Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots - 12/17/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots - 12/17/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots (10-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

NFL Football: Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm (Heinz Field)

The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers +3 -- Over/Under: 53 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers meet Sunday in NFL action at Heinz Field.

The New England Patriots look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this season to remain in the race for the top seed in the AFC. The New England Patriots have won six of their last seven road games. Tom Brady is completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 3,865 yards, 27 touchdowns and six interceptions. Brady has two or more touchdown passes in five of his last eight games. Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 1,773 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns while Danny Amendola has 52 receptions. The New England Patriots ground game is averaging 113.2 yards per contest, and Dion Lewis leads the way with 607 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, New England is allowing 19.2 points and 374.6 yards per game. Devin McCourty leads the New England Patriots with 78 tackles, Trey Flowers has six sacks and Duron Harmon has three interceptions. 

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The Pittsburgh Steelers look to build on their eight-game winning streak to pretty much lock up the top seed in the AFC. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their last four home games. Ben Roethlisberger is completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,744 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Roethlisberger has two or more touchdown passes in each of his last five games. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster have combined for 2,094 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns while Le'Veon Bell has 75 receptions. The Pittsburgh Steelers ground game is averaging 99.7 yards per contest, and Bell leads the way with 1,105 yards and seven touchdowns. Defensively, Pittsburgh is allowing 19.3 points and 303.8 yards per game. Ryan Shazier leads the Pittsburgh Steelers with 89 tackles, Cameron Heyward has nine sacks and Mike Hilton has two interceptions.

The Patriots are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in December and 34-16-2 ATS in their last 52 games overall. The Steelers are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games in December and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh, 12-4 ATS in their last 16 meetings and the over is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings.

The New England Patriots rarely lose back-to-back games, so I guess they're the right team favored, but they also don't always play the Steelers on the road on short rest after a loss. The Patriots offense had major issues against the Miami Dolphins Monday night, and I'm not sure getting Gronkowski back is going to fix everything. New England also couldn't consistently stop Miami's offense, which is horrible news when going up against Big Ben, Bell, Brown and the rest of the gang. The Steelers may not win pretty and have had to make big comebacks recently against lesser teams, but they get the job done and when they're focused and dialed in, usually in the second half, they're a tough team to stop. This is pretty much for the top seed in the AFC and it's in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure how you can turn down the free field goal with the Steelers, especially with the Pats on short rest and playing back-to-back road games.

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Randy’s Pick Pittsburgh Steelers +3

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.