2002 Season NFL Football Past Picks
October 27, 2002
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Sunday 10/27 01:00 PM Eastern
4 units on Baltimore +2.5 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64) RESULT: LOSS
Baltimore enters this game on a roll, having won three out of their last four after a rocky start. If Ray Lewis plays (he practiced for the first time this week), they should win this game. The Ravens offense has shown life in the last few games and feature a revived running game (Jamal Lewis-576 rushing yards) and a star-in-the-making in rookie tight end Todd Heap (four touchdowns).
Pittsburgh is coming off an emotionally draining Monday night game and are without Jerome Bettis and their starting center, Jeff Hartings, due to injury. As I mentioned above, an injury to the center position is the most impactful in my opinion due to the problems it can cause from a turnover perspective (and the fact that the spread usually doesn’t account for injuries to non-skill positions).
I am a little worried about how well Tommy Maddox is playing but his success has come against poor-to-average defenses. This week he faces a bend-but-don’t-break Baltimore defense (9th in the league in scoring defense). Baltimore and the home crowd will have no problem getting up for this game, as it decides first place in the AFC North. Take the home team and the points against a slightly overrated Steeler team.