Following a huge win at home last week against the Patriots, the Steelers will take to the field again this time vs. an arguably tougher foe in the New Orleans Saints. Pittsburgh revitalized their playoff hopes in Week 15 with a stellar showing, though there is still work to do and it won’t be easy down in Louisiana.
The Saints enter Week 16 surely with a bitter taste in their mouths following a dismal showing on Monday Night Football. Yes, they won their game – but the manner in which they disposed of a lowly Panthers squad was disappointing. They clearly still struggle away from home, but fortunately in Week 16 they’ll be home for the holidays to battle a dangerous and motivated Steelers group. New Orleans is also really battling for the best record overall in the NFL, and that coveted top-seed in the NFC. For the Saints, homefield is everything so expect a motivated and focused outing from Sean Payton’s squad in this one.
Of all the games in Week 16, this one should be must-see television. Both teams are playing for something so the motivation is there, and the talent on both sides of the ball should be fun to watch. Read on below the odds for a tactical breakdown on both sides, and an official pick for the Saints vs. Steelers for Week 16.
Steelers vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 (-110)
@ New Orleans Saints -6.5 (-110)
Over 53 (-110)
Under 53 (-110)
Steelers vs. Saints Pick:
The Saints on the road are a vastly different than at home. It’s just a fact. Their prolific offense has looked sluggish away from the dome against pedestrian defensive units, and last Monday night was no different. New Orleans managed a lowly twelve points against Carolina, and you better believe they’ll be seeking retribution this week.
Against the Steelers, look for the Saints to get back to their scoring ways on the friendly turf at the Superdome. Pittsburgh boasts some pretty huge defensive issues, specifically with regard to their porous secondary. Joe Haden can’t cover everyone himself, and their remaining guys at defensive back positions are clearly overmatched. The Saints have great depth at the receiver positions, and should be able to exploit this at will.
On the ground, Pittsburgh has been fine in stopping the run – but the Saints do most of their damage through the air, and this contest will be no different. Expect Brees to utilize Alvin Kamara as a receiver out of the backfield, putting all kinds of stress on the Steelers’ linebackers. Expect New Orleans to move the chains at will.
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers will need to do everything in their power to try and keep pace with a high-octane Saints attack. Unfortunately, New Orleans’ defense is rounding into form and gave Cam Newton all kinds of trouble in Week 15.
The Saints have also become a very solid group at stuffing the run game. Whoever features for Pittsburgh in this contest likely won’t have much success at finding holes and getting into open space. With James Conner still injured, the converted tight end Jaylen Samuels will need a big game – but I just don’t see it happening.
As such, look for Ben Roethlisberger to try and create all of the Steelers’ big scoring opportunities. He was great last week at home vs. New England, but this week will be a different story. Expect the Saints to play off Pittsburgh and really try and focus on the passing game. Marshon Lattimore will blanket Antonio Brown, while Eli Apple will do a decent job on the speedy JuJu Smith-Schuster. For all of the Steelers’ talent, the Saints’ defense does match up well against them.
This line has been downgraded because of the Saints’ recent play away from the Superdome. They are much better than Pittsburgh, and especially at home where New Orleans likely receives the biggest boost of all teams when playing in their own stadium. At less than a touchdown, look for the Saints to take advantage of the fact that they control their own destiny and clinch the top seed in the NFC.
PICK = Saints -6.5 (-110)