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NFL Best Bets: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers   

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one game away from clinching the AFC North but first they need to figure out a Baltimore Ravens team that has won four-straight games in this series.

BALTIMORE AT PITTSBURGH

Line: Steelers -5 and O/U 44

Baltimore has won three of four and they are riding a streak of December overs vs. the Dolphins, Patriots and Eagles. The Ravens are only 6-8 against the spread this season with 10 of 14 games decided by a margin of seven points or less. It’s typical John Harbaugh style, playing cards close to the vest and relying on a defense that are allowing just 18.8 points per game.

The Ravens have been a gold mine for teaser bettors, going 12-1-1 in a six-pointer, but against any team on a hot streak they are just 17-27-2 ATS with Harbaugh, including a 3-9-1 ATS record in more recent games. 

Pittsburgh is one of the hottest teams in the league, going 5-0 SU/ATS ever since that scoring fest against the Cowboys. It was as if that 35-30 loss triggered an internal alarm for Mike Tomlin and his veteran staff. Letting top rushers trample you in your own backyard while their rookie quarterback puts up 300-plus passing yards is not Steeler football. 

Since then, Pittsburgh has scored 24-plus points in every game and they are yet to allow more than 20 points to any opponent. It’s right inline with the team’s scoring averages on the season, 24.4 to 19.7. The front seven has climbed from a 25th ranked unit in our charts into top five, with 19 sacks in the past five weeks. They also had three in the first meeting against Baltimore but the offense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

That was on the road and Ben Roethlisberger’s first game back from injury. Big Ben has typically taken a couple games to hit full stride following any injury. He has nine TD passes and four picks in his past six, three interceptions coming in a snowy road game at Buffalo. He’ll have to be sharp against the Ravens but the way Le’Veon Bell has been playing, Ben doesn’t have to be perfect. RB DeAngelo Williams is also expected to return Sunday from a knee injury. Williams had a couple decent games in September when Bell was out with suspension and provides a nice change of pace against this fierce Raven front seven. 

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