At long last, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens will play their Week 12 matchup. Of course, this game wasn't originally scheduled for 3:40 p.m. ET on a Wednesday as it was set to be the cherry on top of a three-game Thanksgiving slate last Thursday. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak within the Ravens organization that saw over 20 players and staff around the organizations either contract the virus or be deemed a close contact, this game needed to be moved three times.
While this game is scheduled to be played, COVID-19 is still going to play a major role as there will be a number of players ineligible to play for the Ravens, including quarterback Lamar Jackson, tight end Mark Andrews and pass rushers Calais Campbell and Matt Judon. The Steelers, meanwhile, also had a spat with the coronavirus and will not have starting running back James Conner for this AFC North head-to-head.
In this space, we'll dive into all the different betting angles for this game that will finally put Week 12 to rest. We'll dissect the spread, total, and a few of our favorite prop bets to keep you betting sharp. We'll also take a look at how the lines have changed throughout this unprecedented situation. All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
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Ravens (6-4) at Steelers (10-0)
As expected, this spread had been taken off the board for quite some time as we tried to figure out who is actually going to play in this game. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak hitting Baltimore, they were getting four points against the undefeated Steelers. Upon the line reopening on Tuesday, Pittsburgh is now laying 10 points. That's largely due to Lamar Jackson not being under center for the Ravens, who'll start Robert Griffin III in his place.
The Steelers own the best cover percentage in the NFL and are the first team since the 2018 Chiefs to cover eight of their first 10 games of the season. Pittsburgh also comes into this matchup covering in four straight. Meanwhile, Baltimore is 1-4 ATS in their last five games and that was with the club at full strength. The Ravens are 2-5-1 since covering in back-to-back weeks to begin the 2020 season.
Due to key pieces missing and lack of practice time with their facility shut down, it's hard to even take double-digit points with the Ravens. Given their last performance against the Steelers where they outgained them by 236 yards and likely would have handed them their first loss of the season had it not been for Jackson's four turnovers, I did like taking the four points originally on Thanksgiving, but this patch job of a roster doesn't instill much confidence following the outbreak.
If you're looking for a reason to take the Ravens and the points, John Harbaugh is 3-1 ATS as a double-digit underdog in his career (all in 2015). Meanwhile, Robert Griffin III has one start with the Ravens (Week 17 of 2019) and won by 18 as an underdog.
Projected score: Steelers 24, Ravens 13
After reopening at 41.5 on Tuesday, this number had jumped up a full point as of game day. This could be due to a number of different factors. The first is that Baltimore will be without a couple of key members to its defense like Campbell and Judon. With fewer headaches to deal with on that side of the ball, Ben Roethlisberger should have a much easier time when he drops back to pass. Earlier this season, Gus Edwards, who'll start in place of Ingram and Dobbins, gashed the Pittsburgh run defense for 87 yards on 5.4 yards per carry. If he can turn in a similar performance, it'll go a long way for the Ravens offense.
Because this could be a ground attack for the Ravens along with the limitations they'll have with various players out, I do expect this to be a rather low-scoring game. For the season, the Under is 10-9-1 between these two squads.
Projected total: 37
O/U 25.5 completions
O/U 36.5 pass attempts
O/U 271.5 passing yards
O/U 1.5 passing TDs (Over -170)
O/U 0.5 interceptions (Over +115)
The Over on Roethlisberger's touchdown total is my favorite of his props, despite the Ravens allowing third-fewest passing touchdowns (14) in the league. Big Ben was able to find the end zone through the air twice in their last meeting and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in all but one of his games this season. While he is averaging over 300 yards passing over his last three games, I don't expect him to have to drop back a ton in this game, which does hurt his chances of going over that number.
Robert Griffin III
O/U 15.5 completions
O/U 27.5 pass attempts
O/U 168.5 passing yards
O/U 0.5 passing TDs (Over -180)
O/U 0.5 interceptions (Over -160)
O/U 29.5 rushing yards
Griffin, of course, is not the player we remember from Washington, but he's still a solid backup nonetheless. As fate would have it, his lone start in a Ravens uniform came against the Steelers in Week 17 of last season so we may have a little bit more insight into how the club will use him than we normally would. In that game, Griffin rushed eight times for 50 yards, which is even more incentive to hit the Over on his current rushing total of 29.5 (-115).
Through the air, Baltimore did limit him a bit by only dropping him back to pass 21 times in that previous contest. Because they may be down in this contest, I expect the Ravens to ask him to pass more on Wednesday afternoon, which sets up for his 27.5 pass attempts (-105) and passing yards to go over as well. It may not be an efficient day, but it'll be enough to cash.
Other props to consider
Dez Bryant total receptions: Over 2.5 (-125). After coming up from the practice squad over the last few weeks, Bryant is now officially a member of the active roster. With Willie Snead and Mark Andrews out for this game, Bryant, who caught four of his five targets for 28 yards in Week 11, could be asked to fill in even more for Baltimore.
Benny Snell Jr. total receiving yards: Over 7.5 (-110). With James Conner out due to COVID-19, Mike Tomlin noted that Snell will be the team's feature back in this matchup. If that proves to be the case, that will result in Snell having a role in the passing game on top of his rushing duties. This season, Conner is averaging three targets per game and as long as that continues for Snell, he should go over this small receiving yard total.
Gus Edwards anytime touchdown (+175). He had success against this unit back in Week 8 and is arguably one of the Ravens' top offensive weapon for this matchup. For a top option, getting +175 for a touchdown seems like great value even against this generally stout Pittsburgh unit.
Steelers D/ST anytime touchdown (+350). The Steelers have been a very opportunistic defense this season, leading the NFL in turnovers with 21 heading into this matchup. Against Jackson last time, they were able to take an interception to the house. With a backup quarterback under center, this isn't a bad lottery ticket to be holding.