This Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1) will host the Atlanta Falcons (1-3) in a surprising matchup of two teams that have gotten off to slow starts. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at Heinz Field and will be televised locally on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Steelers as a 3.5-point home favorite, but that has been bet down slightly to the Steelers -3. The total is currently sitting at 57.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 5 NFL odds and for more links to our game previews.
NFL Betting Preview & Vegas Game Odds: Falcons vs Steelers
Atlanta suffered a second straight crushing defeat at home. This time at the hands of the Bengals. Leading 36-31 with just seconds remaining on the clock, the Falcons gave up a 13-yard TD pass to lose 37-36. This comes on the heels of their 43-37 OT loss to the Saints in Week 3, where they blew a 7-point lead in the final minutes of regulation. Atlanta’s only win and cover on the season is a 31-24 victory over Carolina as a 5-point home favorite.
Pittsburgh also comes in off a loss, as the Steelers fell 26-14 at home to the Ravens as a 3-point favorite. For a second straight week the offense failed to score a single point in the 2nd half and managed just 284 yards and 14 first downs against a stingy Baltimore defense. Like the Falcons, Pittsburgh has started out just 1-3 ATS in 2018.
NFL Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Steelers -3
My early lean here would be to lay the points with Pittsburgh at home. I think this is the perfect time to buy low on the Steelers, who I feel should be laying more than a field goal at home against the Falcons.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
Every year there’s a team that just gets unlucky with the injury bug and Atlanta is definitely that team to start out 2018. The Falcons lost two of their best defensive players to season-ending injuries in the same game with free safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones both going down in Week 1. They have since lost starting strong safety Ricardo Allen and left guard Andy Levitre to IR. If that wasn’t bad enough, defensive end Derrick Shelby, defensive end Vic Beasley, corner Justin Bethel and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are all listed as questionable to play against Pittsburgh.
I know the Steelers defense has struggled, but they don’t have to play great here for Pittsburgh to win this game. Ben Roethlisberger and that Steelers offense should have a field day against this Falcons defense, which has given up 70 points in their last two games. On top of that, Atlanta is just 8-20 ATS under head coach Dan Quinn vs teams with a quarterback that is completing 61% or more of their pass attempts.
You also have to keep in mind that Atlanta’s offense is built to play inside a dome. So while they have scored 30+ in each of their last 3 games, all 3 have come at home. Their only road game was a Week 1 matchup at Philadelphia and the offense managed just 12 points and 299 total yards. I’m not saying Pittsburgh’s defense will hold them under 20 points, but I think they make enough stops here to let their offense create some separation.
Let’s also not overlook just how difficult a spot this is for the Falcons emotionally off those two losses to the Saints and Bengals. Those are the toughest kind of defeats to bounce back from, especially on the road against a talented team like Pittsburgh.
As for the Steelers coming off that loss to the Ravens. Pittsburgh is 13-5 ATS under Mike Tomlin after an upset loss as a home favorite and going back even further are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 home games off an upset loss to a division opponent. Give me the Steelers -3.