Sunday, October 25, 2020, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland, 1 p.m. ET
Steelers at Ravens Betting Preview: Steelers (+3.5/-104), Ravens (-3.5/-118)
The Steelers, the last remaining unbeaten team in the NFL, figure to receive a stern test from the Ravens. Pittsburgh (6-0) hasn’t been dominating, posting only two double-digit victories, but the team has been resilient and able to rely on a defense that ranks first in the NFL in total defense (286.3 yards per game) and sacks (26).
Linebackers T.J. Watt (5.5 sacks) and Vince Williams have stood out, as they share the NFL lead with 12 tackles for loss apiece.
The Steelers are averaging 30.5 points per game — sixth in the NFL — as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues a strong comeback season. Roethlisberger, who sustained a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2 of the 2019 season, has rebounded to pass for 1,446 yards and 13 touchdowns against four interceptions — but three of the picks came last week against the Tennessee Titans.
Wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster (32 receptions) is averaging just 8.7 yards per catch, but he set season highs of nine receptions and 85 yards last week.
Cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder) missed Wednesday’s practice but has a chance at playing after sitting out against the Titans. Pittsburgh needs all its defensive players on the field against a physical Baltimore offense.
The Ravens (5-1) are fresh after having a bye last weekend to follow a three-game winning streak. Baltimore landed another big piece for its defense that allows a league-low 17.3 points by acquiring defensive end Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings. Ngakoue recorded five sacks for Minnesota and will further boost a Ravens pass rush that ranks second in the NFL at 3.7 sacks per game.
The Ravens have a sagging passing game that rates 31st in the NFL at 177.8 yards per game, so they are taking a chance on former Dallas Cowboys standout Dez Bryant, whom they signed to their practice squad.
The 31-year-old veteran hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2017, but he topped 1,200 yards on three occasions when he was at the top of his game. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has thrown for 1,135 yards and 10 touchdowns against two interceptions and has added 346 yards and two scores on the ground.
Running back Mark Ingram II (225 rushing yards, two touchdowns) is still dealing with an ankle injury sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 18, and he sat out Wednesday’s practice. So far this season, Ingram hasn’t displayed the form that saw him rush for 1,018 yards and 10 scores last season.
Steelers at Ravens Betting Pick for Week 8
It is always a tough, physical game when these two squads meet up, and this latest clash won’t be any different. Baltimore would love to knock the Steelers from the ranks of the unbeaten while Pittsburgh would like to leave victorious and take a major step toward possibly earning the AFC’s No. 1 seed down the line.
The Steelers will look to make Jackson throw the ball against their strong defense. Roethlisberger figures to have better success throwing against the sturdy Baltimore defense, but it may not be enough to leave town with a victory.
Steelers at Ravens Betting Pick:
Ravens 23, Steelers 20
Steelers at Ravens Best Bet for Week 8
Two tough defenses in a game between bitter rivals featuring long-time coaches who have broken the down the opponents’ game plan numerous times.
The chess match between Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Baltimore’s John Harbaugh tends to tilt toward strong defensive play as the teams have combined for 40 or fewer points in six of the past nine matchups.
Steelers at Ravens Best Bet: UNDER 46.5 total points (-115)