This Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) will host the New England Patriots (10-3) in one of the most anticipated games of the season. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at Heinz Field and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers currently have New England listed as a 3-point road favorite with the total set at 53 points. Click here for a full Week 15 NFL betting preview and for more links to our game previews.
Patriots vs Steelers Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds
New England enters off a shocking 20-27 road loss to the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. It was one of the bigger upsets all season, as the Patriots were a double-digit favorite. What’s even more surprising is how Miami really dominated that game. They were up 27-10 going into the 4th quarter and held the Patriots to just 248 total yards for the game.
Pittsburgh comes in off another thrilling win, as the Steelers turned a 20-31 deficit to start the 4th quarter into a 39-38 win, thanks to another game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell. It was the third straight game and 4th time in their last five that Boswell kicked the game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
This game has huge implications for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. With last week’s outcomes Pittsburgh has a 1-game lead over New England. With a win, they would lock up the top spot, as they would be up two games with two to play and would own the tiebreaker. A win for the Patriots and they would have control of the No. 1 seed, but would need to either match or exceed the record of the Steelers in their final two games to keep hold of it.
NFL Betting Predictions & Free ATS Pick: Pats -3
I think you have to take your chances with New England in this matchup. If history tells us anything, I think it’s that you don’t bet against the Patriots off a loss, especially an ugly showing like they had against the Dolphins in Week 14. New England is 42-18-1 ATS in their last 61 games following a loss. They are also 24-7 ATS in their last 31 off a game where they had less than 250 total yards and 21-8 ATS in their last 29 after a game where they allowed more than 350 yards.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our expert handicappers.
I know it’s not something you see often from a New England team, but I don’t think this team showed up with the right mindset against the Dolphins. Part of it was the lack of respect for Miami and that team and the other was they had this massive game on deck against Pittsburgh. Let’s also not overlook that’s not the first time they have struggled on the road against the Dolphins.
One thing New England hasn’t done is struggle to find ways to beat these Steelers. The Patriots have won 4 straight in the series, which includes three wins over the last two seasons. They won 28-21 in Week 1 of the 2015 campaign. Last year they not only beat them 27-16 in Pittsburgh in Week 7, but destroyed them 36-17 later on in the AFC Championship Game. As you can see from the results, Bill Belichick and his staff have done a masterful job of keeping this high-powered Steelers offense in check, while the offense has had their way with the Pittsburgh defense.
Another thing that I think is getting overlooked here is just how fortunate the Steelers are to be riding an 8-game winning streak and sitting at 11-2. They have trailed by double-digits going into the 4th quarter of each of their last two games against the Ravens and Bengals. Needed overtime to beat the Packers without Aaron Rodgers at home 31-28. They trailed the Colts 3-17 in the 2nd half of a 20-17 win and were bailed out by bad coaching in a 10-15 win agains the Lions, as Detroit went for it on 4th down instead of kicking field goals twice in the 2nd half. They also had a fumble deep in Steelers territory late in that game.
I know the Patriots are banged up right now, but they will be getting back Gronkowski from injury. Not having him is a big reason why Brady and the offense struggles against the Dolphins. This is also not the same Steelers defense as it was a few weeks ago. Pittsburgh lost in my opinion their most important defensive player in Ryan Shazier in that physical game with Cincinnati. Without him last week they gave up 38 points and over 400 yards to a bad Ravens offense. New England is going to take full advantage of his absence in this one.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Patriots are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games vs a team with a winning home record. Lastly, favorites who have won 3 of their last 4 against and are playing a team that has won 8 or more games in their last 10 are a dominant 32-8 (80%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Give me the Pats -3.