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Nic Ladds 18th Jan 2009 - 14:47

Ravens can rob Steelers of shot at glory

After a long, gruelling season it is nearly Superbowl time! First we just have the not so small matters of the conference final games to decide which two franchises will meet at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on February 1.

For added interests and excitement we have enhanced the prices on a host of first touchdown scorers so you can get more for you money while enjoying these fantastic games.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers - 23:30 live on Sky Sports 2

This should be one of the most brutal and exciting conference finals that we have seen in recent years.

Pittsburgh have already beaten Baltimore twice this season and are short favourites at 2/5 to record another victory. However, the Steelers won the two previous matches by a combined total of just seven points (wins of 13-9 and 23-20) and at 21/10 The Ravens are no forlorn hope.

On this evidence it would appear that Baltimore receiving six points on the spread at odds of 10/11 is a gift while Pittsburgh are 10/11 giving up the six.

The Steelers are rightly favourites due to their superior record over the Ravens this season and the fact that they have home advantage.

It has been suggested that Baltimore will be tired having played 17 games in a row while Pittsburgh have had a two week break from the action.

However this will not necessarily disadvantage the Ravens. Yes they've been in action every week but it means they will not have got out of the mind set of playing a big game and perhaps the two week break for the Steelers could actually be a disadvantage.

The Ravens defence is excellent and seem to have a habit of sacking Steelers quarter back Ben Roethilsburger in previous meetings (23 sacks in five meetings). The Ravens have been excellent at turning over the ball and the Steelers defence cannot allow such occurrences to happen.

All eyes will be on Baltimore quarter back Joe Flacco who has been mightily impressive for a rookie considering his stats don't look that impressive on paper. He plays with a confidence that can only be growing as the Ravens progress towards the Superbowl.

Willie Parker is the biggest threat for Pittsburgh at odds of 11/2 to score the first touch down while LeRon McClain and Willis McGhee will look to get the Ravens off to a flyer at 6/1 and 7/1 respectively to score the first touch down.

The winning margin is likely to be small and a wager on the Ravens to win by 1-6 points at 5/1 appeals while the same margin in favour of the Steelers is 7/2 in the betting.

There could well be a lot of penalties given away and whoever comes out of this game victorious could be battered and bruised for the Superbowl final.

At the prices the Ravens are favoured to edge out the Steelers in what should be a truly fascinating game.

Recommendation:
Baltimore Ravens - 21/10

Below is a list of all the enhanced first touch down scorer prices as part of the last day of the January Sale

Player

Team

Was

Now

LeRon Mclain

Ravens

11/2

6/1

Santonio Holmes

Steelers

10/1

12/1

Hines Ward

Steelers

7/1

8/1

Mark Clayton

Ravens

14/1

16/1

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