AFC rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh collide in the Steel City for this week's edition of Monday Night Football. The Steelers are priced as 10 1/2-point favorites and the posted total is set at, or around 34.Arguably the NFL's biggest disappointment and desperate for a win, the Ravens flail in at 2-4 (SU & ATS) overall and a perfect 0-3 (SU & ATS) when away from home. Baltimore's troubles can pretty well be boiled down to two words: "Pathetic Offense.
".The Ravens 25th ranked offensive attack is producing an unsightly 11.5 points per contest overall and generating fewer than 300 yards per game.
Meanwhile, the Black Birds once formidable ground game is mustering a pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry and just 96.8 yards per tilt.The Ravens offense has yet to score more than 17 points in a game and has just one touchdown in the past eight and a half quarters of play.
Making matters a bit more complex for Raven's Coach Billick is that his long-time insurance policy may have a limited effect tonight.The Raven's 2nd ranked stop unit, which has offset Baltimore's own offensive shortcomings for years, will be missing two former NFL defensive players of the year tonight. Linebacker Ray Lewis is nursing a thigh, while safety Ed Reed is out with a bum knee.Then there is Pittsburgh, which comes in at 4-2 (SU & ATS) overall and 1-2 (SU & ATS) at "Ketchup Field". Despite the media and public hyping this game as a major mismatch, Pittsburgh and Baltimore have curiously similar stats.The Steelers rank 20th in the NFL in total offense with 319 yards per game, while the Black Birds are 25th with 296.
5 YPG. Pittsburgh's defense ranks 8th in the NFL with 296.2 yards per game against, while Baltimore's stop unit is 2nd with 251.7 YPG-A.Really and truly, the Steelers 7th ranked ground attack, which is pounding out 136.3 yard per game, is seemingly the only major edge for PIT as far as the stats go.
The main caveat to this argument, however, is strength of schedule.Baltimore's two wins both came at home and were against teams (NY Jets and Cleveland) with a combined 4-10 (SU) record this season. And save for an opening week loss to Indy, the Raven's setbacks have come against mediocre opponents such as 2-4 Detroit, 4-3 Chicago and 2-6 Tennessee.Meanwhile, the Steelers six opponents include four playoff caliber foes with 4-3 New England, 4-4 San Diego, 4-3 Jacksonville and 6-2 Cincinnati.
To be fair, Pittsburgh does have two wins against the likes of Tennessee and Houston.The series history also favors Pittsburgh here. The Steelers, in fact, are 6-2 (ATS) the past eight meetings overall and en eye-opening 16-6 (ATS) on Monday Night Football under the guidance of Head Coach "Jaws" Cower.Good luck tonight!..William Foote is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League.
Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/William_Foote.htm.
By: William Foote