Monday, September 8, 2014

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Baltimore Ravens

Market Watch

The look-ahead line for this divisional matchup had the Ravens as -3 point favorites. That will surprise nobody since these teams usually have the obligatory 3 point spread assigned to the home team. When the line re-opened on Sunday/Monday, Baltimore were still listed as -3 point favs.

Early money has come in on the Steelers though and we are seeing a move off the key number of 3. Baltimore can now be had for -2.5 if you like them. Thus far, 64% of all tickets are on Pittsburgh.

Bottom Line

The big news for this game was the Ray Rice story. He was appropriately cut from the team after video emerged of his domestic violence. He wasn't going to play in this game anyways, but a potentially huge distraction is put to rest. The team will still have to answer questions about it during the week, but it would have been exponentially worse if he was still on the roster.

The same issues that we've come to expect face the Steelers. Will Haley help or hurt this offense? He got far too conservative last week in the third quarter. And can the young guys on D master this scheme early enough to make a difference? They are just ok in the secondary and not getting any younger.

Baltimore have been really great at home ATS under Harbaugh, but that didn't matter in Week 1. They allowed Dalton to get his first win on their turf since he came in the league, and now face 0-2 if they can't come up with something better versus Pittsburgh. On paper, they should be able to take advantage of the Steelers D.

At -2.5, I'd say there is some value on Baltimore, but these teams are far too close (and flawed) to get involved. I'll be taking a pass.

Read more: Week 2 Picks