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Ravens vs. Steelers - 1/3/15 NFL Wild Card Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
Date & Time Saturday January 3, 2015, 8:15 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers -3 -- Over/Under: 46.5
TV Channel
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NFL | Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers play Saturday night in the AFC wild card playoffs.

The Baltimore Ravens have won five of their last seven games and are in the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years. Joe Flacco is completing 62 percent of his passes for 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Flacco has five touchdowns and three picks in his last three games, and the Ravens have 50 passing plays of 20 or more yards. Steve Smith and Torrey Smith have combined for more than 1,800 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns while Owen Daniels has seven receptions in his last three games. The Ravens ground game is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, as Justin Forsett leads the way with 1,266 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, the Baltimore Ravens are allowing 18.9 points, 336.9 yards, and they’ve forced 49 sacks and 22 turnovers. C.J. Mosley leads Baltimore with 133 tackles and Elvis Dumervil hs 17 sacks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won four straight games and make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Ben Roethlisberger is completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 32 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Roethlisberger has three touchdowns and one pick in his last three games, and the Steelers have 56 passing plays of 20 or more yards. Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell have combined for more than 2,500 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while Heath Miller has 10 receptions in his last two games. The Steelers ground game is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, as Bell leads the way with 1,361 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Bell is questionable with a knee injury. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Steelers are allowing 23 points, 353.4 yards, and they’ve forced 33 sacks and 21 turnovers. Lawrence Timmons leads Pittsburgh with 132 tackles and Jason Worilds has 7.5 sacks.

The Ravens are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 playoff road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Steelers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 playoff home games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Ravens are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings overall.

This is going to be an old-school style football game where points are hard to come by and hard hits happen often. It will likely be decided by a field goal or two. I'm taking the Ravens here simply due to them being in this spot so often and coming through. A defensive line of Dumervil and Suggs is downright scary and they usually come through when needed most. This is a real coinflip but I like the Ravens defense a lot more and don't like the fact that Bell is banged up for Pittsburgh. 

Baltimore Ravens +3

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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