Point spread: New England – 2.5
It will be a battle of heavyweights in the AFC this upcoming Sunday afternoon when the New England Patriots travel to Heinz Field for a showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8’s premier matchup in the NFL. Kick-off is slated for 4:15 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
New England went into its bye last week with a 5-1 straight-up record (4-2 against the spread) overall and a 2-1 record both SU and ATS on the road. The total has stayed ‘under’ in two of its last three games, but has gone ‘over’ in four of six this season.
It is little surprise that the Patriots are off to another strong start given the play of two of its biggest stars. Tom Brady has already thrown for 2,163 yards and 16 touchdowns, while his favorite target, Wes Welker has 51 receptions for 785 yards and six touchdown catches.
Pittsburgh has kept pace with Baltimore in the AFC North with a 5-2 SU start (3-4 ATS) but it has done it primarily behind a defense that is ranked third in the NFL in total yards allowed; giving-up an average of just 279 yards a game and second in points allowed; giving-up an average of 17.4 points a game.
The Steelers are 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) at home this season and the total has gone ‘over’ in four of their seven games overall. In three straight victories heading into this game, they have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 87-50.
New England is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games overall and 6-1 SU in its last seven games on the road. The total has gone ‘over’ in six of its last eight road games.
Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last five games at home and the total has gone ‘over’ in eight of its last 11 games overall.
The Patriots have had the recent edge in this series with a 4-1 record both SU and ATS in the last five meetings. They are 6-1 ATS in their last seven trips to Pittsburgh and the total has gone ‘over’ in five of the last seven games played there.
It would be hard to bet against a Bill Belichick team that has had two weeks to prepare for a game against any opponent so stick with New England to win and cover the 2.5 points on the road against the Steelers.
The Pick: New England 28 Pittsburgh 23
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