Ravens Going After All


There is no question about the fact that the Baltimore Ravens, after suffering a disappointing setback in the season opener, beat the pants off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second game of the season. Now that these two teams are tied in the AFC North with 5-3 records, another win by Baltimore over Pittsburgh will have massive ramifications when it comes to figuring out who either wins the division title or gets to advance as a wild-card team. So the stage is set for Sunday night football, and kickoff is slated for 8:30 PM ET at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

It is certainly important that Baltimore have a leg up on at least one of the contenders in the division, after losing once again to Cincinnati last week. The Bengals are the division leaders at the moment, but the two Sunday night contestants are certainly within striking distance.

America’s Bookie customers witnessed an historic performance by Ben Roethlisberger last week as he completely decimated the Indianapolis Colts’ defense, and they know that even if Big Ben falls short of doing something similar, he is capable of doing great damage to a Baltimore secondary that will be without cornerback Jimmy Smith. The Ravens have allowed only seven touchdown passes, which is just one more than Roethlisberger threw last week alone. So they have all the confidence of the world that they will be a tougher nut to crack.

In the Sunday night football odds that have been posted at America’s Bookie, the Ravens are favored on the road:

Baltimore Ravens -2
Pittsburgh Steelers  +2

Over 47.5 points  -110
Under 47.5 points  -110

Baltimore would love to control the football on the ground the same way it did the first time when it played the Steelers, as the Ravens piled up 157 yards on 36 attempts. And admittedly, there have been some questions involving Pittsburgh’s ability to stop the run, or inability as it were (4.5 yards per carry allowed). Baltimore seems to have a good solution in the backfield as Justin Forsett has compiled an average of 5.5 yards per attempt. And although wide receiver Torrey Smith is listed as questionable, off-season acquisition Steve Smith (no relation) has four 100-yard games under his belt already.

So the question America’s Bookie customers have is whether Joe Flacco can keep his mistakes to a minimum. The guy can look absolutely brilliant; football bettors have seen that in the past, as he had a terrific run leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory a couple of seasons ago. And he threw five touchdowns against Tampa Bay in the first half three weeks ago. But interestingly enough, aside from that performance, he has one touchdown pass and four interceptions on the road.

The 26-6 Baltimore blowout in the season’s second week was the exception to the rule. This has been a notoriously close series, with ten of the last 13 meetings being decided by three points or less. So an educated NFL bettor might be inclined to take any points available, especially if it is on the part of the home team. The Ravens, however, have emerged victorious three of the last four times they have visited Heinz Field. So in a sense, there is no “form” these meetings can possibly be expected to follow.

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