Two perspectives surround the suddenly flat Pittsburgh Steelers, who are preparing to host the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens.
One comes from the fans, who shudder at Pittsburgh’s three-game winless streak and fading 5-5-1 mark.
The other is from Mountain State bettors, who recently wagered into the belief that the Steelers were due for a fall and have prevailed in two of the last three games.
Pittsburgh is a clear but not lopsided underdog this week.
Have the Steelers hit the high-water mark and quit?
It is time to bemoan their slump, marked by a tie against the winless Detroit Lions, a close setback to the Los Angeles Chargers and last Sunday’s 41-10 blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
This was uncharacteristic for a Mike Tomlin-Ben Roethlisberger team. Can the Steelers rebound with pride? They are 2.5 games behind the Ravens but have two meetings left with them, including this one.
It’s now or never.
There was a realization by several Mountain State gamblers that the Steelers had ridden high on borrowed time. Their razor-thin victories against the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears may have artificially pumped their win-loss record from 1-3 to 5-3 three weeks back.
Follow the subsequent pattern: They flopped as a big chalk against the Lions, snared a cover in a losing effort against the Chargers and melted against the Bengals.
Contrarians who thought the Steelers had previously played over their heads have been rewarded by betting against them recently.
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Look what happens when Najee Harris can’t get his touches. The Steelers back only had 11, as the Bengals removed him early from consideration as a rusher. No Najee, no spark. The Steelers will have to get him going, even in space, against a tough Ravens defense.
Diontae Johnson is a good yardage and scoring target. He had 95 yards last week and remains Roethlisberger’s most reliable wide receiver.
Tight end Pat Freiermuth as an anytime scorer has become more viable by the week.
He tallied the Steelers’ lone touchdown last week and has been important as Roethlisberger’s third-down and safety-valve receiver. The modern-day Heath Miller excels under the radar. Along with Harris, he has been the most pleasant surprise on the Pittsburgh offense.
Baltimore Bettors May Eye Defense
Gamblers will monitor the odds on a Roethlisberger interception when they go up. If he faces intense heat from the Ravens defense, Big Ben will likely be picked.
Bettors may ponder a defensive score for the Ravens, given that Roethlisberger hurled a pick-six last week. Defensive tallies pay in the range of +400 to +500 as an anytime development and between +2500 and +3000 as a first-time score.
If considering a first score for a defense, gamblers usually back up that speculative play with an anytime touchdown as a separate bet.
The same holds true for any first-touchdown scorer. Your player can be tackled at the one-yard line and another player run it in on the next play. But take the same player as an anytime scorer and there is insurance.
Lamar Jackson’s four-interception performance against Cleveland most likely won’t be repeated. Can Pittsburgh at least make him uncomfortable?
DraftKings West Virginia has a prop for Jackson to get 324 yards combined rushing and passing.
There is another for the first score of the game on the opening offensive drive, regardless of which team gets the ball. A score is +190, no score is -250.
Pittsburgh is a profitable bet in any of the races to a point total. The race to 10 points is +140, 15 points is +160 and to 20 is +210.
This bet is not profitable for gamblers who believe the Ravens will hit these plateaus first.
Longest field goal made is +115 for Baltimore, -120 for Pittsburgh and +1500 for neither. This bet may come into play, as both rely heavily enough on the three-point boot. Justin Tucker in plus numbers has appeal.
Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Ravens Props
Bettors can get right in on the action with the first drive and score with Caesars WV.
Outcome of first drive:
- Punt -124
- Touchdown +370
- Field goal attempt +390
- Turnover +450
- Punt +102
- Touchdown +265
- Field goal attempt +370
- Turnover +490
First score of the game:
- Baltimore touchdown +160
- Pittsburgh touchdown +260
- Baltimore field goal +320
- Pittsburgh field goal +360
- Baltimore safety +2800
- Pittsburgh safety +3600
In Baltimore’s last five games, it has scored the game’s first points with a field goal four times, and its opponent did so once.
The Ravens have scored 10, 10 and 16 points in their last three games. With only 36 points, however, they prevailed twice.
The Ravens stole three wins against the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. One play different late in those games, and Baltimore would be 5-6.