The Steelers (7-8) will try to keep their slim AFC wild-card hopes alive on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) in Week 17. They travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens (10-5), who already have locked down a playoff berth and are playing to try to win the AFC North over the Bengals.
Pittsburgh needs two wins to maintain the streak of never having had a losing season under coach Mike Tomlin. Winning out also might come with a chance to steal at least the No. 7 seed.
The Steelers’ defense is playing up to more familiar standards with T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick healthy together and making big plays from the front to the secondary. The Ravens also have been tough up front with active back-seven play.
Here’s breaking down what happens when it’s Kenny Pickett vs. Tyler Huntley again, like it was in Week 14.
Steelers vs. Ravens odds for “Sunday Night Football”
- Spread: Ravens by 2
- Over/under: 35
- Moneyline: Steelers +120, Ravens -145
The Ravens have been hovering around less than field-goal favorites all week. The spread and total reflects the final score of Week 14, when the Ravens won 16-14.
Steelers vs. Ravens all-time series
The Steelers lead 32-25 over 57 meetings, ideal for a team coming from the former Heinz Field. Before the Ravens won in Week 14, the Steelers had taken four straight in the series. Before then, the Ravens had won three of four.
Three trends to know
—58 percent of spread bettors are siding with the Steelers to win pretty much outright as small underdogs.
—66 percent of total bettors think the over/under is a still too high and are taking the under.
—The Steelers are 8-6 against the spread this season with six games going over. The Ravens are 6-8 against the spread this season with only four games going over.
Three things to watch
The Steelers’ running game vs. the Ravens’ run defense
Baltimore is No. 3 against the run in the NFL, allowing on average 87.5 yards per game. Pittsburgh has been leaning on Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren to move the ball to take advantage of its blocking strengths and also take major pressure off Pickett. The Steelers will try to maintain on the ground to stay in the game and set up favorable play-action shots from Pickett.
The Ravens’ running game vs. the Steelers’ run defense
The Steelers also have stiffened of late. The Ravens ran well in the first meeting with J.K. Dobbins, but Pittsburgh is now No. 6 against the run, allowing on average only 105.6 rushing yards per game. The Steelers will force Huntley to try to beat them through the air with limited pop.
No Marcus Peters for the Ravens
The Ravens’ secondary got burned a little by Falcons rookie wide receiver Drake London. Steelers rookie George Pickens has reheated with Pickett and can be dangerous outside with his size and speed.
Stat that matters
32.6 percent. The Ravens’ defense is No. 1 on third downs, allowing opponents to convert at only that low rate. They do this by stopping the run on early downs and setting up good pressure on several third-and-longs. The Steelers will find it hard to sustain drives and finish in the end zone again.
Steelers vs. Ravens prediction
The Steelers’ offense is hoping for a battle of attrition where they can grind games out with Harris and a few clutch plays from Pickett. The Ravens can ruin that plan by stuffing them on the ground on early downs. Huntley makes a few more plays than his counterpart again with Justin Tucker kicking the Ravens to victory late.
Ravens 20, Steelers 17