2015 Monday Night Football Preview Week 5 – Pittsburgh vs. San Diego

The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) play the San Diego Chargers (2-2) in what many feel will be a very close Monday Night Football game. The Charges get the home field nod at minus 3.5. You can also still find them at minus 3. The over/under is at 45.5.

The Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger. Last week minus their starting quarterback, they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 23-20. It was avery close game. In the two games prior, they were winners, beating the St. Louis Rams 12-6 and the San Francisco 49ers 43-18. In Week 1, they lost to the New England Patriots 28-21 in game that they probably should have won.

The Chargers won last week, beating the Cleveland Browns 30-27. In the two games prior, they lost to the Minnesota Vikings 31-14 and the Cincinnati Bengals 24-19. In the first week of the season, San Diego was victorious over the Detroit Lions, beating them 33-28.

Pittsburgh Offense vs. Chargers Defense

Here’s the situation for the Steelers- backup QB Michael Vick played good enough to win last week. His overall rating since taking over for Roethlisberger is 96.1, and he’s completing 75% of his passes. He has not tossed a pick, but he has been sacked six times. That last stat is not good and must be addressed.

Vick needs to make some plays with receivers Antonio Brown (34 REC, 14.1 AVG, 2 TDs) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (15 REC, 12.3 AVG, 2 TDs). Getting the ball to them will be instrumental in crafting a Steeler win. The Pittsburgh running game is very healthy. Look for DeAngelo Williams (211 YDs, 4.8 AVG, 3 TDs) and Le’Veon Bell (191 YDs, 4.7 AVG, 2 TDs) to continue to accumulate yards and touchdowns.

The Steeler frontline has allowed 12 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. That’s too many. They especially need to protect Vick. The Steeler QB may get some time to pass, as the Chargers have just five sacks this season. But they have also made a healthy 14 tackles for a loss. Also, they’ve posted three interception and 14 passes defended. Finally, they are three for three in forcing fumbles and recovering those balls. They will battle this Steeler squad.

San Diego Offense vs. Steelers Defense

Charger QB Phillip Rivers is a hot/cold sort of player. His passes connect 70.7% of the time and his rating is at 105.3. He’s thrown eight TD passes, but he has also tossed four picks and been sacked 12 times. He’s got some fine receivers to throw to, including Keenan Allen (33 REC, 11.7 AVG, 3 TDs) and Stevie Johnson (18 REC, 11.4 AVG, 2 TDs). The running game is fairly healthy with Melvin Gordon (56 ATT, 4.1 AVG, 4 TDs) leading the attack.

Pittsburgh’s defense has been tough this season. They have notched 14 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles, two of which they have recovered. There have also been two interceptions and a dozen passes defended. Those last stats may help against a Charger team that can rack up yards through the air.

Upfront, DE Stephon Tuitt (22 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 2 TFL) will be a major factor. Also, LB Lawrence Timmons (30 Tackles, 2 PD, 0 INT), DB Antwon Blake (24 Tackles, 3 PD, 0 INT), and SS Will Allen (29 Tackles, 2 PD, 1 INT) will need to continue to play well.

Other Considerations

The interesting thing here is that Pittsburg has dominated the Chargers over the years, and they have also been good against the spread a substantial amount of the time when playing this team. This season, the Steelers have won or tied ATS, while San Diego has lost three of four times. Also this season, the under has won in the majority of both team’s games.

The Pittsburgh point differential stands at plus 21 while San Diego’s is at minus 14. This is mainly due to the fact that the Steelers have an overall better defense than the Chargers. Still, San Diego is still pretty good, especially in defending against the pass. However, the overall edge the Steelers have and the major edge they possess when it comes to sacking the QB, may be the deciding factors in this game.

Best Bets

The Chargers are a minimal favorite here. We like the Steelers at +3.5. We also like the under at 45.5. But this second bet is seen as being a bit risky. A score of 23-18 looks promising. But this could just as easily end up being a 28-20 game. Take Pittsburgh for a few units and the under for one.

October 10, 2015 by : Posted in NFL, Sportsbook No Comments

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