Steelers vs Ravens Prediction NFL Picks Today 10/8
- Lm Tipster
- Oct 8, 2023, 4:57:52 AM
© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Steelers vs. Ravens - AFC North Showdown
This Sunday, the AFC North rivalry takes center stage as the Pittsburgh Steelers play host to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens currently lead the division with a 3-1 record, closely followed by the 2-2 Steelers. Their past encounters have been nail-biters, with two games last season decided by a mere 5 points. The Ravens enter this clash as 4-point favorites. The action kicks off at 1:00 p.m. ET at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh.
The Baltimore Ravens have navigated through a somewhat shaky start to the season, yet they find themselves atop the AFC North with a 3-1 record. Their ability to secure wins even when not playing at their best showcases the mark of a strong team. In their latest triumph, they dominated the Cleveland Browns, securing a convincing 28-3 victory. Notably, the Browns were without Deshaun Watson, but what truly stood out was the Ravens' capacity to score 28 points against the NFL's best defense.
The Ravens leaned on their defense to create offensive opportunities, tallying three interceptions and four sacks. Quarterback Lamar Jackson displayed efficiency, completing 15 of 19 passes for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns, without any interceptions. Jackson also contributed with his legs, rushing for 27 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Mark Andrews had a stellar outing, catching 5 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Baltimore averages 24.8 points per game, ranking 12th in the league, with a balanced offensive attack.
Defensively, the Ravens are a formidable unit, allowing just 14.5 points per game, which ranks 3rd in the league. They give up an average of 260.8 total yards per game, breaking down to 168.3 passing yards (3rd) and 92.5 rushing yards (7th). Their ability to stifle opposing offenses has been a key factor in their early-season success.
Despite their solid performance, the Ravens have had to contend with injuries, with around 20 players on the injury list. On a positive note, Rashod Bateman is listed as probable. Notably, WR Odell Beckham and OT Ronnie Stanley (knee) are questionable but practiced during the week. Furthermore, CB Marlon Humphrey (foot) is expected to make his season debut, adding depth to their defense.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an inconsistent start to the season, making them a challenging team to gauge. Their performance has fluctuated, with moments of promise and disappointments. Last week, they suffered a humbling 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans, a game in which rookie quarterback CJ Stroud led the Texans to victory. The big question mark for the Steelers remains Kenny Pickett, whose status as the franchise quarterback of the present and future is uncertain. Pickett struggled last week, throwing for just 114 yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception. Although Pickett is listed as probable and expected to start against the Ravens, his hold on the starting QB job is tenuous, especially after a lackluster performance.
The Steelers' offense has struggled to find its rhythm, averaging just 15.5 points per game, ranking 25th in the league. They gain an average of 284 yards per game, which is 30th in the NFL. Their passing game, led by Pickett, averages 205.3 yards (24th), while their ground game averages 78.8 yards (29th).
Defensively, the Steelers have allowed an average of 25 points per game, which is 23rd in the league. They yield 403 total yards per game, ranking 30th in the NFL. Their pass defense allows 254.4 yards per game (26th), and their rush defense concedes 148.5 yards per game (29th).
The Steelers face challenges with key players sidelined. TE Freiermuth and WR Diontae Johnson are unavailable. Additionally, three offensive linemen, James Daniels, Dan Moore, and Chukwuma Okorafor, are questionable for the game.
Considering the historical closeness of their matchups and the recent offensive struggles of both teams, the under of 38 points is a prudent choice. These AFC North rivals have a history of tight, low-scoring games, and with both offenses facing inconsistencies and injuries, it's likely that this game will follow suit.
- Historical Trends: Previous encounters between these teams have often resulted in close contests with limited scoring.
- Offensive Inefficiencies: Both the Ravens and the Steelers have struggled to put up points consistently this season, making the under an attractive betting option.
- Defensive Focus: The strong defensive units on both sides are likely to stifle offensive production, contributing to a lower-scoring game.
Considering these factors, expect a hard-fought, low-scoring battle between the Steelers and Ravens, making the under of 38 points the favorable bet.