Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Baltimore. The Steelers won 28-24. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
- The Baltimore Ravens will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday afternoon at 3:40 PM ET
- Five offensive starters for the Ravens will miss this contest due to COVID-19
- The Ravens are averaging just 21.7 points per game (23rd in the NFL) over their last three
The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will finally meet on Wednesday afternoon at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving Thursday but was then moved multiple times as the Baltimore Ravens have been dealing with COVID-19. The Steelers are now favored by 10 in this matchup. Are they a good bet with the Ravens fielding a skeleton crew?
Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers Odds
|Baltimore Ravens||+385||+10 (-105)||Over 42.0 (-114)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-500||-10 (-115)||Under 42.0 (-106)|
Odds from Dec 1 at FanDuel
Who’s Playing for the Ravens?
At this point, it’s unclear who is going to be cleared to play for the Ravens as they continue to have more positive tests come in. Sunday marked the eighth straight day where at least one positive test popped up as wide receiver Willie Snead IV is now dealing with the virus. He was the seventh starter on offense that was impacted.
Ravens WR Willie Snead tested positive today, per source.
He is the 7th projected starter on Baltimore’s offense to test positive.
This is the 8th straight day of at least one positive test for Baltimore.
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 29, 2020
The biggest loss of the bunch is quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is obviously the engine of the offense. That means Robert Griffin III will be in line for a start. RGIII has attempted just two passes this season and one resulted in an interception. Last year he was 23/38 with 225 passing yards to go with one touchdown and two interceptions during his seven appearances.
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) December 1, 2020
Besides the league’s MVP, tight end Mark Andrews, fullback Patrick Ricard and center Patrick Mekari are all out as well. However, as a result of the game shifting to Wednesday, the Ravens will get running backs JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram back, as well as tackle DJ Fluker.
Over the past week, 18 players have been added to the reserve/COVID-19 list, so don’t be surprised if there are more absences announced later. This is not the ideal situation for the Ravens, who are going on the road to face a team that’s yet to lose a game this season.
Steelers Will Be Without James Conner
The Steelers have also been bitten by the bug as starting running back James Conner has tested positive and is out for Wednesday’s affair. Special teams coordinator Danny Smith is also positive, so that indicates that there’s a bit of a spread around the team. We’ll have to see if anyone else ends up missing the game.
What’s the Best Bet?
At this point, your best bet is to wait until game time to place your bet. It feels like we know most of the names but as we’ve seen with teams like the Denver Broncos, you don’t want to get stuck locking in a bet too soon only to find out that a key player is going to be absent.
If things hold as is, though, it’s tough to bet on the Ravens at any number here. The Ravens offense comes into the game ranked 26th in the NFL in terms of yards. While they’re 12th in terms of points per game at 26.8, that’s faded of late as they are down to just 21.7 over their last three contests (23rd).
The #Ravens activated Brandon Williams, Trace McSorley, Tavon Young and Khalil Dorsey from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 1, 2020
Now you’re going to ask this Ravens squad to outperform their recent efforts without Jackson in the lineup as well as two starting offensive linemen and a Pro Bowl tight end? That seems like a stretch. Don’t forget that the Ravens also put starting tackle Ronnie Stanley on injured reserve recently, so their offense is hurting.
We’re looking at a big number for Pittsburgh to cover here but Baltimore probably isn’t going to be scoring much. That being the case, lay the points with the Steelers. They won’t slip up in this spot knowing that the No. 1 seed in the AFC, home-field advantage and the bye are at stake.
Prediction: Steelers -10
For over 15 years, Dave has been working in mainstream media and sports betting. He hosted a station on Sirius Satellite Radio for four years, and is currently a senior writer for AskMen. He’s interviewed hundreds of hundreds of high-profile sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Floyd Mayweather.