2007 Season NFL Football Past Picks
December 30, 2007
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Sunday 12/30 04:15 PM Eastern
3 units on Baltimore +3.5 (-110) (risk 3 to return 3) RESULT: WIN
Pittsburgh stopped the bleeding last week ending a two-game slide by easily handling the Rams 41-24. They took a huge hit in that game though, losing the NFL's leading rusher, Willie Parker, for the rest of the season. It's the biggest fear of any coach down the stretch is to lose a key player or two, and with that fresh in the mind, you can bet playing Steelers starters throughout in this one won't likely happen. The absence of an able-bodied QB for Baltimore led to Troy Smith's first start last week. He played good, completing 16 of 33 passes for 199 yards and a TD, with no INTs. In Baltimore, that's certainly an upgrade. Baltimore has lost nine straight games, and you'd think they'd want to wipe out the pain of defeat, and secure one victory before the season ends. No one wants to end the season on an 0-10 run. The Steelers haven't won in Baltimore since 2002. This line in itself, is begging for Pittsburgh action. Think about it. San Diego is in Oakland this week in a similar game (one bad team that is out of the playoffs hosting a team going into the playoffs). San Diego is better than a TD favorite, while here the Steelers are favored by just a field goal. You might say that Baltimore is better than Oakland. But are they? The Ravens have managed two ATS wins all season, have lost nine in a row and are missing many key players. And, the Steelers do have something to play for - a better seed if they win and San Diego loses. Yet the line is hovering around a field goal. The oddsmakers seem to be begging you to take the Steelers. We're not biting. Since last season, the Steelers are 1-8 ATS on the road following a win and 0-6 ATS after scoring 35+ points. When a team is at its lowest, sometimes that's the time to back them. Baltimore is at rock bottom and heated divisional rivalries sometimes yield the unexpected, as we saw in Chicago last week. The Ravens surprise here.