SNF Week 13 odds: Steelers favorites at home vs. Chargers

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One positive reason for why the Pittsburgh Steelers can seem like a soap opera at times is that they inevitably bounce back quickly from bad games.

Coming off a road loss to sub-.500 Denver, the Steelers, with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger behind center, are 3.5-point betting favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers with a 52-point total on the Sunday Night Football odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Steelers are 7-0-1 straight-up in their last eight games after a loss, but are 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games against teams with winning records. The OddsShark NFL Database also notes the Steelers are 6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS in their last nine home games as a favorite of 3.0 to 7.0 points. The Chargers are 4-10 SU and 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 road games as a underdog in that 3.0 to 7.0 range.

The Chargers are 8-3 SU and 6-5 ATS behind the leadership of their own 15-year veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, but only one of their wins is against a team with a winning record. Some skepticism about a Southern California-based team going into Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field in December minus feature running back Melvin Gordon (MCL sprain) is understandable, but the Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against AFC North teams and 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games after consecutive home games.

Austin Ekeler, Gordon’s replacement, is actually averaging more yards per touch than the starter. If strong safety Morgan Burnett (back, doubtful) is out for the Steelers, the Chargers passing game could get receivers such as Keenan Allen into more favorable matchups against a Steelers pass defense that allows just 6.9 yards per throw (fourth in the NFL).

The Steelers are 7-3-1 SU and 6-4-1 ATS, and have been electric in prime time, where they are 14-1 SU in their last 15 night games under coach Mike Timlin. The big question for bettors might be determining whether some recent issues – such as seven turnovers in their last two games, and a ground game built around James Conner that has cooled off – are anomalous or actual regressions.

In the passing phase, Roethlisberger and his two favorite receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster seem to have a challenging matchup, as the Chargers cornerback tandem of Casey Hayward and Michael Davis have helped Los Angeles limit teams to 7.2 yards per pass (ninth in the NFL). With Marcus Gilbert ruled out, the Steelers will also have right tackle Matt Feiler lined up against a top edge pass rusher in Joey Bosa. With all that being said, the Steelers have shown a propensity for rising to the occasion at home.

The effect of Gordon’s absence could be more acute in the totals, since he tends to churn out first downs that keep the clock rolling.  The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Chargers’ last 11 road games, with an average combined score of 39.18 points. The total has gone OVER in three of the Chargers’ last four games against the Steelers, with an average combined score of  56.75 points. The total has gone OVER in six of the Steelers’ last seven games at home, with an average combined score of 62.86 points.

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

 

Sunday Night Football odds: Rams field-goal favorites at Bears

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It is, perhaps, a sign of the times – and of the Los Angeles Rams’ capabilities – that a first-place Chicago Bears team is an underdog at home in December.

Los Angeles, with quarterback Jared Goff behind center, are three-point road favorites on the NFL odds for Week 14 against the Bears with a 51-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

This is the first time since 2013 that a Bears team with a winning record has been an underdog in a December game at Soldier Field. The Rams are 12-2 straight-up and 8-6 against the spread on the road over the last two seasons. The Bears, who are getting No. 1 quarterback Mitch Trubisky back from a shoulder injury, are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games at home.

The Rams, favorites on the Super Bowl odds, are 11-1 SU and 5-5-2 ATS this season, but this is only their second game where they have been favored by fewer than 6 points. The main question surrounding the Rams will be how often Goff will have a clean pocket in the face of a pass rush led by Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack.

Chicago’s defensive unit is in the top five of the NFL in total defense and scoring defense. The teams are also Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL in takeaway/giveaway ratio. Bettors will need to make a call on what they think is more likely – the Rams’ offense and running back Todd Gurley, whose 11 turnovers include zero lost fumbles in the running game, coughing up the ball or the Bears, with a NFL-most 30 takeaways, continuing their ball-hawking ways.

The Bears, 8-4 both SU and ATS, have shown a strong tendency to be a first-half team this season, allowing just 6.2 offensive points in the first two quarters vis-à-vis 13.3 in the last two quarters. Those in doubt about the final outcome could scoot over to taking Chicago to cover as 1.5-point underdogs for the first half in NFL betting at the sportsbooks.

Whether Chicago can avoid another second-half regression could depend on whether dual threat Trubisky and running back Jordan Howard, the main options in a ground game that is sixth-last in the NFL in yards per rush, can produce sustained drives, giving the defense time to rest in between bouts with Gurley.

Another concern regarding the Bears is whether an offensive line that gives up sacks at a higher rate than its Rams counterparts can slow down Los Angeles’ Aaron Donald, whose 16.5 sacks have him on the verge of the NFL single-season record for a defensive tackle.

The total has gone OVER in six of the Rams’ last seven games in December. The total has gone OVER in four of the Bears’ last five home games, with an average combined score of 52.4 points.

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

SNF odds: Vikings field-goal favorites over Packers

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In a rivalry game between wild-card playoff contenders, bettors need to make an educated guess on which trend is the anomaly – the Minnesota Vikings’ scoring struggles at home, or the Green Bay Packers’ rather abject road record.

The Vikings are 3-point favorites on the NFL Week 12 odds against the Packers with a 47.5-point total for Sunday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The seeming disparity in the quarterback matchup aside – $84-million man Kirk Cousins (zero career playoff wins) against future Hall of Fame pivot Aaron Rodgers – the Vikings are 6-1-1 straight-up in their last eight divisional games, while the Packers are 0-7 SU and 1-5-1 against the spread in their last seven road games, with an average losing margin of 10.29 points.

The Packers are 4-5-1 SU and ATS this season, which includes an 0-5 SU and 1-3-1 ATS away record. Rodgers has regularly kept the Packers in games and has a strong track record against Minnesota, but his offensive line is in the bottom third of the NFL at preventing sacks and the unit will be facing one of the NFL’s strongest pass rushes, led by defensive end Danielle Hunter.

Minnesota does allow 7.6 yards per pass so Rodgers’ regular targets, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham, should find some openings in the pass coverage. The Packers, thanks to Aaron Jones, are quietly second in the NFL in yards-per-rush (5.1), but the Vikings allow the third-fewest yards per-rush (3.6).

The Vikings are 5-4-1 SU and 4-4-2 ATS, which includes being 2-2-1 both SU and ATS at home at U.S. Bank Stadium, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The main reason for the latter figure is that the Vikings and Cousins are scoring 7.8 fewer points per game at home than on the road. Whether that changes comes down to whether Minnesota’s passing game, with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as Cousins’ favorite outside targets, can generate some explosion plays against a Packers defense that allows 7.6 yards per pass.

Green Bay is 26th in run defense and allows a whopping 4.6 yards per rush, but Minnesota’s offensive line has had issues generating the push to spring running backs Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray to the second level. With that said, the Vikings are a respectable 14-3-1 SU and 10-7-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a favorite.

Seven of this season’s 10 Sunday night games have gone UNDER the posted total. The total has gone UNDER in six of the Packers’ last eight games against the Vikings, with an average combined score of 40.25 points. The total has also gone UNDER in eight of the Vikings’ last 11 games at night.

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