The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens will face off in an interesting game. The loser of this game will immediately be eliminated from the playoffs. The winner is unlikely to make it, but they’ll still have a chance. Each team needs others to lose (or not tie) to make the playoffs. Here are the NFL odds along with my pick and prediction for the Steelers vs. Ravens in Week 18.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens pick, prediction | Week 18
- Spread: Ravens -5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Steelers +185, Ravens -225
- Over/Under: 42
Lamar Jackson’s status
Lamar Jackson injured his ankle relatively early in a Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He’s missed the last three weeks, and Baltimore hasn’t won a game since Week 12.
Although Tyler Huntley and even Josh Johnson have filled in well for the Ravens, they haven’t been able to win. Even with their individual success, there’s a major difference between what they bring to the table and a former NFL MVP.
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The major issue with Jackson is that a lot of his value comes from his mobility. It was stated last week that he couldn’t walk without a limp, suggesting that he wouldn’t be able to leave the pocket if he plays.
There are now reports that he’s campaigning to play even without his ankle at 100%. Jackson will likely be less than fully healthy if he suits up, but the Vegas line suggests that he will play this weekend.
Steelers vs. Ravens betting trends
Pittsburgh has struggled against the spread (ATS) this season. They own a 7-9 ATS record, failing to cover by an average of 2.3 points per game. The Steelers have flipped wins and losses ATS in each of their last eight games, beating the spread last week against the Cleveland Browns.
Baltimore has been neutral, entering this game with an 8-8 ATS record. They’re failing to cover by an average of 1.3 points per game. The Ravens have covered in five of their last seven games, though. Baltimore’s also neutral in terms of the game total, hitting the over and under each in 50% of their games. Pittsburgh leans toward the under, finding it in 60% of their games this season.
Steelers vs. Ravens prediction
This is one of the most difficult games to predict because of Jackson’s status. If he were healthy — or at least healthy enough to use his legs — I’d prefer the Ravens. I don’t love a hobbled Jackson stuck in the pocket with T.J. Watt on the other side, though.
With that being said, it’s impossible to trust Ben Roethlisberger’s arm at this point, and the quickest way to beat the Ravens defense is through the air. I trust Diontae Johnson to make big plays, but will that truly be enough?
I prefer the Ravens at the moment, but it essentially depends on how Jackson can move on the field. We may not know the full extent of his health until Sunday.
Steelers vs. Ravens Prediction: Ravens 24, Steelers 20