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NFL Week 4 – Thursday night football – Ravens at Steelers

AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh kick off the 2015 NFL Week 4 lineup tonight with a clash at Heinz Field. This evening’s meeting between the Ravens and Steelers is scheduled to get underway at 7:25pm ET; coverage of the game will be provided by CBS and the NFL Network. The winless Ravens are favored at -3 against the spread according Bovada’s latest odds. Tonight’s game total is set at 44 points while Baltimore and Pittsburgh are drawing -145 and +125 money line offerings, respectively.

Baltimore has yet to win a game, but it, nonetheless, enters tonight’s contest laying three points to the hosting Steelers. That, of course, has everything to do with the absence of Ben Roethlisberger.

Pittsburgh lead dog went down with the knee injury in last week’s 12-6 win over the Rams and it is uncertain when he will return to action. Playing in his stead is veteran signal caller Michael Vick.

At one point, that may not have been considered the worst of developments, but is certainly viewed in a different light now.

Vick has appeared in 17 games over the last two years (not counting Sunday’s game against the Rams) and he has compiled a lackluster 77.4 quarterback rating while completing just 53.8 percent of his passes in those outings. And he was hardly impressive in last week’s win over St. Louis.

Vick completed five of his six passes for a total of 38 yards, but he fumbled the ball once and nearly threw a costly interception.

Baltimore’s defense is not what it used to be, though. It currently ranks 29th in the league in passing yards per game allowed and its 7.89 yards per pass attempt allowed is 1.49 yards worse than the league average.

So, perhaps, Vick can find some success tonight; he most definitely has enough weapons around him to take advantage of the Ravens defense.

Tonight’s game, however, is less about Vick and the Steelers and more about Baltimore. The Ravens are in full blown desperation mode after falling to 0-3 last week and they need to pull out all the stops to get a win.

A big game from Joe Flacco and the offense will be crucial to Baltimore’s chances this evening, but the talent pool on that side of the ball is not a deep one for the Ravens. The Steelers defense can be exploited, though, and Flacco did just that last year, throwing for 718 yards and six touchdowns (one interception) in three meetings with Pittsburgh.

Thursday Night Football Betting Trends:

The Steelers are 5-0 both straight up and against the spread in their last five games playing as a home underdog coming off a road win.

Teams playing at home on a Thursday night coming off an away game in which they scored 14 or fewer point are 7-1 both straight up and against the spread since November of 2008.

 

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