Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin described it best earlier this week:
“One game for the North title. If you can’t get up for that, then you’re a dead man.”
The Steelers host the Ravens in the first of two Christmas Day games, with the winner taking the driver’s seat for a division title and a home playoff game. The Steelers are favored by six points at most sites monitored by OddsShark.com, and they’ll put two streaks to this test on Sunday.
The Steelers could grab a sixth straight win against Baltimore, adding to an already impressive December record. The Steelers are 12-1-1 against the spread in their last 14 December games, and have covered the spread every game of their current streak. But the Ravens have a streak of their own: Four straight wins against the Steelers, including a 13-point win in Pittsburgh in January.
The Steelers offense goes through Le’Veon Bell, who has torched opposing defenses during the win streak. Last week he fell seven yards short of a fifth straight 100-yard rushing performance, and he’s caught at least four passes in every game he’s played this season. He’s the key for the Ravens defense, which has been exposed for 53 points over their last two games.
These games are always so close, but the Steelers definitely have the edge. The Steelers are at home, healthy on offense, and the Ravens are without Jimmy Smith. That argument has me siding with Pittsburgh, but it’s not by much.
Heavy’s Pick: Ravens 27 Steelers 34. Steelers -6. Over on the Point Total. (44.5)