This season in the NFL has been one of change. New England are no longer the dominant team in the AFC North, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now led by former New England quarterback Tom Brady, are a threat in the NFC South and there remains just one team unbeaten heading into Week 7 of the regular season.

That team is the Pittsburgh Steelers who held off a battling fightback from the Tennessee Titans, another unbeaten team heading into last week, to win 27-24 in Nashville. Helped by a missed field goal by the Titans late in the game that could have forced the game into overtime, the Steelers now move into Week Seven of the season atop the incredibly tough AFC North, which also features two other teams with genuine playoff ambitions. The Baltimore Ravens and the emerging Cleveland Browns.

However, the Black and Gold face another severe test this week as they are heading to Maryland to take on the team most people view as their main rivals for the AFC North title, the Baltimore Ravens, and the team that, for many pundits, are a good shout as the favourites to win the Superbowl this year.

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Of course, when a division has three outstanding teams vying for top spot, or at the very least a place in the now extended End of Season playoffs, interest in who will win the crucial games between divisional rivals cranks up a notch and if you would like to enjoy a bet on this weekend’s game when the Steelers travel to the Ravens, then the latest PokerStars PA Bonus Code is a fantastic option for you if you live in the Steelers’ home state of Pennsylvania.

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Let’s now take a closer look at how things stand currently in the ultra-competitive AFC North to see just how slender the lead the Steelers have over their two main rivals in this division. Below this we will also outline the key games between the three teams remaining this season as well as the two games that have already been played between them.

AFC North Standings

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – 6-0
  2. Baltimore Ravens – 5-1
  3. Cleveland Browns – 5-2
  4. Cincinatti Bengals – 1-5

NFC North – Results & Remaining Key Inter-Conference Games

  • Week 1 – Browns 6 @ 38 Ravens
  • Week 6 – Browns 7 @ 38 Steelers
  • Week 8 – Steelers @ Ravens
  • Week 12 – Ravens @ Steelers
  • Week 14 – Ravens @ Browns
  • Week 17 – Steelers @ Browns

How tough is each team’s remaining schedule?

In addition to their conference clashes outlined above, each team has to play a number of other games over the remaining weeks of the season. Let’s compare how tough the schedule is for each of the three contenders in the division:

Steelers (10 games remaining)

  • 1st November – @ Baltimore Ravens
  • 8th November – @ Dallas Cowboys
  • 15th November – Cincinnati Bengals
  • 22nd November – – @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 27th November – Baltimore Ravens
  • 6th December – Washington Football Team
  • 14th December – @ Buffalo Bills
  • 22nd December – @ Cincinnati Bengals
  • 27th December – Indianapolis Colts
  • 29th December – @ Cleveland Browns

Ravens (10 games remaining)

  • 1st November – Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 8th November – @ Indianapolis Colts
  • 16th November – @ New England Patriots
  • 22nd November – Tennessee Titans
  • 27th November – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 4th December – Dallas Cowboys
  • 15th December – @ Cleveland Browns
  • 20th December – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 27th December – New York Giants
  • 3rd January – @ Cincinnatti Bengals

Browns (9 games remaining)

  • 1st November – Las Vegas Raiders
  • 15th November – Houston Texans
  • 22nd November – – Philadelphia Eagles
  • 29th November – @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 6th December – @ Tennessee Titans
  • 15th December – Baltimore Ravens
  • 22nd December – @ New York Giants
  • 27th December – @ New York Jets
  • 29th December – Pittsburgh Steelers

In terms of their remaining games, it does appear as if the Browns have the easiest run in with the Steelers and Ravens facing games against five teams with winning records this season. In contrast, the Browns have just three remaining games against teams with winning records (Titans, Ravens and Steelers).

This is why these inter-conference games between the big teams in the division will be so decisive and as a result, the Browns are already behind the 8-ball here having lost their two road trips to the Ravens and Steelers comprehensively earlier in the season.

However, for many fans it will be the outcome of the two games between the Steelers and the Ravens that will likely decide the outcome of the AFC North title.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens Preview and Tips

The Steelers offense has averaged over 30 points per game this season (30.5) while the Ravens average around 29.8 points per game. The teams are also well matched in terms of average total offense in games with the Steelers once again coming out on top at 358.7 yards of total offense on average compared to the Ravens 342.2.

However, it is on defense where both teams shine with the Steelers allowing an NFL best of just 286.3 yeards of offense per game, while the Ravens have allowed 339.8. The Steelers have been particularly impressive against the Rush, allowing just 68.8 yards per game in total, comfortably the best in the NFL, however in terms of points allowed, the Ravens just shade it here having allowed just 104 points in their games this season, the fewest in the NFL, ahead of the 118 allowed by Pittsburgh in their six games so far.

This game has often been a defensive battle over the years, and it may well be that the offense that can get things going against a tough defense will be the decisive factor in this game on Sunday night.

The bookmakers have the Ravens as the -5.5 favourites to win this game on the Line betting market and that seems to be extraordinarily generous to the Steelers given that they are the unbeaten team here and as such, I would take the Steelers with that +5.5 cushion at odds of 10/11 to land a seventh win here, even if it requires the handicap to secure the bet.

The Steelers to land a win are 39/20 with bet365 and that too looks an excellent value bet.