The Sunday Night Football game of the week will showcase two of the league’s most beloved franchises in the Steelers and the Packers. Unfortunately, the game won’t be as exciting as the schedule makers and fans thought it would be when the regular season first started. With franchise QB Aaron Rodgers out for the season, Green Bay has no chance of winning this road game against one of the best teams in the league. The Pittsburgh Steelers look to keep pace with the Patriots for the best record in the AFC.
Since 1980, these two teams have played 10 times and the Steelers have beaten the Packers 7 out of those 10 times. The last time these two teams played was in 2013 and the Steelers won that game 38-31. The last time the Packers defeated the Steelers was the Super Bowl in 2011.
Green Bay (5-5) has lost 4 out of their last 5 games and 3 of 4 games with Hundley as the starting QB. They were shut out last weekend against the Ravens and look like one of the worst teams in the league. With Rodgers out, the Packers are done for the season. They can’t move the ball on offense and they just have no rhythm with Hundley as QB.
The Steelers (8-2) are 3-1 at home and come into this contest riding a 5 game winning streak. They look like one of the best teams in the league and have a deadly balance of pass and run on their offense. But, it’s their defense that is really leading the way and that unit has a juicy matchup this weekend against the Packers. Will the Steelers make it a 6th straight win on the season?
The spread opened with the Steelers favored by 14.5 points. It has come down slightly to 14 points. The Over/Under opened at 41.5 points and has gone up to 43.5 total points.
A two touchdown spread is a lot to cover in the NFL. But, if you have seen each team play, then you will know why it’s that high. I was almost tempted to pick the Under for this one because I don’t see the Packers scoring more than a touchdown. But, this game can get out of hand quickly, resulting in the Steelers pulling starters and not scoring as much on offense in the latter stages of the game. So, the 14 point spread is the way to go with this game.
In the 5 games with Brett Hundley under center, the Packers are averaging 13.4 ppg and that includes scoring Zero points last weekend. During those games, Hundley has not thrown for more than 245 yards. Additionally, he has 4 total touchdowns and 7 interceptions. That’s a recipe for disaster against this Steelers defense.
Pittsburgh is allowing only 17 ppg during their winning streak and are 2nd in the league in points allowed at 16.5 ppg on the season. The Steelers are 2nd in the league behind the Jaguars with 34 sacks and only allow 313 total yards per game. They have a top shelf secondary that holds offenses to just 215 passing ypg, which doesn’t bode well for the Packers. And, if GB is thinking of running the ball, then they are sorely mistaken because the Steelers only allow 97 rushing ypg.
For the Packers, they only allow 105 ypg on the ground and have held opponents to under 100 rushing yards in 3 straight games. So, they will target Pittsburgh’s RB Le’Veon Bell this weekend and try to slow him down. Bell leads the league in rushing yards despite a poor performance in his last game.
Unfortunately for the Packers, they allow at least 250 passing yards per game and that will hurt them on the road this weekend in Pittsburgh. Big Ben is coming off a near-300 yard performance as he led the Steelers to a 40-17 victory over the 6-4 Titans. He’s throwing to one of the best receivers in the league – Antonio Brown who leads the NFL in receptions.
This game is going to be a route by the early 3rd quarter. Green Bay won’t be able to stop the run and the pass in this game. Additionally, they won’t be able to score on the Steelers defense. Look for Pittsburgh to shut down GB’s offense and force a few turnovers. They will win the turnover battle, the TOP and the game. I expect Big Ben to throw for at least 275 yards and 2 touchdowns. I also see Bell cracking the endzone and getting over 125 total yards this game. Pittsburgh routes the Packers 37-7.
Green Bay is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog, and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games during the month of November. The Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games and 12-6 ATS in their last 18 home games, which includes a current stretch of 4-1 ATS.