Sunday Night Football: Steelers favorites against Packers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been indomitable in prime time, while the Green Bay Packers were a shaky play in tough road games even when franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers was healthy.

The Steelers and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are listed as 14-point favorites against the Packers with a 43-point total for the Week 12 Sunday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Pittsburgh is 6-0 against the spread in its last six games at night and is also 14-2 straight-up in its last 16 home games as the favorite, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Green Bay is just 3-8 against the spread in its last 11 November road games.

The Packers are 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS on the season, which of course includes being 1-4 SU and ATS since the game when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone. Fill-in quarterback Brett Hundley offers mobility and a strong arm, but is still very raw in his mechanics and pocket awareness, which will likely limit the impact that WR Jordy Nelson, WR Davante Adams and WR Randall Cobb will be able to make against a Steelers pass defense that allows 6.7 yards per attempt, 12th in the NFL.

Pass protection could also be an issue, given that DE Cam Heyward and the Steelers are second in the NFL in sacks while the Packers have allowed the second-most.

Green Bay, which is 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games against teams with winning records, may be drawn down to rookie RB Jamaal Williams with starter Ty Montgomery hobbled.

The Steelers are 8-2 and 6-4 ATS, but the whole has been less than sum of its parts on offense, where they rank 27th in the NFL in yards per rush and have also tossed 10 interceptions. With the Packers having SS Morgan Burnett in the lineup to help with containment, there is a chance Green Bay can keep the scoreline tight, especially if the Steelers remain intent on feeding the ball to Le’Veon Bell instead of trying to force the issue downfield.

In the passing phase, it’s probably just a matter of when WR Antonio Brown will bust loose for some big plays, especially against an opponent that is allowing 7.7 yards per pass (27th in the league).

That said, the Pittsburgh passing game could be affected by the absence of rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring). Either Eli Rogers or Martavis Bryant would draw in as the No. 2 wideout.

The total has gone over in 13 of Green Bay’s last 17 games, but much of that is attributable to the absent Rodgers. The total has gone under in eight of the Steelers’ last 10 games as a favorite, and given Green Bay’s offensive woes they would likely have to account for a lion’s share of the points for the over to hit on the 43 total.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Cowboys Field-Goal Favorites at Oakland for Sunday Night Football

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The Dallas Cowboys, with a rejuvenated Dak Prescott and a reinforced defense, also take two positive trends into a do-or-done game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.

The Cowboys are listed as a three-point road favorite against the Raiders with a 45-point total for the Week 15 Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The OddsShark NFL Database shows that the Cowboys are 8-2 straight-up and 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as a favorite on the road, as well as a commendable 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS when laying 3.5 or fewer points. Bettors sizing up the underdog Raiders and QB Derek Carr will have to measure their desultory defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14 against a 9-2 ATS mark in their last 11 games after consecutive ATS losses.

The fortunes of the Cowboys, who are 7-6 SU and ATS, have been yoked to the health of their offensive line. While RT La’el Collins (back) is listed as questionable, he has been playing without practicing over the past few games, so he should be good to go for a likely matchup against OLB Khalil Mack, edge rusher extraordinaire. Otherwise, the Cowboys, who are 5-1 SU in their last six night games, have a good matchup in the passing phase.

The Raiders allow a whopping 7.7 yards per pass and a have a NFL-low two interceptions, and Cowboys WR Dez Bryant has been very productive over the past few games.

The Dallas rushing game has been serviceable of late with an Alfred Morris-Rod Smith rotation in place of suspended star Ezekiel Elliott.

Regarding the Raiders, who are 6-7 SU and 4-8-1 ATS, the big question is whether they will come out with some urgency after mailing in the first three quarters against Kansas City. It isn’t overly auspicious that the Raiders are 3-7 SU and ATS in their last 10 home games as underdogs of 3.5 or fewer points, nor is it promising that No. 1 WR Amari Cooper (hamstring) will not be available to take advantage a young Dallas defensive secondary.

The Raiders will need to coax some consistency out of receivers such as WR Johnny Holton in order to test the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis and SS Xavier Woods. Oakland RT Marshall Newhouse could also have his hands full against DE DeMarcus Lawrence, an elite pass rusher in his own right.

Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch has five touchdowns in as many games, but the Cowboys rush defense has been fortified considerably now that OLB Anthony Hitchens and OLB Sean Lee are healthy again.

The favored team is 4-0 SU in the last four games of this matchup. Five of the Cowboys’ last six games have gone under, and the total has also gone under six of the last eight times that the Cowboys were favored on the road by 3.5 points or less.

Broncos favored on road against Colts for Thursday Night Football

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In a prime-time matchup between inconsistent teams that are playing for pride, bettors might want to zone in on who could be motivated to break some negative betting trends.

The Denver Broncos are listed as a 2.5-point road favorite against the Colts with a 51.5-point total for the NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

It has been more than a full 365 days since the Broncos, who are 0-8 straight-up and against the spread in their last eight road games, have won away from home. Getting a struggling Colts team on a short week would seem like a golden opportunity for the Broncos to get off the schneid, although Indianapolis is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games after consecutive losses.

The Broncos are also 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six games in Indianapolis, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, but all of those were with Peyton Manning quarterbacking one team or the other. Both teams’ identities have changed dramatically in the last two seasons, and not for the better.

The Broncos, who are 4-9 SU and 3-9-1 ATS, have a promising matchup in the passing phase for a change. Wideout Demaryius Thomas (four TDs in the last six games) is on a tear and the Colts come in allowing an NFL-worst 8.2 yards per pass and missing starting CBs Nate Hairston (concussion) and Rashaan Melvin (hand). Quarterback Trevor Siemian is also coming off a turnover-free game against the New York Jets in Week 14.

Denver has shut down RG Ron Leary (back) for the season, so it’s unclear how much one should expect from RB C.J. Anderson and the running game. Of course, Denver really only needs its offense to produce 2-3 scoring drives a game and not leave OLB Von Miller and the defense in perilous positions.

The Colts, who are 3-10 SU and 6-7 ATS, are struggling to keep pass rushers off young QB Jacoby Brissett and have allowed an NFL-worst 52 sacks. That hardly seems auspicious going into a matchup against Miller and other pass rushers such as DE Shelby Harris and OLB Shaquil Barrett.

With Chris Harris and Aqib Talib on the corners for Denver, it is hard to foresee a breakout from No. 1 WR T.Y. Hilton, whom Brissett has struggled to connect with in recent games. The outlook is much better for TE Jack Doyle against a Broncos defense that does struggle covering inside receivers, so if Indianapolis is to win, it might come through Brissett and Doyle cashing in on any and all red-zone visits. Denver tied for the league worst with 26 touchdown passes allowed.

The Colts face a tough matchup in the rushing phase. Denver allows a league-low 3.3 yards per rush, and Indianapolis will have to spot RB Frank Gore after he had 36 rushes in ankle-deep snow against Buffalo last Sunday.

One should read very little into the Broncos being 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 Thursday games and the Colts being an even more sterling 11-1 SU and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Thursday contests. Both teams have tailed off considerably in the last two seasons.

The total has gone under in six of the Broncos’ last seven games against teams with losing records. The total has also gone under in nine of the Colts’ last 11 games.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com