The NFL action storms into week 4 with a AFC North clash taking place at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the week at 4-1 will host division rivals the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. These two teams enter this week in compleltly oppositie situations.
The Steelers enter week 4 sitting at 2-1 after picking up a 12-6 win on the road against the St. Louis Rams in NFL game picks and predictions. The win marked the teams second straight win after losing on Thursday Night Football to open the 2015 NFL season. The downside is despite the winning record the atmosphere could be a little down for the home team as Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss this game as well as possible the teams next 3-5 games.
Roethlisberger left the teams game on Sunday with a knee injury that some experts had feared could be to the ACL. In the end the injury was diagnoased as an MCL sprain on Monday giving the fans something to look forward to down the road. Till then the team will turn to Michael Vick to replace Roethlisberger while the turning up the workload for running back Le’Veon Bell.
While the Steelers enter in second place in the AFC North, the Ravens are one of four teams in the NFL that has yet to pick up a win. Much of the teams issues has been in the secondary something that A.J. Green singled out in week 3 in Baltimore. Along with the teams struggles on defense the teams offensive line has failed to block to allow the teams running game to get going. Some of that could be due to the fact the team has been without their starting left tackle Eugene Monroe since early in the teams first game.
Despite the Ravens struggles and the Steelers being without Big Ben we expect these two teams to give it all they have on Thursday Night Football based on what we have seen from them in past meetings. Here is how these two teams have stacked up in the last few meetings.
Past Meetings: These two teams are very familiar with each other meeting at least twice a season playing in the AFC North. Last season the Ravens were able to pick up wins in two of the three games they faced off with one of them coming in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. During the regular season though the Ravens have not won a game at Heinz Field since the teams first meeting back during the 2012 NFL season.
Betting Trends: As we start to look at this matchup on paper the opening line sat with the Steelers as a 1.5 point favor. That has all changed due to the injury as the Ravens are now a 2.5 point favor. The injury could have played a key part in the over/under line as well as the line dropped from 45.5 points to 44.5 points.
Looking at a few of the trends has us looking at how each team has faired against each other against the spread. Entering this contest the Steelers are 3-2 against the spread over the past five meetings including the playoffs last season.
While this game could play out with either team picking up the win we do however like the over 44.5 points despite the Steelers not having Roethlisberger behind center. The Ravens defense has struggled in back to back weeks after losing Terrell Suggs for the rest of the season. Look for Antonio Brown to get involved in the offense from the opening snap while the Ravens have showed they can put up points to keep up.
Key Injury Impact: All eyes will be on Michael Vick in week 4 as the team will be without Ben Roethlisberger. This injury comes at a bad time for the Steelers as the Cincinnati Bengals have started the season at 3-0. Along with the question marks for fans the injury has the Ravens as high as a three point favor despite the game being played on the road in Pittsburgh.