After winning his final game in Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be playing for an outside shot at making the playoffs.
The Ravens also have an unlikely chance at reaching the postseason after losing their last five games.
With this in mind, let’s look into the best bets for this contest.
Richard’s Prediction Picks Record: 13-16 (-0.10 units)
Please note that all NFL gameday odds are current as of 3 p.m. EST on January 7, 2022.
Steelers vs Ravens Prediction
In order for the Steelers to make the playoffs, they need to not only win this game but need the Jacksonville Jaguars to take down the Indianapolis Colts and for the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders game to end in anything except for a tie.
Considering the Colts are north of two touchdowns in the spread department, it seems highly unlikely.
The Ravens have an even more unlikely path to the postseason, needing a win against the Steelers, a Jaguars win over the Colts, a Dolphins win or tie against the Patriots, and a Chargers loss to the Raiders to sneak in.
That task will be even tougher without quarterback Lamar Jackson who will miss another game due to injury, leaving the Ravens to turn to Tyler Huntley yet again.
Huntley, who played extremely well against the Green Bay Packers earlier this season, did not perform nearly as well against the Los Angeles Rams last week in a 20-19 loss that was a crushing blow to Baltimore’s playoff chances.
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While there is still something to play for, as we saw on Monday Night Football in Week 17, the Steelers may have won, but Roethlisberger is simply at the end of the line.
Against the Browns, Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 42.8 out of 100. He threw for 123 yards on 46 attempts and threw a single interception and touchdown. Roethlisberger also had three turnover-worthy plays.
The Ravens are depleted on the back-end, but the Steelers and Big Ben are simply not equipped to take advantage of it. The Ravens will key in on running back Najee Harris and will do all they can to not allow him to beat them.
The Roethlisberger story ends here, on the road, in Baltimore in our NFL pick of the day series.
Prediction: Ravens 21, Steelers 17
Steelers vs Ravens Best Bets
Best Bet: Ravens -3.5 (-113) at TwinSpires
Wager: 0.25 Units
In all honesty, the spread market here is one I’d mostly avoid, but the Ravens are a fairly sharp bet here.
Huntley may not have played as well against the Rams, but he did still earn a 73.3 grade from PFF. He lacked the statistical output, but he did push the ball downfield a bit more, posting a 9.9 average depth of the target, which was by far his best of the season in games he’s started.
The Steelers are built well along the defensive line, but the secondary and coverage unit is definitely beatable.
At home, Huntley possesses enough athletic ability to take down the Steelers and has the weapons to do so, too.
Best Bet: Under 41 Total Points (-110) at TwinSpires
Wager: 1 Unit
Although I’ve made Huntley sound like this world-beater, he definitely is not. He had a monster game against the Packers, but he could not perform as well statistically against the Rams.
The Steelers offer a defense that is more appetizing, but neither of these offenses strikes me as a threat for a higher-scoring game.
Unless Huntley goes bonkers as he did against Green Bay, the Ravens are probably good for about three touchdowns or so.
The Steelers, however, essentially rely on a running game and an extension of the running game with all of Roethlisberger’s short passes. Over the last three weeks, Roethlisberger has not posted an average depth of target over 6.5 and has five turnover-worthy plays.
With so many holes on the offense, I can see both teams inching toward the 20 point total, but they’ll have a tough time crossing it leading to the under.
Thanks for reading our NFL Week 18 Ravens vs Steelers Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 18 Parlay Picks.