(7-3, 6-4 ATS)
(2-8, 5-4-1 ATS)
The Buffalo Bills have strung together back to back wins for the first time this season. Can they make it three in a row? The surging Pittsburgh Steelers stand in their way in an NFL betting affair in Orchard Park on Sunday.
Pittsburgh is still in an interesting spot in this game. Though QB Ben Roethlisberger has now been back in the lineup for a solid two months, it still really doesn’t feel like this offense is in sync in any way, shape, or form. Playing without the services of Willie Colon, Max Starks, Maurkice Pouncey, and Chris Scott up front has been devastating for a team that is build to run the football. Instead, the Steelers are finding themselves punished on the offensive line, and the end result has been too many short drives for comfort. The only thing holding Pittsburgh in a tie for first place in the AFC North has been its defense. The men in black and gold have slipped just a bit there as well, as they have lost both DE Aaron Smith and DE Brett Keisel. Again, losing in the line of scrimmage isn’t something that the Steelers are used to, but that’s exactly what is happening. It’s very simple. When this defense plays well like they did last week against the Oakland Raiders, the Steelers are winning. When the unit slacks off like it did two weeks ago against the New England Patriots, it doesn’t stand a chance.
The Bills have been wondering who they are going to take next year in the NFL Draft to be their future starting quarterback, but maybe they should start wondering whether the man that they have right now is capable of doing the job. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick really doesn’t have all that much to work with, but he is really putting up great numbers this year. Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,961 yards and 18 TDs in just eight games of action, and he has his eyes set on a 3,000 yard season even though he started the year on the bench. In his first two years in the league, WR Steve Johnson really didn’t look like he stood a chance of making a full time impact on the Buffalo offense. He caught just 12 passes for 112 yards. However, this year, he might be a Pro Bowler. After another game in which he had over 130 yards, his third of the season, Johnson is up to 52 catches, 728 yards, and nine TDs. On the ground, RB CJ Spiller is probably out of the lineup once again, which will leave the dubious task of trying to beat the Pittsburgh ground game to RB Fred Jackson.
The NFL odds are all over the board in this game depending on where you look. We can find Buffalo at +7 and Pittsburgh at -6 with both at -110 odds. We have a tough choice to make here, but we know that the Steelers have been losing games at the line of scrimmage. Buffalo has some great skill players, but it doesn’t quite have the horses up front to win games like this one on a regular basis. Lay the points with confidence.
NFL Free Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -6