Steelers vs. Ravens odds, props, predictions: Pittsburgh aims to leapfrog into Wild Card during Week 18 Saturday

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If you had a french fry for each time there has been movement on the Steelers (9-7) QB depth chart so far this season, you’d have enough to cover and serve a Primanti Bros. sandwich. That said, as we enter the final week of the 2023 NFL regular season, Pittsburgh’s starting lineup and game plan are more firmly set than their opponent’s, the Baltimore Ravens (13-3). 

The betting line is Baltimore -3.5  for this game, and the OVER/UNDER is 36.5.

After beating the brakes off the Dolphins 56-19 in Week 17 in a game where QB Lamar Jackson threw more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (3), you’d think that 36.5 could be a comically low OVER/UNDER for this high-stakes (for Pittsburgh) matchup.

However, it won’t be that simple for bettors this week because it’s going to be hard to tell which Ravens will play and which ones will be sipping hot chocolate on the sidelines. After clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, it seems unlikely that coach John Harbaugh will jeopardize his team’s path to Super Bowl LVIII by exposing most of his starters to injury risks in a game that won’t affect their playoff seeding. 

The Steelers are currently ninth in the AFC standings and need a win and some help from other teams in order to leapfrog Buffalo and Indianapolis and clinch a WIld Card spot. These teams have different goals for this Saturday Week 18 matchup, so let’s make our goal to examine these Steelers vs. Ravens odds, props and predictions.

Steelers vs. Ravens odds: Point spread, moneyline, totalHere are the latest Steelers vs. Ravens point spreads, totals and moneylines on odds boards at top-rated sportsbooks:

More NFL Week 18 betting: NFL Week 18 odds | NFL Week 18 ATS Picks | Best NFL Betting Promos & Bonuses

Steelers betting news: Rudolph/Pickens connection has enlivened long-scuffling Pittsburgh offenseThe Steelers are 9-7 SU and ATS in 2023, bringing a measure of consistency that is the exact opposite of what’s gone on in their quarterback room this year. There has been plenty of vacillation between Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky before coach Mike Tomlin settled on Mason Rudolph as the starter for the rest of the way.

Folks making Steelers bets should focus on Pittsburgh’s performance in the two games Rudolph started and won in Weeks 16 and 17. The team no longer looks like it’s playing “three yards and a cloud of dust” style football, and they’ve won, covered and hit the over during both games. Pittsburgh has hit the over four weeks in a row, and they’ll hope to run that streak to five this week and finagle a playoff spot.

Rudolph may have won the starter job on his second offensive play vs. Cincinnati in Week 16 when he hit George Pickens on an 86-yard touchdown pass. Pickens has racked up 195 and 131 receiving yards in the last two weeks, making it seem like maybe he had valid reasons to be so disgruntled at times throughout the 2023 season. Rudolph will surely be targeting Pickens often on Saturday with their season on the line.

Ravens betting news: Baltimore’s likelihood to rest starters impacts Week 18 betting game planThe Ravens are 11-5 ATS in 2023, and they’re +750 to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions this February in Las Vegas. Neither of these facts matter much for fans interested in Ravens bets for Week 18, though. Baltimore’s surge into No. 1 seed position for the AFC playoffs has considerably muddied the betting forecast.

It’s not often that you see a team with incentive to roll over and lose against a hated divisional rival, but bubble-wrapping Lamar Jackson and as many other starters (on both sides of the ball) to keep them in good shape for their Divisional Round game makes sense, to say the least. 

Astute bettors will be well-served to keep their eyes open for anything they can glean about Ravens players’ availability leading up to game time. Color us surprised if you see anyone other than Tyler Huntley under center on Saturday. It seems unlikely that Baltimore will risk injury to their most valuable players in a contest which will not impact their path forward in any way.

Steelers vs. Ravens player propsHere is a sampling of Steelers vs. Ravens props for bettors to consider from the top U.S. online sportsbooks.

Chris Boswell OVER field goals: This Week 18 matchup is kind of funky for the aforementioned reasons, so you might as well consider keeping with that vibe and making a bet on a kicker. Besides, it’s not hard to imagine a Steelers vs. Ravens game featuring a hearty serving of field goals, regardless of who suits up for these teams.George Pickens OVER receiving yards: Mason Rudolph is going to continue to target this now happy wideout, because that’s what you do with a dude who’s notched 326 receiving yards in the past two games with you as QB. Pickens should have an easier time producing against the Ravens D this week since most of their best players figure to spend more time around the Gatorade table than between the lines.Steelers vs. Ravens predictionPittsburgh will be playing like it’s their last stand because that’s exactly what Week 18 vs. the Ravens represents to them. Baltimore will be playing to keep the group that led them to their highly impressive 13-3 record safe for the playoffs. It would be a real bummer for Pittsburgh to lose to what essentially might be a squad of Ravens backups, and (as in most cases) the team starting its starters in a game for all the marbles is the one to go with vs. a team whose focus is already on the playoffs.

Pick: Steelers

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