Opening Line: Patriots -7 O/U 45.5
Time: 4:25 PM EST Sunday October 23, 2016 on CBS
New England Patriots (5-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
This was supposed to a be a marquee QB match up with Tom Brady facing Ben Roethlisberger, but Big Ben hurt his knee in his last game and will miss this AFC match up. Brady has not missed a beat since coming back from the Deflate-Gate suspension and it is no surprise with him on fire and Big Ben out that the Pats are the 7-point road favorite.
With Big Ben on the sidelines the Steelers will turn to Landry Jones under center, but the rushing offense for the Steelers ranks a respectable 15th so look for them to lean on the run game with their leader out.
In their last games the Patriots beat the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17 and the Steelers lost to the Miami Dolphins 30-15.
On the season the Patriots are 5-1 ATS with an O/U record of 2-4 and the Steelers are 4-2 ATS with an O/U record of 2-4.
The Steelers are the home dog in this game, but they are 3-0 at home and both of their losses have come on the road.
Landry Jones only has one pass attempt this season, but last season with Big Ben out he passed for 377 yards with three TD and two INT in two games. He has a solid WR duo in Antonio Brown and Sammie Coates, who each have over 420 receiving yards on the season, but it is key that Jones has protection and does not turn the ball over.
Pittsburgh RB Le’Veon Bell has 440 yards from scrimmage in three games since returning from suspension and look for him to get a lot of work in this game. However, New England ranks 12th in the league in run defense and 21st in pass defense.
Brady has not look rusty in one bit since coming back and in only two games he has 782 yards with six TD and he has not been picked off. He has a solid WR corps and two solid TE’s in Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski. The Steelers rank 2nd to last in the league defending the pass and their pass rush has not been very good either with only eight sacks through five games.
The Steelers were torched on the ground last week in the loss to the Dolphins and Pats’ RB LeGarrette Blount is banged up, only had 37 rushing yards in the win over Cincy, and he is only averaging 3.7 yards per carry.
- The Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall, 2-5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, and in their last 4 road games the total has gone Under every time.
- The Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games, 5-2-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall, and they have an Under record of 8-2 in their last 10 games.
- The Patriots are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games against the Steelers.
- The Patriots are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Free Pick
The Patriots come into this game beat up at the LB position which could be a big problem against one of the better rushing attacks in the league. The Steelers run for 4.5 yards per carry which is good for 8th in the NFL and not only are the RBs dangerous running the ball but they can catch it out of the backfield with Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams combining for 35 catches and 268 yards. This line is an overlay based on Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger being out.
Take the Pittsburgh Steelers +7.5
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