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Steelers vs. Ravens 2021 NFL Week 18 Odds, Analysis & Prediction

By Hank Blaine

Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have slim AFC wild-card hopes entering their regular-season finale in Charm City on Sunday, but most likely both will miss out and it will be the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

To make the playoffs, the Steelers must win this game, have the Colts be upset by the Jaguars – which isn’t happening – and have the Chargers-Raiders game not end in a tie. The Ravens need a win, Chargers loss to the Raiders, Colts loss to the Jaguars (not happening) and Dolphins loss to the Patriots.

In Week 13, the Steelers knocked off the Ravens 20-19. Lamar Jackson led Baltimore to a touchdown with 12 seconds to play, but his throw on the 2-point conversion was too far in front of tight end Mark Andrews. John Harbaugh could have kicked the PAT for a tie but opted to go for the win because his team was down so many injured players. Ben Roethlisberger threw his second fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson, and the ensuing 2-point conversion to Pat Freiermuth gave Pittsburgh a 20-13 lead with less than two minutes remaining. Pittsburgh blitzed Jackson on 16 dropbacks, limiting him to 4-of-10 passing and a Total QBR of just 1.5 on those snaps.

NitroBetting presents a comprehensive preview of the Steelers vs. Ravens game down below. Find event details, team and player stats, the latest NFL betting odds, trends, and predictions.

Steelers vs. Ravens Game Information

Why Bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers?

The Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive with Monday night’s 26-14 win over Cleveland in Big Ben’s home finale. Roethlisberger completed 24-of-46 passes for 123 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He averaged an absurd 2.7 yards per attempt and his longest pass went for 13 yards to Najee Harris out of the backfield, while Big Ben’s lone touchdown was a five-yard hookup with Diontae Johnson.

Rookie running back Najee Harris rushed 28 times for 188 yards and one touchdown — Harris took a meaningless final-drive run 37 yards to the end zone on a third-down carry where all he needed was a first down to salt the remainder of the clock. That affected many fantasy football championship games!

This week, the Steelers put Johnson, center Kendrick Green and cornerback Joe Haden in COVID protocols. Haden has six pass defenses across 11 starts this year. Ahkello Witherspoon will start in his place. Johnson leads the team with 1,100 receiving yards on 100 catches. He also has eight receiving touchdowns, including two the last time the Steelers faced the Ravens. Baltimore has the league’s worst pass defense, allowing an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and 30 passing touchdowns. Johnson had 105 yards on eight catches in the Dec. 5 win against the Ravens.

Why Bet on the Baltimore Ravens?

Baltimore lost its fifth straight game last Sunday, 20-19 to the Rams again playing without Jackson. Jackson has practiced only once since suffering an ankle injury in Baltimore’s loss to Cleveland in Week 14 and is not likely to play. Tyler Huntley would get the start. Top Marquise Brown (ankle) was added to the injury report for Week 18 on Thursday but is likely to play. The Ravens placed Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard on injured reserve Thursday, which means Baltimore will be without one of its top blockers for Sunday’s must-win game. It continues an injury-filled season for Baltimore, which has now placed 25 players on injured reserve at some point this season. Ricard is the fourth Pro Bowl player currently on the Ravens’ injured reserve. The Ravens could’ve used Ricard’s blocking this week, especially with Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt coming to town with 21.5 sacks and looking to break Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record of 22.5. “To me, he may be the best defensive player in football. He probably is,” Harbaugh said of Watt. “There’s a lot of great players in this league, but none better than him. The evidence being the sack record for sure.”

Steelers vs. Ravens Betting Trends

  • Steelers are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
  • Steelers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
  • The totals went under in two of the Colts’ last four games against the Jaguars.
  • Ravens are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
  • Ravens are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games.
  • The totals went over in five of the Jaguars’ last seven home games against the Colts.

Steelers vs. Ravens Expert Betting Predictions

The Colts are the obvious favorites in this matchup. We are likely to see several changes in their starting lineup, we might encounter more unexpected events happening along the way. However, they are the better team on paper and deliver more consistent results since the start of the season.

On the other hand, the Jaguars are eager to utilize this opportunity to try and improve their overall record before ending their run. A win gives the team a chance at a better draft position in the upcoming season while ending their campaign with a slightly improved record. Covering the spread should be doable with the numbers given, but putting pressure on the Colts from start to finish could be a demanding task for the side.

Check out our latest sports betting guides for the 2021 NFL Regular Season. Stay tuned for more Football previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest football betting odds at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.