Season to date: 12-5 ATS (ATS = Against the Spread), +31 units
Plays are rated from 1-10 units with 10 being the strongest.
The big storyline in this game is Ben Roethlisberger’s absence & Michael Vick’s sudden emergence. The Ravens are 0-3 and are in desperation mode on a short-week but, to keep things in perspective, they were also in desperation mode last week vs Cincinnati at home and laid an egg.
I’ll breakdown the game in a second but there are a few things I have to share with everyone so we are all on the same page and you have an idea of my vision for this season:
- First– my vision for this site is 100% long-term. Like any good professional sports team I don’t really care what my record is right now because it means nothing if later in the season I don’t continuously improve. Similarly that means that losses are nothing more than lessons learned and opportunities to grow for later in the season.
- Secondly – I will start selling my picks in Week 5. Full pricing will be available starting next week. I will still offer free tips on this site and I strongly encourage you to signup on my homepage for free email tips (if you’ve signed up already and haven’t received anything yet, they’re coming soon, that’s my word to you). This site is about much more than just wins & losses – I will give you tips for free that you won’t find many other places on the market (if you stayed away from the Colts last week or teased the Cardinals then you know what I’m talking about).
- Lastly – In a perfect world I never go on a losing streak, you and I win all season long, and you mail me a bottle of Dom Perignon to celebrate. But let’s be real here: losses are inevitable from time to time. I’ve been involved with sports for long enough at high levels as a coach, handicapper, and player to know what the recipe for success is. Let’s just keep plugging away and create a winning season over the course of the long-term.
Now on to the game.
Tonight’s game is brought to you by FanDuel and Joe from Minnesota who won over $600 million by playing FanDuel!
Kidding. They didn’t actually sponsor me. But I see enough of their commercials and they sell the million dollar dream like it’s that easy so I’m allowed to have my fun and share my opinion. Nothing against FanDuel – I get that it’s fun as hell and there is definitely money to be made (on top of the fact that they kill it in business) but as a businessman & a professional salesman I’m a firm believer in setting fair expectations and they make the dream seem too easy. I’m not selling the million dollar dream here. It’s not about money. It’s about doing what I’m passionate about and have fun with. Winning is usually a byproduct of that and whatever reward you get out of that is up to you. But anyways, I digress. Let’s talk football now:
- BAL @ PIT – UNDER 44.5 (no play on the side)
This game has Under written all over it. I rewatched the Steelers game vs. the Rams last week and am not convinced that Michael Vick can manufacture many scoring drives tonight. He was 5-6 for 38 yards vs. the Rams and, while that’s a small sample size to measure, he fumbled the ball and had an incompletion that should’ve definitely been an interception. He is surrounded by some of the best skill players in the game so Pittsburgh’s coaching staff will not let Vick decide this game – expect Le’Veon Bell to be a workhorse tonight grinding out drives and eating clock. Expect Antonio Brown to be heavily involved in the short pass game along with Markus Wheaton and Heath Miller behind him. Given Vick’s tendencies to fumble in the pocket and his inability to run like he used to, expect the Steelers to grind this game out on offense the ground & pound way.
When Baltimore is on offense I’m not confident in them racking up points either. I’ve rewatched all 3 of their games this year and this is about as one-dimensional of an offense as you’ll see in the NFL. Steve Smith Sr. is their entire offense thus far. They were lucky to put up 24 points vs CIN last week as 1 TD came from defense and another was a lucky 4th & 5 conversion that had no business being a TD. They have major injuries at WR and TE and the only other contributor in the passing game- Crockett Gilmore- is hurt for this game now too. Baltimore’s offensive line has been shaky and the Steelers D looked very fast last week vs. the Rams.
I think both coaches know what they have here- two limited offenses who will need to work for every point they score tonight. I envision a coaching chess-match that will make field position and hard tackling a priority.
The only way I see this game going Over is if Steve Smith Sr. has more than a few ridiculous plays downfield and/or we see some special teams magic.
Team for team though, the Under is the play.
Under 44.5, 5 units.
Follow me on Twitter @spreadinvestor where I will start tweeting in-game tips & comments from here on out. You want to get on those – when I have a 2nd half play, you’ll find it there (NOT Facebook).
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