Ravens vs Steelers Week 13 Picks and Predictions: Pittsburgh's Season is Nevermore

Lamar Jackson is another week removed from an illness as his Baltimore Ravens get a welcome matchup against a struggling Pittsburgh Steelers offense. Can Ben Roethlisberger save the day if things start poorly? Check out our free NFL betting picks for more.

Last Updated: Dec 3, 2021 7:15 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Tyus Bowser Chuck Clark Baltimore Ravens NFL
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It hasn’t been pretty but the Baltimore Ravens are 8-3 and lead the AFC North. The Ravens will play their second divisional game in a row as they travel to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers whose best result over their last three games was a tie versus the Detroit Lions. 

Can Lamar Jackson rebound after a four-interception game? Can the Ravens continue to ride lady luck to victory? Can the Steelers stop this freefall after getting blown out by the Bengals last week? Find out in our free picks and predictions between the Ravens vs. Steelers.

Ravens vs Steelers odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Ravens were -3 on the look-ahead but opened at -3.5 after Week 12. That number has now slid to -4.5 as of Wednesday. The total has dropped a full point from the look-ahead number and sits at 44. Jackson didn’t play in Pittsburgh last season but Baltimore closed as -4 home favorites vs. Big Ben and the Steelers in Week 8 in 2020.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Ravens vs Steelers predictions

Predictions made on 12/01/2021 at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Ravens vs Steelers game info

Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Sunday, December 5, 2021
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Ravens at Steelers betting preview


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Key injuries

Ravens: Nick Boyle TE (Out), Jaylon Ferguson DE (Out), Miles Boykin WR (Out), Ty'Son Williams RB (Out), Chris Westry CB (Out), Cedric Ogbuehi T (Out). 
Steelers: Isaiah Buggs DE (Out), Joe Haden CB (Out), Carlos Davis DT (Out), Dwayne Haskins QB (Out), Anthony McFarland RB (Out), Ray-Ray McCloud WR (Out).

Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The road team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Find more NFL betting trends for Ravens vs. Steelers.

Ravens vs Steelers picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Ravens find themselves at 8-3 and atop of the AFC North despite some ugly and lucky wins — none luckier than last week’s 16-10 victory over the Browns. Lamar Jackson threw four interceptions but the Ravens defense held Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to just 36 total rushing yards and the Cleveland offense managed zero red-zone possessions. 

The Steelers rank below the Browns in most offensive stats including both passing and rushing/EPA per play and success rate. The Pittsburgh offense scored just 10 points, had 5.1 yards per play, and rushed for 3.4 yards per rush last week versus the Bengals’ No. 9 rush EPA defense. The Ravens have the No. 10 rush EPA defense and if they can bottle up Najee Harris, forcing Ben Roethlisberger to beat you seems like a winning formula.

Stopping the Pittsburgh running back hasn’t been hard over the last month as Harris is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, which ranks 73rd in the league over that stretch and is just 0.2 yards per carry more than backup Benny Snell. Only three running backs have more carries than Harris on the season, but the Pittsburgh ball-carrier has been struggling to pick up big gains behind a poor offensive line. The Steelers have just 17 carries of 10-plus yards, which ranks in the Bottom 8. 

Conversely, the Steelers rush defense has been bottoming out lately and could be without T.J. Watt if he can’t clear COVID protocol. Joe Mixon ran over the Steelers last week for 165 yards and two scores. Over its last three games, Pittsburgh has allowed an absurd 594 rushing yards. With Jackson another week removed from illness, and Devonta Freeman running away with the No. 1 RB job, Baltimore could find success on the ground Sunday, which would help Jackson after his disastrous passing game in Week 12.

We’re following the line movement and jumping on the Ravens at -4.5. We don’t trust the Steelers rush defense or their anemic offense that ranks in the Bottom 10 in explosive runs and passes. Baltimore hasn’t looked like a powerhouse of late, but Jackson’s illness was a factor and they face a Pittsburgh team that has lost 41-10 to Cincinnati, 41-37 at the Chargers, and tied the still-winless Lions 16-16 over its last three games.  

Prediction: Ravens -4.5 (-110)

Both of these offenses have totaled 105 points over their last six combined games. Baltimore has finished with 34 or fewer points in three straight while the Steelers offense has totaled just 35 points in its three divisional games this season. The last four meetings have produced a 3-1 O/U mark, but none of those games had a total of 44.5 or more. 

Neither offense is trustworthy for a divisional Over as both groups sit in the Bottom 6 in yards per play over the last three games. Pittsburgh could be without a pair of key TE pass-catchers as Pat Freiermuth (concussion) is questionable and Eric Ebron is on the IR. Freiermuth had a 20% target share over the last three games and was second on the team in targets behind Diontae Johnson. He’s become a favorite target of QB Ben Roethlisberger. 

Roethlisberger will face a Baltimore defense that has its arrow pointing up of late after surrendering just 64 rushing yards per game and 1.7 TDs over its last three. After a rough start to the season, John Harbough’s defense now ranks second in success rate and sits in the Top 3 in rush and pass defensive success rate. They’ll face a Pittsburgh offense that has been held to 20 points or fewer (in regulation) in seven of its 11 games, and also ranks in the Bottom 10 in both explosive runs and passes.

In an AFC North battle with Pittsburgh's season likely on the line, we like both defenses to come out and dictate play against a pair of struggling offenses. Heinz Field should be loud, which should keep that play clock running low when Baltimore has the ball. The Ravens could go run-heavy, which should also cut into the clock and boost time of possession. Both defenses sit in the Bottom 5 in takeaways per game so we could also see some longer fields for both offenses. 

Prediction: Under 44 (-110)

Baltimore’s wins have not been pretty, but Harbaugh’s team has found ways to pick up victories. Jackson will be one more week removed from a Week 11 illness that may have affected his Week 12 performance and Baltimore’s strong rushing attack matches up well against a Steelers rush defense that has been getting gouged on the ground of late.

The Ravens proved they can eliminate a good run game, as they did last week versus the Browns, and if Harris continues to run into walls, Roethlisberger will have to succeed through the air where he could be without Freiermuth. 

We don’t feel late to this party as there is almost no difference between -3.5 and -4.5. We’re following the market and think Baltimore can cover scoring just 20 points against a Pittsburgh offense that has looked bad in recent contests and even worse in its three divisional games this season. 

Pick: Ravens -4.5 (-110)

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