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AFC Conference Championship Playoff Spread: Ravens vs. Steelers

AFC Conference Championship Pick – Baltimore vs Pittsburgh

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers meet for the third time this season with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake. The Ravens will be trying to beat the Steelers for the first time this season while the Steelers will be trying to beat the Ravens for the third time this season.  

Pittsburgh is now the favorite in the BetUS online sportsbook to win the Super Bowl. It’s been hard for this sports betting fan to make a case against the Steel Men after they were fantastic in the second half of their divisional playoff victory over the San Diego Chargers. The Steelers appear to be firing on all cylinders at the right time of the year. They have a very good offense with Big Ben, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Willie Parker and the defense is ranked number one in the NFL. Pittsburgh did release some bad news today. Arguably their best defensive player, Troy Polamalu, is suffering from an injury. He will be playing on Sunday but his effectiveness has to be questioned by NFL betting fans.

The Baltimore Ravens have won two playoff games on the road already and will be looking to win their third when they take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday. Football betting fans have been backing the Ravens all season, or they should have been because the Ravens finished the season with a 12 and 4 record against the BetUS online betting spread. Since they’ve covered against Miami and beat the spread against Tennessee, the Ravens are now 14 and 4 against the BetUS online wagering spread this season.

Here are the BetUS online sportsbook betting odds for this game.

Baltimore Ravens +6 -110 +210 O 34 -110
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 -110 -250 U 34 -110

Here are a few online wagering trends for this game that might help us find a good online bet.

The Baltimore Ravens are 8 and 1 against the spread in their last 9 games versus a team from the AFC Conference.
The Over is 4 and 1 in the Baltimore Ravens last 5 games as the underdog.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4 and 1 in their last 5 games as the favorite.
The Over is 12 and 4 in the Pittsburgh Steelers last 16 games versus an AFC opponent.

Most football betting fan should know both of these teams fairly well by now which is why I am very surprised that the Pittsburgh Steelers are such big favorites in this game. The BetUS online sportsbook odds makers opened the line at Pittsburgh – 5 ½. Now Pittsburgh is a 6 point favorite.

Really? It makes no sense to me because the Steelers needed a last second field goal to beat Baltimore by three points in their first meeting of the season. Then, in the second meeting the Steelers won by a score of 13 to 9 in Baltimore.

Don’t get me wrong, Pittsburgh is a very good team. I actually picked them to win the Super Bowl when the season started, but I can’t in good conscience give up 6 points to the Baltimore Ravens. This is true even if all signs point towards the Steelers winning this game with ease.

Well, that’s the thing, right? All signs aren’t pointing to the Steelers winning this game against their arch rivals with ease. In fact, most of the signs point to an upset both against the BetUS online betting spread and straight-up.

 NFC Conference Championship Playoff Spread

Here are some things to think about.

1. It’s difficult to beat a team 3 times in one season.
2. Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco is better now then he was when the Ravens met the Steelers during the regular season.
3. The Steelers best defensive player, Troy Polamalu, won’t be 100% for this game.
4. Pittsburgh usually fails in AFC Conference Championship games.

Okay, so these might not be good enough reasons for me to make a BetUS online money line wager on the Ravens to upset the Steelers straight-up.

But that’s what I’m going to do. In rival games where the defenses are so evenly matched a single player being hurt could turn the game around. If the Ravens can block James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers’ two best linebackers, then the job of stopping the run usually falls to Troy Polamalu. Well, not only will Poloamalu be hurt in this game he will have to tackle huge Le’Ron McClain.

What does that mean? Polamalu will need help from free safety Tyrone Carter leaving underrated Ravens’ wide receiver Michael Clayton out there in single coverage. Flacco and Clayton have begun to develop a special rhythm. That means that the Ravens offense isn’t nearly as vanilla as some football betting fans might think.

When the Steelers have the ball, the Ravens defense is loaded with talent. Both Fabian Washington and Samari Rolle can cover the Steelers’ wide receivers one on one because Ed Reed, the Ravens’ brilliant free safety, won’t have to help against the run. The Ravens’ strong safety, Jim Leonhard is adept at both stopping the run and covering wide receivers in man to man.

Then, of course, there’s the Ravens’ front seven that’s just plain scary. Haloti Ngata, the Ravens’ nose tackle, is a force. If you get past him, you have to deal with future Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis and fantastic linebacker Terrell Suggs.

The Ravens’ defense is very different than the defense that the Steelers faced last Sunday. This defense will kick you in the mouth.

But the real reason that I’m going to make an online money line bet on the Ravens to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers is because I just can’t pass up the BetUS online NFL betting odds.

Ravens vs. Steelers Prediction:

The Baltimore Ravens are +210 to beat the Steelers straight-up. To me, the odds say that the bet is worth it. The Ravens have a shot. At +210 on the money line I have to back up my opinion with real dollars.

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