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Sportsbooks need short-handed Ravens in delayed game

Updated December 2, 2020 - 9:29 am

The longer the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers has been delayed, the more sportsbooks need the Ravens to pull off the upset.

The Ravens and Steelers are finally set to meet at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday after the game was moved three times because of positive coronavirus tests. It was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving, then Sunday, then Tuesday, and now Wednesday.

The undefeated Steelers are consensus 10-point home favorites with a total of 42 points.

The problem for many sportsbooks is that they started taking bets before they knew Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson would be out because of the coronavirus. The Steelers opened as low as -3.

“So every bet we’ve taken since the line went up nine days ago is still live,” Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett said via text message. “There was quite a bit of early action at 3 to 4½.”

Sportsbook rules vary on the status of bets after date changes. Circa, the Westgate and William Hill confirmed that bets still stood because the game was rescheduled within a week of the original date.

Station Casinos said its rules require games to be played on the specified date, so all the early bets on the game were refunded.

Even at the new line of -10, it’s “pretty much all Steelers money,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said.

Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said it needs the Ravens to win outright to kill money-line parlays tied to the Steelers that have rolled over from the weekend.

“As of now the only way we can win any money on the game is if the Ravens pull off the upset,” he said via text message. “… Seahawks winning last night just pushed more parlays to Wednesday.”

The Steelers (10-0) are coming off a 27-3 victory over Jacksonville. Pittsburgh won at Baltimore 28-24 earlier this season.

The Ravens (6-4) are fighting just to get into the playoffs after being one of the preseason Super Bowl favorites. They have lost three of their last four games and will start Robert Griffin III at quarterback with Jackson out.

The Ravens will have at least 14 players unavailable on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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