It’s been a roller coaster type season for the Pittsburgh Steelers but after their big win against the Patriots on Sunday, the Steelers control their own destiny to make the playoffs and clinch the AFC North. The road block in front of them this week, is the league’s best team – the 12-2 Saints.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Saints and Steelers don’t have much of a history between one another, only meeting four times since the 1994 season. Of the four games, both teams have won two games. In the most recent game (2014 season) with the Saints topped the Steelers 35-32.
The Steelers are 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five games following a cover. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win.
The Saints are 5-1 on home field this season, including 4-0 ATS in their last four games under the dome.
Finally the Saints are 5-0 to the under in their last five games, while the Steelers are 4-1 to the under in their last five games.
Is the monkey off the backs of the Steelers? It certainly seems that way after knocking off the New England Patriots and snapping a five game losing streak against the Pats. In fact, prior to last Sunday’s game, the last time the Steelers knocked off New England was October 2011.
The Steelers hold a half game lead over the Ravens in the AFC North Division but have a tough game ahead of them against a Saints team that has lost just one game at home this season (5-1).
Jaylen Samuels had his welcome to the NFL moment against the Patriots this past Sunday rushing the ball 19 times for 142 years. The rookie entered the game with just 59 yards on the ground rushing primarily in a role as the back-up. Starter James Connor is expected back versus the Saints, so the Steelers could have a good one-two punch behind Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers running game has not been good this season, currently ranked 30th in the league averaging just 93.9 yards per game as a good. The Connor-Samuels combo could be exactly what the team needs at this time of season.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints became the league’s first 12 win team with a victory over the Panthers (12-9) on Monday night.
The Saints defence has been a revelation this season. Currently the Saints are ranked 11th in total defence allowing an average of 341.6 yards per game, and number one against the rush, allowing an average of 79.1 yards per game against. The defence has also been shut down in the last six games allowing an average of 11.8 points per game.
One concern that has made its way to the forefront is the team’s offence. The Saints are well-known for having a high-scoring, high-profile attack, but it’s been the opposite the last month. Digging deeper into the numbers, Drew Brees has not eclipsed the 204 yard mark in passing since November 18 against the Eagles. Over the last four games, Brees has averaged just 175 yards passing.