2013 Thanksgiving Day Free NFL Picks: Steelers at Ravens

Date: Thursday, 11/28/2013 (Thanksgiving Day Picks)
Time: 8:30pm ET
Network: NBC
Game Line: Dallas -8.5 (from JustBet)
Over/Under: 47
Thursday NFL analysis: The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens Thanksgiving NFL Picks 2013meet on Thanksgiving night in an AFC North clash.

The Baltimore Ravens haven’t really looked like Super Bowl contenders this year. Yet they have won two of their last three and are climbing back into the thick of things in the AFC North. Joe Flacco has looked like a shell of the Super Bowl MVP of last year. Flacco has completed just 59.1 % of his passes for 2742 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Ray Rice has also struggled this year with only 450 yards rushing while averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. The defense, despite losing Ray Lewis and some other key players due to free agency, is still a top 10 defense in the league. Newcomers Elvis Dumervil (9.5 sacks) and Daryl Smith (44 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 int) have filled in nicely to make this Raven defense rather formidable. Baltimore allows an average of 360.1 yards per game and they are still hard to run against, allowing 102 yards on the ground per contest.

After starting the season 0-4, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won five of their last seven. Since getting blasted by New England 55-31, the Steelers have responded winning three in a row, and are in the mix at least for wildcard contention. In the last 3 games, Ben Roethlisberger’s efforts have gotten the offense going, completing 63% of his passes for 788 yards and 7 touchdowns with only 1 interception. Wide receiver Antonio Brown has also been a big part of the offense. This year Brown has 80 receptions for 1044 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Steelers haven’t run the ball effectively this year, with only a combined 850 yards and averaging only 3.3 yards per carry. Rookie Le’Veon Bell has had a slow start to his career, with only 455 yards and averaging 3.2 yards per carry. The Pittsburgh defense is aging, yet they are still making plays and keeping the team in ball games, ranking 13th in the league in total defense allowing 343 yards per game. They can be run on, as they are allowing 118 yards rushing per contest, and 4.2 yards per carry.

These teams are very familiar with each other. Strangely the margin of victory in each of their past four regular season meetings has been 3 points. This is a heated rivalry, so the defenses usually bring some extra motivation to the mix. I don’t think the home field advantage, or the fact that Pittsburgh is coming off a road game on a short week is any kind of factor. The fact is that the Steelers are playing with a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence. Ray Rice’s struggles have been well documented, and many say the he’s not 100% healthy. Joe Flacco just can’t seem to get it going, and I think the loss of Anquan Boldin via trade and Dennis Pitta to injury has hindered his performance. Torrey Smith is a top talent, but the rest of the supporting cast isn’t up to par compared to last year. I think the Steelers have the momentum, and are playing a lot better on offense. Even in a rivalry game, you simply have to go with the team that is playing better, and at this point in the season, it’s the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens Free NFL Pick: Steelers +3 Over 40.5
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens Game Prediction: Steelers 23 – Baltimore 21

 

 

 

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About the author: Chad Dawkins

 

Chad A. Dawkins is not only an avid sports betting blogger and writer, but he is also a truly dedicated sports handicapper. As a very passionate sports fanatic since childhood, he’s a spirited sports handicapper of the purest form. He not only picks winners by putting in hours of time on all sports; football, basketball, & baseball handicapping. Chad truely enjoys the daily capping grind. He utilizes his love of numbers, the basic betting trends and other raw data to draw up winners. His daily capping involves combining statistics, betting systems, and public perception. He then ties all of this information with his personal knowledge of the game; which is stemmed from his regular viewing habits. Dawkins uses all the tools available to him to practice different types of situational handicapping and to develop systems. Chad uses all of this to pick winners and find value where the sports betting public doesn’t see it. Recently, Dawkins has been contributing on several top websites. He’s been a long time (5+ year) member and often shares his insights on the Cappersinfo.com forums; whom we would like to thank for recommending Chad to Total Choice Sports Picks. He has a solid understanding of how the daily lines are set by the oddsmakers, what moves the line, influences the public; and just has a solid feel for the betting market in general. For all the said reason, this is a big reason why TC-Sports-Picks is honored to have him as a contribution and future expert.

 

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