The NFL playoffs continue on with the divisional round. All four road teams won last week, and that was sure to upset the Vegas odds-makers dearly. This week they are out for revenge, but don't fear, our team of "experts" has been beating the spread the whole year. Now we will look at all four of this week's matchups, starting with World War III, the Baltimore Ravens versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh Steelers -3 vs. Baltimore Ravens
On the surface, these teams seem like mirror images of each other. Both currently sit with a 13-4 record. Both have relied on a strong running game, yet still possess extremely capable passing attacks. And both have always traditionally been led by explosive, feared defenses.
Pittsburgh is 5-3 at home this season. Baltimore is 5-3 on the road this season.
Five of the seven matchups between the two teams during the Joe Flacco era have been decided by three points -- the last four happening consecutively. The only other two were a 13-9 Pittsburgh victory and a 23-14 Pittsburgh playoff victory, both in which took place in Flacco's rookie year.
So how should you pick this game?
Well, Pittsburgh is the home team, so you can always side with the home playoff atmosphere. But if the trends stay consistent, you would only push with the Vegas line. Besides, this year the away team won each of the first two matchups. So obviously where the game is played doesn't matter. Plus, a little fun fact about Joe Flacco: the kid has already won four road playoff game in just three seasons in the league. That stat is all kinds of impressive.
Honestly, you just have to go with your gut on this one. My gut says that the Ravens pull the upset.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 14. A ferocious battle rages on as each team struggles to gain the upper hand. That is, until a last second Ravens drive gets them in range to kick a game winning field goal.