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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins Pick, Odds, Prediction 12/8/13

Miami Dolphins (6-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)

NFL Football: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Heinz Field)

The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 41.5 See the Latest Odds


The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they face off on Sunday in Pittsburgh in an AFC NFL matchup.

The Pittsburgh Steelrs had a miserable start to their 2013 season, but they have won three of their last four games and are holding onto their playoff hopes by a thread. The Steelers simply couldn’t create turnovers in the early going and combined with shoddy offensive line play in both run and pass blocking, it has meant trying to play catch up all season. Ben Roethlisberger has stayed healthy this season and he has completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,375 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Le’Veon Bell has taken over the Steelers ground attack, averaging 3.3 yards per carry with five rushing touchdowns. Antonio Brown has 85 receptions for 1,103 yards and six touchdowns and Emmanuel Sanders has 54 catches and four touchdowns. Lawrence Timmons has 98 tackles to lead the Steelers defense, Ryan Clark has 82 tackles, and Troy Polamalu has 55 tackles. The Steelers offense is averaging 21.9 points and 338.6 yards per game and the defense is allowing 23.2 points and 340.5 yards per game. The Steelers have no margin for error left as they probably have to win out to make the playoffs.

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins Pick, Odds, Prediction 12/8/13

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have squandered several opportunities to get ahead in the playoff race, but they are still alive in the race for the post season. The Dolphins are .500 for the season going 3-3 both home and on the road. Ryan Tannehill has completed 62.1 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions but he has been sacked 45 times. Lamar Miller in now the primary ball carrier and he is averaging 4.0 yards per carry with two touchdowns and Mike Gillislee has been activated to fill in as a backup. Brian Hartline is the Dolphins leading receiver with 62 receptions, while Mike Wallace has 56 receptions and Charles Clay has 53 catches. Phillip Wheeler leads the Miami defense with 86 tackles, Dannell Ellerbee has 77 tackles, and Reshad Jones has 73 tackles. The Miami offense is averaging 21 points and 321.9 yards per game, while the defense allows 20.7 points and 343.4 yards per game. The Dolphins might be a few pieces of the puzzle short to be a playoff team this season.

Pittsburgh is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games, 5-2 against the spread against the AFC, and 2-5 against the spread following a loss. Miami is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 road games, and 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five road games against a team with a losing home record.

This one sits at a field goal, meaning the game is a pick with three points going to the home team, which is about right here in a game where the defenses should excel. In what looks to be a tight game, I usually like to take the points and I will do that here as well.

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