Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 11th 2016 – 1:00 EST
Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium – Buffalo, NY
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PIT -2/BUF +2
Over/Under Total: 47
In Week 14 we will see what may be a preliminary playoff contest to determine the fate of these two organizations vying for a playoff spot. The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) will travel to Upstate New York, the home of the world famous Buffalo Wing to face the Bills of Buffalo who come in at 6-6. The Steelers enter off a 24-14 win against the Giants in the Steel City, last Sunday. Conversely, the Bills come in off a 38-24 loss where the Bills were dominated on the road at the now 10-2 Oakland Raiders who are not only leading the AFC West but they are in contention for home field advantage throughout the playoffs if they win out and New England loses. Buffalo’s defense continues to struggle mightily and Pittsburgh’s resurgent offense proves to be a very difficult test for the Bills to have to pass. Pittsburgh has won the last five against Buffalo and they have won the last nine of ten overall in the recent history between these two franchises.
In the early going, we have seen a huge lean on the Steelers, likely as a reaction to what was witnessed last week. The Steelers ended the Giants’ six-game winning streak with authority and seemingly Antonio Brown is back to doing what Antonio Brown does best, score touchdowns and rip apart defenses. The Bills are taking back a safety in a virtual toss-up where the home team is taking back the points as a result of recent line movements. The Bills are 1-6 ATS in their last seven, failing to cover twice in their last two. Pittsburgh has also gone 3-0 in their last three against the spread along their winning streak.
The Buffalo Bills have had a prototypical Helter Skelter season. The Bills are back to looking like the team that embarked upon a three-game losing streak after they seemed to be unstoppable when they won four in a row, in the early going of the regular season. The Bills at one point appeared to be destined for the basement of the AFC East but now they are a wildcard contender. The Bills have knocked off Arizona, New England and Cincinnati to comprise some of their credentials. However, the Bills defense, continues to relinquish more points than their offense can afford. The Bills have given up at least twenty points in five of their last six outings overall.
The same cannot be said for the Pittsburgh Steelers who have rekindled the embers of their explosive offense after losing four games in a row. The Curtain seemed to be pulled and dead in the water at one point this season. However, the Steelers are now in position to win out, reclaim the AFC North and return to the post-season yet again. The AFC North remains a maligned division but the Steelers appear to be more like the 2015 outfit that put up impressive offensive numbers.
Despite the temptation to pull the trigger on Pitt, we are simply going to fade the public on this one as the heavy lean in itself is worth looking at. Pittsburgh has been offered in this position before and seemingly it was an offer that was too good be too true. Case and point when the Steelers visited the New York Jets in 2014. The Bills enter in similar position and offers tremendous upside. When a team gets hot they are more likely to be overvalued and even the points they spot may be inflated. Imagine if Pittsburgh had lost, perhaps they would have been a pooch in this contest. The heavy action on the favorite suggests that this market may be setting up takers for a huge let down. Sure, Buffalo’s defense may be suspect and we also acknowledge that when a team scores 25 points in three consecutive games and still cannot earn one win, something is terribly off. However, this is the same team that beat New England in Foxborough and they absolutely shut the door on the Patriots in the process. There is no reason to write off the possibility of that occurring in Buffalo.
KEITH’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: BUFFALO +2
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