December 2, 2018 8:20 PM Eastern (Heinz Field)
The Line: Pitt -3.5
Free NFL Pick Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
This week’s Sunday Night Football game should be a really good one as the LA Chargers visit the Pittsburgh Steelers, in a match up that could have major playoff implications in the AFC.
The Steelers are looking to rebound from a brutal loss in Denver last week where the game ended on a bone headed interception thrown by QB Ben Ben Roethlisberger in the Red Zone with just about a minute left. Big Ben, off of a run pass option, which is not his strong suit these days, threw the ball into a crowd and it wasn’t close to being completed. Aside for that one throw, Big Ben was great last Sunday; he was 41/56 with 462 yards (1 TD and 2 INTs). Pittsburgh also lost 2 fumbles to go along with Ben’s two interceptions.
Until last week’s game, Pittsburgh had been red hot. Big Ben is having another excellent season (3,664 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 66.1% passing), running back James Connor has more than filled the shoes left by Le’veon Bell’s absence (849 yards and 10 touchdowns so far) and the WR combo of Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster has been awesome which has yielded the fourth best offense in the league. Their defense has been up and down but DE, TJ Watt has been excellent this year so far with 10 sacks in the first 12 weeks.
The Chargers are coming off a very easy 45-10 win against the Arizona Cardinals where QB Phillip Rivers was 28-29 (including 25 straight completions) for 259 yards and 3 TD passes. Sitting at 8-3, the Chargers have a firm hold on the top wild card spot (the #5 seed) in the AFC. The Chargers come in to this game with the sixth best offense in the league but will be without star running back, Melvin Gordon, who is out with a ACL injury. Backup, Austin Ekeler, has big shoes to fill as Gordon has already racked up 802 yards and 9 touchdowns so far this year. Rivers, at 38, has been remarkable this season and is arguably having his best year of his career (3,119 yards, 26 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on 69.5% passing). The Chargers defense is also rounding in to form, star DE Joey Bosa is back from injury and rookie safety, Derwin James, has been this season’s best defensive rookie.
The Chargers come in to this game ranked 4th overall in DVOA while the Steelers come in at 7th.
Cover the Spread 365 Trends
3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games
5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall
the over is 5-1 in their last 6 week 13 match ups
3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings between these two teams
2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh
4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games
5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall
the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against the AFC
Free NFL Prediction Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Historically, the Steelers have owned the Chargers; Pitt is 8-3 in their last 11, ATS, against them. While the Chargers are coming in hot with Phillip Rivers having arguably his best statistical season, the loss of Melvin Gordon may be too much to overcome. I do think Pittsburgh wins this game, but the extra .5 scares me.
The Pick: Pitt -175 (ML Bet)