Simon Bruty/SI
October 31, 2014

In an AFC North rivalry matchup often known for close, low-scoring games, Week 9’s meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens looks to be an anomaly.

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That’s because the total on the game is 48, which is two points more than the previous high of 46 set in the second year of the Ravens franchise in 1997. In addition, the home team could be an underdog in the series for just the second time in 16 meetings. Baltimore is a consensus 1.5-point favorite at Pittsburgh and was 3-point road chalk there two years ago in a 13-10 victory. That season ended with a Super Bowl win for the Ravens, and both teams have their eyes on the Vince Lombardi Trophy this year.

Bettors can look at last Sunday’s 51-34 home win for the Steelers over the Indianapolis Colts as one of the main reasons the total is so high this week. Pittsburgh closed as a 5-point underdog against Indianapolis at sportsbooks monitored by and saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throw for a franchise-record 522 yards with six touchdowns to outduel Andrew Luck and the Colts. The Steelers have seen their last two games go OVER the total along with four of their past six.

NFL odds: Props to monitor in Week 9

Baltimore beat Pittsburgh 26-6 in the first meeting this season back in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football, starting a stretch of five wins in six games. However, the Ravens dropped a 27-24 decision last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, with the closing NFL odds showing them as 2.5-point road favorites in another key divisional matchup. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco was held without a touchdown pass for only the second time this season while equaling a season high with two interceptions at Cincinnati. Flacco threw for a season-low 166 yards but had two touchdowns in the Week 2 meeting while Roethlisberger passed for 217 yards with one pick.

Just one of the last 15 meetings have seen more than 48 points scored between the teams, with the OVER going 8-6-1 in those games. This Ravens vs. Steelers betting matchup seems to favor the home team too regardless of what the oddsmakers say based on a couple situational betting trends. Pittsburgh is 5-0 straight-up and 4-1 against the spread in its last five home games against AFC North opponents while Baltimore is 1-5 vs. the line in its past six divisional road games.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 9 | Fantasy football stat projections

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)