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Ravens vs Steelers Free Pick

A battle for first place in the AFC North takes place in Pittsburgh tonight when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Baltimore is in first place in the division with a record of 7-2 straight up and 4-5 against the spread. Pittsburgh is in second place just a game out of first with a record of 6-3 straight up and 4-5 against the spread.

This rivalry has become one of the best in the NFL, but could be lacking tonight as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not expected to play because of a sprained shoulder.  

However, he is not the only big name who might miss the first of two games in three weeks against the Ravens. Troy Polamalu and fellow safety Ryan Clark could miss the game as well as running back Rashard Mendenhall. Last week the Steelers defeated the lowly Kansas City Chiefs 16-13, but needed overtime to do it.

The Ravens will not be sending sympathy cards to the Steelers as they too have had their share of injuries. However, not having veteran linebacker Ray Lewis was not apparent last week when they thrashed the Oakland Raiders 55-20. In that game, Baltimore had 418 total yards on offense, caused three turnovers on defense and had exceptional special teams production with a touchdown on a kickoff return and a touchdown on a fake field goal.

The Steelers have the sixth best defense against the run in the league. Talking about defense, the Ravens no longer have the unit they once had in prior seasons. The Ravens are now ranked 27th in the league in total yards allowed per game as three key defenders are hurt.

Last season Baltimore was 2-0 straight up and against the spread in their series with Pittsburgh. The underdog has won seven of the past 11 games against the spread in this matchup.

The line currently has Baltimore favored by 3 ½, with the total at 40. The easy pick in this is the under on the points, but picking a winner is tough. However, take the Ravens less the points.

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Sunday, November 18th, 2012 NFL Betting 2012

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