One of the NFL’s top rivalries renew on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland as the Baltimore Ravens welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to town. For these two Sunday’s matchup is a must win for both as both teams fight for the AFC North Crown. All in all this is just one of the many quality matchups on Sunday for sports handicappers to bet on. Other matchups include the Green Bay Packers as a 6.5 point underdog taking on the New England Patriots while the undefeated Los Angeles Rams travel to take on the New Orleans Saints as a 1.5 point underdog.
That said, looking back at the Ravens/Steelers rivalry matchup, it will be the second time these two teams have met during the 2018 NFL schedule. These two teams squared off on Sunday Night football back on September 30th, 2018 at Heinz Field. In that matchup the Ravens picked up the 26-14 win behind 363 passing yards and two touchdown passes from Joe Flacco as well as four second half Justin Tucker field goals.
As you get set for this matchup, the two teams are very familiar with each other with both teams competing for the AFC North crown year in and year out. Big question in this meeting is who will the Ravens find to slow down Antonio Brown as Marlon Humphrey continues to deal with a hamstring injury? Brown managed just five catches in the first meeting for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens on Sunday November 4th 2018 at M&T Stadium.
NFL Keys to the Game
Pittsburgh Steelers – Play Aggressive & Creative on Defense
This Steelers have been a team that at times this year has been very bad on the defensive side of the ball including in the first meeting between these two teams. While the Steelers will need to run the ball in this meeting and work Brown more into the passing attack, the biggest key in this contest is their ability to get creative while playing more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball while forcing Flacco to make mistakes. In his first three home contests, Flacco has connected on 64.6 percent of his passes at home for 792 yards and six touchdowns while throwing zero interceptions. If the Steelers can shut Flacco down, the Ravens rushing attack has been less than stellar for most of the season.
Baltimore Ravens – Find the Running Game
Like the Steelers, the Ravens need to put a lot things together on Sunday at home to pick up this much needed win after losing back to back crucial contests. While the team has been solid at home this season despite losing to the New Orleans Saints, the team has struggled to run the ball all season. That includes managing just 96 yards on 30 carries in their meeting. If the team wants to have success on Sunday they will need Alex Collins, Javorius Allen, Lamar Jackson and recently acquired Ty Montgomery to average more than 3.6 yards per carry they have averaged to start the season.
NFL Betting Trends
Pittsburgh Steelers – Entering Sunday’s AFC North showdown the Steelers have posted a 4-2 overall record while posting a 2-1-1 record away from Heinz Field. With that success the Steelers have an overall record of 4-3 against the spread while going 2-1 on the road. Over the past five contests the Steelers are 4-1 against the spread. Despite that success the Steeler shave struggled against the AFC North covering the spread in just two of their last seven meetings within the division.
Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens have been fairly inconsistent during the 2018 NFL schedule looking great in one contest while struggling in others. This has showed up in the NFL standings as the Ravens have won just four of their first eight contests while covering the spread in just four of those contests. That said this will be just the fourth home contest of the season for the Ravens a place where they have won two of three this season. That said the Ravens have been dominate for sports handicappers against the AFC North covering the spread in 13 of their last 18 contest within the division.
Head 2 Head – With these two teams playing in the AFC North and competing for playoff spots year in and year out, the two teams are very familiar with each. Over the past eight meetings the Ravens have won five of the eight total meetings including winning two of three at M&T stadium.
What’s next for these two teams?
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers will return home to Heinz Field to take on the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football on November 8th, 2018.
Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens will enter their bye week next Sunday before hosting the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 18th, 2018.