The NFL kicks off Week 4 of the 2015 schedule with an AFC North rivalry matchup on Thursday Night Football, as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens in their first game since Ben Roethlisberger sprained his MCL.
The Ravens opened as 2-point favorites, and the line has climbed to 2.5 points or 3 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The point total opened at 45.5 points, but has dropped to as low as 43.5 points. The moneyline has the Ravens at -140 and the Steelers at +120.
This game marks the first time since November 2012 and only the third time in the last 10 years that the home team is the underdog in this rivalry. The Steelers are 3-0 straight up and against the spread in their last three games as a home underdog. They beat the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, and the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions in 2013.
Baltimore is 0-3 straight up and against the spread to start the season for the first team in franchise history. The Ravens are 2-6 straight up and against the spread in their last eight divisional road games, and 2-6 against the spread in their last eight October road games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
The big injury for the Pittsburgh Steelers is Roethlisberger. He sprained his MCL and bruised a bone in the Steelers' Week 3 win over the St. Louis Rams and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Michael Vick is starting in his place on Thursday, with Landry Jones as the only other option right now.
The total has gone OVER in six of the last 10 matchups between these two teams, with three UNDER results and one PUSH. The total has gone UNDER in five of the Steelers' last six games, while it has gone OVER in three of the last four Ravens games.
The OddsShark Computer is projecting a Ravens victory by a final score of 22.8-20.6 That would provide for the Steelers cover, and the UNDER by the slimmest of margins.