Sunday, Nov. 3, 4:25 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: New England -7.5
Total Line: 44
The Steelers’ recent winning streak only lasted two games after last Sunday’s 21-18 loss to Oakland as 2.5-point road favorites. They have now fallen to 2-5 on the year both straight-up and against the spread. The total has stayed UNDER in five of the seven games behind an offense that is averaging 17.9 points a game and a defense that is holding teams to an average of 21.9 points.
Obviously this formula is not winning games and it probably will not be enough to win this week against a New England offense that is slowly returning to form. Pittsburgh has had a tough time running the ball this season with an average of just 68.7 yards a game, but Ben Roethlisberger has also had his share of problems in the passing game. He has thrown for 1,930 yards and eight touchdowns, but Big Ben has also been picked-off seven times and sacked 26 times in his first seven games.
New England has not been one of the prettiest teams to watch this season, but at 6-2 SU (4-4 ATS) it continues to find ways to manufacture wins. Last week against Miami, the Patriots dug themselves into a 17-3 hole by halftime, but a much better second half resulted in a 27-17 victory as 6.5-point home favorites. The total stayed UNDER the 46.5-point line after going OVER in three of their previous four games.
The return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the starting lineup has been a sight for sore eyes on an offense that had been decimated by multiple losses to its receiving corps. He has caught 10 balls for 141 yards in his first two games back and should remain Tom Brady’s primary target for this Sunday’s game as long as he is not hindered by a sore hamstring. New England’s defense has also been hit hard with injuries, but it is still ranked fifth in the league against the pass and sixth in points allowed (18.0).
Free NFL Pick
This matchup could be a solid play on the total line with the final score staying UNDER the 44-point line, but the free NFL pick is Pittsburgh plus the 7.5 points on the road. I still see New England winning this game SU, but with the Steelers’ season on the line they will keep things close to the bitter end.
New England 24 Pittsburgh 20
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.