Yesterday it was a 1-1 day for us here at The Sports Geek. The Bears seemed to rediscover their defense, and Jay Cutler decided to play well en route to a victory over the Vikings. It looked like the Vikes +3 was an easy winner after a 10-0 start for Minnesota, but the talent of the Bears prevailed. I highly doubt Chicago makes any playoff noise in 2014, as they still have yet to prove they can beat the good teams. In the Sunday nighter, our Over 57 play in the Patriots/Colts came through. As was predicted, it was a high octane game from both teams and it’s clear that with the way the Pats are playing, they’re one of the top teams in football. The Colts are still a ways away, and with that defense it’s hard to think they’ll make much noise in the post-season. Onto tonight where the Steelers will take on the Titans in a very big game for Pittsburgh. After losing to the Jets in Week 10, Pittsburgh needs a convincing win tonight to keep those playoff aspirations alive. Even though this rivalry has died down in recent years, it’s still a big one tonight as we’ll look to go to 3-1 to close out Week 11. Read on below for tonight’s game breakdown and our official wager for Monday Night Football.
Steelers vs. Titans Betting Odds:
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 (-125)
@ Tennessee Titans +6 (+105)
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Steelers vs. Titans Pick:
With the playoffs in sight, and last week’s dismal loss to the Jets still stinging, expect a motivated Pittsburgh squad to take the field tonight in Tennessee. While Pittsburgh is still not quite as good as their record would indicate, and have benefitted from an immensely soft schedule, they’re a better team than the reeling Titans, and should dispose of them quite easily. That said, the spread in this match-up is a difficult proposition. Trusting the Steelers is tough and they don’t have enough talent to just assume they’ll blow the Titans out on the road on national TV. As a result, for tonight’s contest we’ll be focusing on the total of 45.5, which has come down from 47-47.5 in the past 24 hours or so.
I agree with the line move wholeheartedly and still think there’s good value playing Under 45.5. For the Titans, rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger is playing right now mostly out of necessity. He’s not very good and doesn’t have much potential, and he is defintiively not the long-term fix at this position for the Titans. Mettenberger has been wildly inconsistent in his early NFL career, and we all know Dick LeBeau’s record against rookie QB’s. The Steelers defensive coordinator is a stunning 18-2 against rookie quarterbacks since he became the DC back in 2004. He simply shuts them down and that’ll be the case again tonight. Right now, the Titans are one of the worst offenses in the game. Mettenberger’s passing game is weak, and the run game is even weaker. They’ve average just 2.9 yards a carry over the past five games, and only Jacksonville scores fewer points than them. Even without Polamalu and Shazier, the Steelers should be able to really limit the Titans tonight.
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers offense came to a screeching halt last week in New York. And while some of that was the Jets defense, a lot of it was because it’s just not that great. The 500-yard passing games from Ben Roethlisberger are long gone and shouldn’t re-appear anytime soon. Tonight, Tennessee will look to adopt the Jets gameplan and get to Big Ben at will. Jurrell Casey and Derrick Morgan are excellent rushers, and look for them to burst through the lines, wreaking havoc in the Pittsburgh backfield. The Titans however do have a tendency to be soft against the run, and that’s likely what the Steelers will need to do to be successful tonight. Tennessee ranks 29th in the league in defending the run, and expect a healthy dose of Le’veon Bell. With lots of run plays in the forecast, expect time to slip away fast and the clock to be constantly ticking away I can’t see either team scoring a lot, and with two questionable offenses, I’ve got to lean Under tonight. A 6-point teaser with the Steelers winning and Under 51ish seems like a solid wager as well. Good luck!
PICK = Under 45.5 (-110)