Steelers vs Ravens Week 18 Picks and Predictions: Big Ben's Parting Gift to Pittsburgh

Barring something unexpected — a Jacksonville win — Week 18 will draw Pittsburgh and Baltimore's seasons to a close. It'll also be the end of Ben Roethlisberger's career with the Steelers, and our picks like him to get one over on the Ravens one last time.

Sam Farley - Betting Analyst at
Sam Farley • Betting Analyst
Jan 8, 2022 • 15:34 ET • 5 min read
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are just alive in the playoff hunt but it’s going to take something very special for either team to find themselves playing next week. The game has wider significance too, with it very likely being the last time we see Ben Roethlisberger in the black and gold.

Don’t miss out on our NFL picks and predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens.

Steelers vs Ravens odds

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

Since the lines opened we’ve seen the total points line drop from 41.5 down to 41. Not only that but the Ravens have gone from 5.5 to 3.5-point favorites.

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.

Steelers vs Ravens predictions

Predictions made on 1/7/2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Steelers vs Ravens game info

Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Date: Sunday, January 9, 2022
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Steelers at Ravens betting preview


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Key injuries

Steelers: Joe Haden CB (Out), Kevin Dotson OL (Out), Juju Smith-Schuster WR (Out), Stephon Tuitt DE (Out).
Ravens: Ben Powers G (Out), Odafe Oweh LB (Out), Anthony Averett CB (Out), Lamar Jackson QB (Out), Marlon Humphrey CB (Out), Ronnie Stanley T (Out), Marcus Peters CB (Out), JK Dobbins RB (Out), Gus Edwards RB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss. Find more NFL betting trends for Steelers vs. Ravens.

Steelers vs Ravens 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.

When these two AFC North powerhouses meet it’s always a big game. For years, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have been coached by two of the best in the game, Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh. They’ve also been led by two of the best QBs of the past decade, but more on that soon. What really matters in this game is reaching the playoffs and for both teams, it’s at best very unlikely as both would require a Jaguars win.

Even if playoff hopes are, frankly, non-existent, that doesn’t stop this being a hugely emotional game with narratives based around Roethlisberger. A future Hall of Famer who looks set to retire after this season, with this being his final game unless the unlikely happens. He arguably should have retired sooner, it’s been clear this season that his arm strength has dissipated and he’s relying purely on experience now. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, it’s remarkable that Mike Tomlin led this Steelers team to another season without a losing record given the injuries and QB situation. 

So, who is going to win on Sunday? I’ve got no doubt that fully healthy it would be the Ravens who’d win this game, and probably quite comfortably, but they’re beaten up and struggling, which is why I think that Roethlisberger is going to be leaving Baltimore with one last win to add to his collection.

Neither team has had an elite defense this year, with injuries being one of the main reasons for that. The Steelers’ defense is ranked 15th in DVOA, compared to the Ravens who sit on 28th. Offensively, it’s the Ravens who are ranked higher, 14th to the Steelers’ 23rd, but you have to take into account that the majority of that production was with Lamar Jackson under center. The Ravens have also outscored the Steelers this year, averaging 23.4 points per game to the Steelers 20.4 but again, that was largely with Jackson.

On Sunday, we’re going to see two of the great NFL franchises but they’re both tired. For the Steelers, it’s time that has caught up with them and for the Ravens, it’s health. That’s going to rob us of the spectacle we deserve but there could be one last bit of magic for Roethlisberger, so let’s back the Steelers to cover.

Prediction: Steelers +3.5 (-110)

The Under is 4-0 in the Ravens’ past four games as a favorite. Likewise, the Under is also 5-1 in the Steelers’ past six games after scoring fewer than 15 points in their previous game.

Despite all of that, it’s not the trends that will decide where we’ll wager our money in this case, it’s the quarterbacks. The Ravens will be starting Tyler Huntley, who admittedly is good but he is still a backup, and the Steelers will be led by their aging legend, who has gone on one season too long. Everything is pointing towards this being a display of the two teams at their worst, we likely won’t see too much scoring so back the Under.

Prediction: Under 41 (-110)

The best wager for this game is a prop around one of the quarterbacks. We’ll be backing Tyler Huntley to go Over on his rushing yards.

First of all, let’s set the scene. In his three starts this season, he’s rushed for 40, 73, and 54 yards. He’s also had one game of 45 rushing yards when he played the majority of the game. His rushing ability doesn’t quite match that of Lamar Jackson’s but he’s more than capable of tearing off a big run and in his starts he’s had a minimum of six rushes in each game. He’s the perfect backup for the scheme that Greg Roman has built for Lamar Jackson.

On Sunday, Huntley will be facing a Steelers defense who have given up an average of 139.6 yards on the ground per game, the second-highest figure in the NFL behind the Texans. Backing Huntley to hit the Over is likely the best value bet on offer this weekend.

Pick: Tyler Huntley Over 41.5 rushing yards (-114)

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