here on the road and going off of that, road favorites are 34-23 ATS off of a road loss since 2008 as long as it’s the 2nd of two road favorites, including 13-7 ATS as road favorites off of a loss as road favorites. The Steelers are also divisional home underdogs in a night game, a situation teams are 30-59 ATS in since 1989.

Both teams have very easy games next week, putting them in good spots. The Ravens host the Titans, while the Steelers head to New York to take on the Jets. The Ravens will almost definitely be at least double digit favorites next week and teams are 69-55 ATS since 2010 before being double digit favorites. The Steelers, meanwhile, will almost definitely be at least field goal favorites next week on the road and teams are 79-54 ATS since 2012 before being favorites of 3 or more on the road. These two things cancel out and at the end of the day I like the Ravens a decent amount this week.

Baltimore Ravens 20 Pittsburgh Steelers 13

Pick against the spread: Baltimore -1

Confidence: Medium

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