Ravens vs. Steelers Week 14 matchup preview and current betting lines
The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) are looking for a fifth win in a row over their rival Baltimore Ravens (8-4), who won last week against Denver but lost quarterback Lamar Jackson to a PCL injury. Expectations are that Jackson will miss at least this game, if not more.
It was around this time last year when the 8-4 Ravens lost Jackson and then went on to lose their last five games to miss the playoffs at 8-9. Jackson never did return to action despite the team insisting his injury was not a season-ending one. We have heard similar sentiments this week, so hopefully it is not just a repeat of last year for this team, which still has the lead in the AFC North thanks to a tiebreaker with the 8-4 Bengals.
But it is Tyler Huntley time again for the Ravens, and Huntley lost 16-13 in overtime against the Steelers in Week 18 last year when the playoffs were still on the line. Huntley has six games with Baltimore where he threw at least 30 passes, and the Ravens are 2-4 in those games. However, the six games were decided by a grand total of 11 points, so the margins are razor thin when he is in the game with his dink-and-dunk approach and ability to scramble.
But the Steelers have gone 3-1 since the bye week thanks to not turning the ball over in four straight games, the first time in franchise history the team has done that in a single season. It will be hard to go another game without such a mistake, though the Ravens are coming off their first game without a takeaway this season.
The NFL Week 14 odds have the Steelers as a 2-point home favorite with a total of 36.5 points. This is Steelers vs. Ravens; it should be low scoring and close.
Players to watch in the Ravens vs. Steelers game
Mark Andrews: He is one of the best tight ends in the game and Huntley should be focusing on him this week. But he may not want to lean on him as much as he did the last time he faced Pittsburgh as Andrews had 15 targets out of Huntley’s 31 pass attempts last year. He finished with eight catches for 85 yards. Andrews has not caught a touchdown since Week 6.
George Pickens: The rookie wideout has been in the news for reportedly complaining about a lack of targets, but he has a valid point when he only had one catch on two targets for 2 yards in Atlanta. He is way too talented to not be more involved with the offense, which still only has three touchdown catches by wide receivers this year. With Diontae Johnson a little banged up, look for Pickens to have a big game
Our Best NFL Bets for the Ravens vs. Steelers game
We have two NFL Week 14 predictions for this classic showdown in the AFC North.
Ravens vs. Steelers Point Spread Pick: Steelers -2 (-110)
The Ravens vs. Steelers spread opened with the Steelers as a 1-point home favorite. It has gone up to 3-point favorite at some places and is settling in around 2 points going into the weekend.
The Steelers have gone from an embarrassing offense to a competent one since the bye week. Has rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett been the catalyst to this turnaround? Not quite. Pickett’s recent strength has been taking care of the ball better, but he still only has two touchdowns in the last four games and is averaging 6.5 yards per pass.
Pickett is playing better but running back Najee Harris looks just as much like a new player than the quarterback does. He has been very solid in the last four games and seems to be showing better vision with the ball in his hands.
Pittsburgh’s rushing game has gone from averaging 94.9 yards to 161.3 yards over the last four games. The offense is also converting 50% of the time on third down after just 33.6% of the time in the first eight games when they were 2-6 and turning it over too much. Scoring has gone up from 15.0 points per game to 23.3 points per game.
The defense has been pivotal too as the Steelers have held three of the last four opponents under 20 points. They are catching a break by not facing Lamar Jackson, though the truth is he has not been great in his history against Pittsburgh’s defense. But he is a better option than Huntley, who has a limited arm and is not as dynamic a runner as Jackson.
But it should still be a close game in the fourth quarter. The spread is tiny enough for the Steelers to cover it by a field goal, which feels like the safe pick for your NFL bet of the week.
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Total: Under 36.5 Points (-106)
This is one of the lowest totals of the season, but if you know the Steelers and Ravens, then you know these teams are masters of the entertaining game that ends 13-9, 13-10, 17-14, or any other low-scoring combo.
The last meeting was 16-13 in overtime and that was a game with Ben Roethlisberger on his last legs and Huntley at quarterback for the Ravens. The Ravens just played a 10-9 game with Denver and a 13-3 game with Carolina a few weeks ago as the offense has been struggling for some time now.
The Steelers just played a 19-16 game in Atlanta that was deceptively low scoring with neither team having more than eight possessions. But with the Steelers’ recent rushing success and the way Huntley chips away at you with short completions, this could be a game with few possessions if both offenses play well.
T.J. Watt is also not practicing in full this week with a rib injury as he hasn’t looked as dominant since his return. But the defense has improved with him back. The Steelers held the Saints to 10 points in Week 10, which was their last home game against a subpar offense this year. Not everyone can do to this defense what the Bengals did in Week 11. When the Steelers aren’t playing elite teams like the Eagles, Bills, and Bengals this year, they hold up pretty well on defense, with or without Watt.
All things considered with a rookie and a backup quarterback going at it in a Steelers-Ravens game, the under looks attractive enough to pick in this game.bet on NFL with Betrivers >
Frequently asked questions about the Ravens vs. Steelers game in Week 14
The game is being played at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh’s active streak of four straight games without a turnover is a franchise record. Only nine offenses in the Super Bowl era have gone at least five games without a turnover: 1997-98 Chiefs (5), 2010 Patriots (7), 2011 49ers (5), 2012-13 Titans (5), 2015 Chiefs (5), 2016 Packers (5), 2017 Chiefs (6), 2019 Cardinals (5), and 2021 Bengals (5).