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Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens odds, betting preview, pick

The Steelers are road underdogs facing a potentially fragile Baltimore Ravens team. Expect the spread to inch closer to a pickem.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-1 ATS with three outright upsets in their last six road games against the Baltimore Ravens.

The line

Pittsburgh is a 2.5-point road underdog this Thursday night in Baltimore.

The history

Games between these two AFC North rivals are always too close to call as this series has been split 10-10 SU and 9-9-2 ATS over the last 20 games. However, Pittsburgh's road success against the Ravens and recent form make the Steelers the pick in this one.

Pittsburgh opened its season last year with a disastrous 2-6 SU and ATS first half including an 0-4 SU and ATS start. Since then, though, the Steelers are 7-2 SU and ATS over their last nine games.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 27-3 lead in the first half last week at home against Cleveland, but ended up letting the Browns back into the game before kicking a game-winning field goal in the closing seconds.

The Steelers likely won't make the mistake of losing their focus at the half again this week after almost blowing last Sunday's big lead.

Baltimore is 0-3 SU and ATS over its last three games after losing 23-16 in a hard fought game at home against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Ravens went 4-0 SU and ATS over the preseason, but that success didn't carry over into the regular season.

The total has gone OVER in four of Baltimore's last six games and in each of the last three games between the Steelers and the Ravens.

Off-the-field distractions can hinder a team's focus during the week, and the Baltimore Ravens have had to deal with a huge scandal with Ray Rice being cut from the team and suspended by the NFL indefinitely.

The Ravens must not only weather the storm of not having Rice in the lineup but also the media storm surrounding the team during a short week. Their Super Bowl odds plunged at Bovada to 66-1 with the news.

The pick

Pittsburgh's determination to start the season off on the right foot after last year's bad start and Baltimore's off-the-field distractions both point to some potential value in the Steelers as an upset pick at +2.5.