Ravens May Have Nice Setup in Seeking First Win
By Charles Jay
The Baltimore Ravens are experiencing a number of problems over the first three games, including plenty in the secondary. If they were facing Ben Roethlisberger this week, that would be one problem. But they may catch a break with Michael Vick having to step forward in an injury situation for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This AFC North matchup takes place at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, starting at 8:30 PM ET on Thursday. It will be televised by CBS, and BetAnySports customers can place wagers while they are following the action, through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
Ravens vs Steelers BETTING LINE:
In the reduced juice NFL odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Ravens have to carry a number on the road:
- Baltimore Ravens -2.5 (-108)
- Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5 (-102)
- Over 43.5 points -107
- Under 43.5 points -103
Has Baltimore been snake-bitten? Well, it’s tough to say that, because mistakes on their part, and the inability to cover, have led to their demise in each of the first three games. Interceptions in the opener from Joe Flacco, who had only 100 yards through the air, grounded them in Denver. Then they allowed David Carr to throw for 351 yards and lost to the Oakland Raiders. Last week, at home against Cincinnati, they had the opportunity to notch a victory but could not deal with the Andy Dalton-AJ Green combination in the fourth quarter, losing the lead TWICE. Green had 227 yards on the day, and the Ravens did not have a rushing game either (36 yards on 18 carries).
So here they are in that “must-win” situation again.
The Ravens unquestionably have to get Justin Forsett unleashed. The 8th-year pro had his breakout season in 2014, as he averaged 5.4 yards per attempt as the man who filled Ray Rice’s shoes, but he has been close to a non-factor thus far, with 124 yards through the first three games. Basically things have been in the hands of Flacco, the former Super Bowl MVP who has put the ball up 94 times in the last two weeks. Needless to say, there is not a lot of balance in the Baltimore offense.
But perhaps it is their good luck that the defense has shown the ability to cause some in-balance on the part of opponents. BetAnySports patrons may not be fully aware of this, but the Ravens have now gone 29 consecutive games without allowing a running back to gain 100 yards against them.
This carries some significance, particularly if the Steelers go to a pared-down playbook to accommodate using Vick in the starting slot after Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury. There have been hints that Pittsburgh will try to emphasize the run, and for all intents and purposes that means a heavy dose of Le’Veon Bell, who came back last weekend against St. Louis after serving a two-game suspension. Bell was injured when the Steelers and Ravens played in last year’s first round of the post-season, but during the two regular season contests he had just 79 yards on 21 carries. So it stands to reason that the Ravens may elect to halt the run first and see what Vick can accomplish with his arm.
BetAnySports customers are in for a lot of excitement on Thursday night, as they get reduced juice NFL odds to play with, as well as Live Betting Extra, which is a thrill a minute. Remember that major credit cards and Bitcoin can be used to open accounts!