The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) travel to East Rutherford this weekend for an all-AFC showdown with the New York Jets (5-9). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 22nd at MetLife Stadium and the game will be televised on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Steelers listed as 3-point road favorites. The spread hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as Pittsburgh is currently available at -3. The total for this matchup is 38 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 16 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Jets vs Steelers Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Steelers had their three game winning streak come to an end last weekend after losing 17-10 at home against Buffalo on Sunday Night Football. Pittsburgh fell behind 7-3 in the first half and never fully recovered, getting outscored 10-7 over the final two quarters of the game. QB Devlin Hodges didn’t play well at all, throwing four interceptions and going 23/38 for 202 passing yards and one touchdown. RB James Conner led the way on the ground, averaging over five yards per carry despite getting only eight touches. WR James Washington continued his recent strong play, hauling in five catches for a team-high 83 receiving yards. Overall, the Steelers generated just over 250 total yards of offense and found the end zone only once in the loss.
Pittsburgh was fairly solid defensively against the Bills, surrendering well under 300 total yards of offense and just two touchdowns. The Steelers did struggle to contain Buffalo WR John Brown at times, allowing him to record seven catches for 99 yards.
New York Jets
The Jets couldn’t find a way to stay within striking distance of the surging Baltimore Ravens their last time out, falling 42-21 on the road to drop to 5-9 on the season overall. New York gave up 13 unanswered points in the first quarter and couldn’t find a way to get back into the game, scoring just seven points through the first 45 minutes of the game. QB Sam Darnold went 18/32 for 218 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air but also got picked off once as well. RB LeVeon Bell chipped in with a decent performance, rushing for 87 yards on a team-high 21 carries. Jamison Crowder led the way for the receiving corps, exploding for 90 yards and two touchdowns on six catches. As a whole, the Jets gained over 300 total yards and scored two touchdowns on offense in the defeat.
New York had a rough outing on the other side of the ball against the high-flying Ravens, getting lit up for over 400 total yards of offense and six touchdowns. The Jets had no answer for Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson, as he completed five touchdown passes and rushed for 86 yards on only eight carries.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: UNDER 38
As tempted as I am by laying the field goal and rolling with the road favorite in what is a must win game for Pittsburgh, my favorite play in this spot is the UNDER on 38 total points scored. The Steelers defense has been one of the best units in the entire NFL over the second half of the season, as they have only given up more than 21 points in a game once since the beginning of October. However, their offense has really hit the skids as of late, averaging well under 20 points per game since November 1st. New York has also had their fair share of struggles on offense in recent weeks, scoring only 49 total points over their last three outings combined.
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It is also important to note that these two AFC rivals have been involved in their fair share of low-scoring battles together in recent years, as the total has now gone UNDER in 13 out of their last 16 meetings. The UNDER has also come through in six straight games that Pittsburgh has played away from Heinz Field and in five out of the last seven games the Jets have played at home as well. Finally, the UNDER has hit in six out of Pittsburgh’s last six games overall and in four out of New York’s last five games against an opponent from the AFC North. While I still might take a shot with the Steelers against the spread, the optimal play in this matchup is the UNDER on 38 total points scored in what should be a low-scoring battle between two below average offenses.