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Staff picks for the Ravens-Steelers game

The Ravens and Steelers will meet at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day for a critical game in the AFC North title chase. The Steelers are 5-point favorites at most sports books.

When the teams played at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 9, the Ravens won 21-14, proving six of the seven staff pickers wrong. This time, we're leaning slightly less heavily toward the Steelers.

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Mark Selig (12-2 picking Ravens games)

Steelers 29, Ravens 20: The Steelers are the hottest team in the league and will be geared up to clinch the division at home. The Ravens, meanwhile, have not played well in a single road game this year -- and likely must do so twice in a row to earn a playoff ticket. If the Steelers come out hot, the recent history of this series won't matter.

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Edward Lee (11-3) 

Steelers 30, Ravens 24: Unlike the first meeting, Ben Roethlisberger won't be rusty or gimpy this time around, and Antonio Brown won't have Jimmy Smith to cover him. The Ravens will do enough offensively to stick around for most of the game before the Pittsburgh defense intercepts Joe Flacco. Plus, the Steelers rarely lose at home in December when an AFC North title is at stake.

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Childs Walker (11-3)

Steelers 27, Ravens 23: With the Ravens' defense trending in the wrong direction over the last few weeks, this feels like a dangerous time to play Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Steelers aren't world beaters this year, but they're a more balanced team than the Ravens and will break their losing streak in the rivalry.

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Jeff Zrebiec (10-4)

Steelers 31, Ravens 17: Pittsburgh has the look of a team that's gathering momentum toward a playoff run, while the Ravens seem almost in survival mode. This matchup does bring out the best in the Ravens, but they're not playing well enough on either side of the ball to knock off a red-hot team on its home field with so much on the line.

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Jen Badie (9-5)

Ravens 22, Steelers 19: The Ravens always seem to show up against the Steelers. Not only have the Ravens won four in a row in the series, they hold a regular-season record of 8-3 against their rivals since 2011. Justin Tucker may end up being the difference in a game with playoff implications.

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Mike Preston (9-5)

Ravens 17, Pittsburgh 14: Until the Pittsburgh Steelers show otherwise, I am sticking with the Ravens, who have won the last four games in this series. Pittsburgh has more power offensively than the Ravens, but the Ravens have more veterans such as linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, safety Eric Weddle and receiver Steve Smith Sr., who have played in big games. For Suggs and Smith, this could be their last big-time opportunity, and they will rise to the occasion. The Ravens have no fear of Pittsburgh and won't be intimidated.

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Peter Schmuck (9-5)

Steelers 30, Ravens 16: Maybe Ravens fans will get a Christmas surprise, but the Ravens looked very vulnerable in the second half against the struggling Eagles at home, and the Steelers looked unbeatable in the second half of their comeback win over the Bengals. The Ravens know how to win at Heinz Field, but they might not have what it takes to do it this time.

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