Arizona Cardinals (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2 SU, 4-0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: October 18, 2015 1:00PM EST
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.
by WILSON, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARI -3/PITT +3
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 3-2 after their Monday Night win over the San Diego Chargers 24-20. They did it in dramatic fashion as the game clock ticked to zero when LeVeon Bell slipped past the Chargers defense and into the end zone. Pittsburgh is still without regular starting QB Ben Roethlisberger but backup veteran QB Michael Vick has stepped in although he played poorly he helped the Steelers earn a much needed win. In fact, the last time Big Ben missed two sets of four games 06, 09, the Steelers went on to make the Super Bowl and win both times! But the Arizona Cardinals will not be an easy opponent as they come into this game with just one loss on the season and as the highest ranked one-loss team in the NFL.
Offensively for the Steelers it has been typical Steeler footballstrong rush game with the occasional pass down field to Antonio Brown. However, with the return of LeVeon Bell and the anticipated return of Big Ben in a couple weeks this Steelers offense will be a heck of a squad to mess with come midseason and down the stretch for playoff indications. Backup QB Michael Vick, did not have the best game, in fact, he was nearly terrible but he did manage to pull it together when it mattered most. Vick scrambled for 24 yards on a 3rd and 6 during the last drive then hit Heath Miller on a 16-yard strike before Bells winning TD run. Its not how you start. Its how you finish, Vick said. When is Roethlisberger coming back? If was up to Ben, he wants to play this weekend but that is a super longshot. Big Ben is slated to play possibly against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 25. Also questionable for the Steelers is WR Martavis Bryant.
Bryant banged his knee up during practice last week and was not activated on Pitts roster for the San Diego game. This offense is capable but if it is Vick who starts this week he will definitely need to pull it together for the entire gamethis last minute drama wont work week after week.
Defensively, the Steelers have improved especially the young secondary. But they will be tested by Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals. Palmer likes to find Larry Fitzgerald who can still play. Palmer also has 13 TDs already this season and over 1300 yards. Between Palmer, Fitzgerald, and RB Chris Johnson the Steelers will be scattered all over defensively and might be exploited at times.
Arizonas defense will be tough for Vick to matchup with as they are one of the top teams in the NFL for containing. It will be interesting to see how Vick Handles this Cardinal defensive pressure. The most points the Cards have allowed this season is 24 to the Rams. Arizona does have Alex Okafor (LB) out and Seam Weatherspoon (LB) day-to-day. But the defense has been impressive despite the injuries.
Currently the Steelers are 3 point dogs in their own house but I have a feeling the Cardinals will be in for a vintage Vick performance as he will want to redeem his poor play from last week regardless of the late drive to win at San Diego. It will be a home stand effort by the Steelers that just might get them the win. The terrible towels will be flying and I like the line early on this matchup to actually work in the Steelers favor.
Pitt is 2-0-2 ATS as the home underdog and 1-0-1 ATS at home this year. While the Cards are 2-0 ATS on the road and 4-1 ATS as the favorite. The current ML is Cards -170 and PITT +150 with a total of 44.5. This should be a game of the week if both teams play well. I like the Steelers at home as dogs to cover and win 33-28. Luck to ya.
WILSONs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pittsburgh covers.
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