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Ravens-Steelers Headlines Week 11 in AFC North

This weekend’s edition of Sunday Night Football comes complete with added AFC North hatred.

Baltimore makes the trip to Pennsylvania to take on arch-nemesis Pittsburgh in a clash that could herald a change at the top of the division table. A win for the Steelers would usurp the Ravens from their division-leading perch, a position the team has enjoyed since the beginning of the year.

Before we get to this huge Sunday night clash though, Cincinnati and Cleveland – the division’s oft-forgotten members – take to the road in search of much-needed wins.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-8)

Sunday 1 PM ET

Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals broke a four-game losing streak with a win over the Giants last weekend, and will be looking to knock-off the lowly Chiefs this coming Sunday.

Cincinnati (4-5, 2-2 road) put a stopper on a four-game losing streak last weekend, defeating the New York Giants 31-13. The Bengals now hit the road for the first time since October 14, heading to the City of Fountains.

Kansas City (1-8, 0-4 home) sprinkled a little light on an otherwise woeful season this past Monday night, taking the Steelers to the limit, before losing in overtime. The clash marked the first time the Chiefs had led in regulation time all season. Still, it was the side’s sixth straight loss.

The Bengals defeated the Chiefs the last time these two sides met (December 2009) and has won six of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The all-time head-to-head is knotted at 13-13. Cincinnati last won in Kansas City on New Year’s Day 2006.

The line opened with the Bengals as favorites (-3) ahead of this week’s game. Neither team has fared particularly well against the spread this season however, with Cincinnati registering a 3-5-1 ATS record compared to Kansas City’s 3-6-0 ATS marker.

The over/under opened at 44. The total has gone over a combined 11 times (from 18) this season in games involving these sides.

Cleveland Browns (2-7) at Dallas Cowboys (4-5)

Sunday 1 PM ET

Cleveland (2-7, 0-4 road) returns to action this week following last Sunday’s bye. The Browns will be looking for a third win in five games.

Dallas (4-5, 1-2 home) defeated Philadelphia this past weekend to register only a second win in six games. The slumping Cowboys are hoping that a win over Cleveland – which would put the side at the .500 plateau – will jump-start a charge to the postseason.

Dallas has won its last two meetings with Cleveland and seven of the last 10. The Browns’ poor defensive record will have the Cowboys believing that streak will continue.

The line opened with the Cowboys as seven-point favorites. Dallas is 4-5-0 ATS this season, while Cleveland is 4-4-1. Cleveland has not won in Dallas since December 10, 1994.

The over/under is 44. Both sides have been more prone to going under the total, to the ratio of 11-7. Historically these sides have only toppled 44 points in two of the last nine encounters, both times in which the game ended with 45 points.

Baltimore Ravens (7-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)

Sunday 8:20 PM ET

With Ben Roethlisberger injured against the Chiefs on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers can expect an even tougher task as they welcome Baltimore on Sunday night.

What better way to round out Week 11 in the AFC North than with a clash between the division’s two form sides?

Baltimore (7-2, 2-2 road), despite being hit by the injury bug time and time again, recorded a sixth win in seven games this weekend, routing the Oakland Raiders 55-20.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh (6-3, 4-0 home) avoided an embarrassing loss to the Chiefs with an overtime field goal, running its winning streak to four games, and five from six.

Always a tough clash, the Ravens’ trip to Heinz Field this weekend will offer much insight into which of these two sides is most likely to take the division. Baltimore is currently 3-0 within the division, having twice beaten the Browns to go alongside a win over the Bengals. A win against Pittsburgh would certainly assert the Ravens’ dominance.

However, as it stands, Pittsburgh would appear to have taken over as the frontrunner, thanks to its stifling defense which is number one against the run. The Ravens meanwhile have a very un-Raven-like defense, ranking 26th in both pass and rush defense.

Baltimore swept the season series last season, while the Steelers swept the series in 2010. The all-time head-to-head record between these two sides is 21-14 in favor of Pittsburgh.

Unbeaten at home this season, Pittsburgh opens as favorites (-4½) and will be looking to improve on a 4-5-0 ATS record, a tally that is identical to that of the Ravens.

The over/under is 46 points. The total has gone over in five Ravens games this season, while it has gone under in six Steelers games. Ordinarily, it would be sensible to take the under in what would be a defensive masterpiece, but Baltimore’s defense, or lack of it, could render this game slightly different to what we’re used to.

Of course, all the trends and statistics in the world mean squat if a team’s star quarterback is injured. That’s exactly what Pittsburgh looks like it’ll be facing this weekend, with news that Ben Roethlisberger – who was injured during Monday night’s game against the Chiefs – is likely to be missing this coming weekend. With backup QB Byron Leftwich in the mix, this might just be a bust game for bettors.

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