New England Patriots (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1)
NFL Football: Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 4:25 pm (Heinz Field)
The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5 -- Over/Under: 49 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers meet in a huge week 15 NFL matchup from Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon.
The New England Patriots will be looking to bounce back after suffering a brutal 34-33 last-second loss to the Miami Dolphins in their last outing. Tom Brady has thrown for 3,700 yards, 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on 65.6% passing while Sony Michel leads New England in rushing with 706 yards and 5 touchdowns. Josh Gordon leads New England with 701 receiving yards while James White has a team-high 76 catches for 674 yards and 6 touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman each have 600+ receiving yards as well this season. Defensively, Trey Flowers leads the Patriots with 6.5 sacks while Devin McCourty has a team-high 54 tackles this season. As a team, New England is averaging 397.1 yards of total offense and 28 points per game this season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in dire need of a win to snap a 3-game losing streak after a 24-21 loss to the Raiders in their last outing. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 4,227 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 67% passing while James Conner leads Pittsburgh in rushing with 909 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the Steelers with 91 receptions for 1,234 yards and 6 touchdowns while Antonio Brown has 86 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 TD grabs this season. Defensively, T.J. Watt leads Pittsburgh with 10 sacks while Sean Davis has a team-high 51 tackles this season. As a team, Pittsburgh is averaging 408.1 yards of total offense and 28.2 points per game this season.
New England is 17-7 ATS in their last 24 road games and 36-15 ATS in their last 51 games overall while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games following a loss. Pittsburgh is 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record. New England is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams and 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh.
The Patriots loss to the Dolphins was shocking, but in my opinion it was only a shock in how it ended but not necessarily a shock that it happened, as Tom Brady is just 7-10 in his career in Miami and 1-6 in Miami in the month of December. I called Oakland covering against Pittsburgh last week, and called it as a 3-point game, but definitely did not expect the Steelers to lose outright. Conner is questionable again for the Steelers, but given how Pittsburgh has played lately, I’m not sure it matters. New England is still fighting for a first-round bye, and while points at home with a desperate Pittsburgh team is tempting, the Steelers haven’t been playing well enough to be worth backing. Add in New England’s success ATS both overall and in Pittsburgh and I think laying the points with New England is the play here.