Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday Night Football Preview: Ravens @ Steelers

Tonight's game has the potential to be even worse than last week's Redskins-Giants dumpster fire. The Ravens are 0-3, and that includes losses at Denver and Oakland and at home to Division-Leading Cincinnati. The Steelers lost to the Future Super Bowl Champion Patriots but then blew out the 49ers and squeaked by the Rams.

When I first saw the line at Ravens -3, I allllllllmost bet my entire life's savings on Pittsburgh +3. Then I remembered that Ben Roethlisberger is injured and Vegas thinks he's worth almost a touchdown (Pittsburgh was around -3 before the injury).

Here is how bad the game is going to be tonight: Mike Vick and Joe Flacco are both -200 to throw at least one interception. Vegas knows everything, and they think that each starting quarterback tonight has a 67% chance to throw a pick. I can understand that for 35 year old Vick, but what about 30 year old, $121 million Joe Flacco? He can't take care of the ball enough to win at home against a team who lost their quarterback last week?

(Sam Bradford plays for the Eagles, shut up Jay)

To the bet ticket:

Steelers +3 (-110)
Thought 1: It's the NFL. There is no way the Ravens are going to start their season 0-4 when they started the season +150 favorites to win the division. Especially against a team missing their star quarterback and replacing him with someone who won't allow Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell to be quite as effective as they normally are.

Thought 2: The Ravens have moved all the way out to +750 to win the AFC North, and Pittsburgh is holding steady at +260 even without Big Ben. They're playing with a steady backup quarterback who, despite his pedigree, completed 5 of his 6 passes last week and has rushed 5 times for -5 yards this year (more on that second stat later). Vegas knows, and this is a complete Pittsburgh line.

Teaser: Steelers +10 and Under 51 (-130)
It's been a while since we teased, but this is one that I really like. Fun fact: every game every played between these two teams has stayed under 51 points, and this will be another one that stays in the teens or low twenties.

Joe Flacco To Throw An Interception (-200)
Mike Vick To Throw An Interception (-200)
That's such a shitty payout, but it's Thursday so it's going to be a terrible game.

First Scoring Play: Field Goal or Safety (+110)
This is a crap shoot, but I'm loading up on props that would happen in a low-scoring, dogfight of a game.

To Score A Touchdown:
Le'Veon Bell (-160)
Antonio Brown (-140)
Steve Smith (-120)
Vegas has the line on "Total Touchdowns in the Game" set at 5, and the under only pays -150. So figure we probably have 4-5 touchdowns to go around. Stay away from Justin Forsett here: he hasn't scored a rushing touchdown this season, and Pittsburgh has not allowed a rushing touchdown yet either. I am, however, penciling in Flacco for at least one touchdown, so Smith seems like the safe bet because he's been targeted around a third of the time the Ravens pass the ball the past two weeks.

Justin Forsett Rushing Yards Over 49.5 (-115)
This line is deflated because he ran 10 times last week for 13 yards. Baltimore was trailing the entire game, so they abandoned the run and let Flacco unload for 49 pass attempts. In weeks one and two, Forsett ran for 43 and 68 yards. Pittsburgh has allowed Dion Lewis to run for 69 yards (nice), Kaepernick and Hyde to combine for 94 yards, and the Rams as a team ran for 71 yards. I really can't stress how bad the offense was on both sides of that Rams game.

Total Sacks In The Game Over 4.5 (-140)
In the first three games, Pittsburgh sacked the opposing QB twice, five times, and twice again. They've allowed three, zero, and five sacks. Those numbers for the Ravens: four, one, and two sacks. Two, zero, and zero sacks against. Why do I like the over here? Because it's going to be a gross game, of course.

This game is going to be more gross that this professional athlete's chin

No comments:

Post a Comment