Sunday, Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: Chicago -2.5
Total Line: 40
The Bears are off to a 2-0 start straight-up but they are 0-1-1 against the spread with the total going OVER in both of their games. Their 24-21 come from behind victory over Cincinnati at home on opening day ended as a PUSH and they could not cover a six-point spread at home in last Sunday’s 31-30 win over Minnesota. The big takeaway from these two games is a revamped offense that is clearly able to put points on the board.
Offensive guru Marc Trestman was brought in as Chicago’s new head coach and it has already paid dividends with a unit that has demonstrated some solid balance with Jay Cutler throwing the ball and Matte Forte running it. Its 27.5-point scoring average is ranked sixth in the NFL. As expected, the Bears’ defense appears to have taken a step backwards with the loss of long-time veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher. Through the first two games, it is ranked 17th in the league overall and 22nd in points allowed.
Despite numerous player losses from last year’s roster including Mike Wallace on offense and James Harrison on defense, many of the sportsbooks still had Pittsburgh favored to win the AFC North this season. That bet is not looking too good right now after a 0-2 start both SU and ATS. The Steelers’ 11-game home winning streak on opening day came to an end in an ugly 16-9 loss to Tennessee as six-point favorites. The offense continued to struggle this past Monday night in a 20-10 loss to Cincinnati as seven-point underdogs on the road.
It is pretty obvious that there is something wrong with Pittsburgh’s offense with just 19 points in two games. It cannot run the ball at all with an average of 37.5 yards in the first two games and Ben Roethlisberger has completed less than 60 percent of his throws for 442 yards. He has two touchdown passes, but he has also been picked-off two times as well. The only positive for this team has been a defense that has been able to keep it in both games.
Free NFL Pick
The Bears will take their show on the road for the first time this season and as bad as Pittsburgh has looked it will still be a tall task for them to come away with a win at Heinz Field. You have to ask yourself, are the Bears really that good and are the Steelers really that bad. I am going with no on both fronts; making Pittsburgh my free NFL pick in a game that should also stay UNDER the total if you are looking for a parlay.
Pittsburgh 20 Chicago 17
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.