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City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Sunday November 27th, 2011. 8:20PM EST, NFL Football Week 12
Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, M.O.
By Jay Horne, Pro Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Pit -10.5/KC +10.5
Over/Under Total: 40
Make the Steelers a +9.5 underdog by placing them into a 20 point football teaser at 5Dimes.
Sunday Night Football takes center stage this weekend when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers for an AFC showdown in front of a nationally televised audience. Kansas City has been a bit of an enigma this year. The Chiefs started the year with 3 straight losses in which 2 of those losses were by blowout fashion. Kansas City then rebounded to win 4 straight games but now find their selves in another slump having lost their last 3 games. This week the Chiefs look to regain their momentum and get back on the winning track when they host the Steelers inside Arrowhead Stadium on the Sunday Night Football stage.
The Chiefs opponent this Sunday will be a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is starting to hit their stride. In fact, the Steelers have won 5 of the last 6 games. The Steelers only loss during that period was a close 23-20 loss from a Baltimore Ravens team who has had their number all season. Still, Pittsburgh is tied for 1st in the AFC North with the Ravens. If you consider Pittsburgh’s recent host streak, the Steelers are quickly becoming the popular pick to take down the division crown. Going into this Sunday night’s contest with the Chiefs, the Steelers will enter as rather large 10.5 point favorites over Kansas City.
Despite entering as large favorites, the betting public has decisively backed the Steelers. In fact, Pittsburgh has received nearly 85% of the betting action thus far for Sunday’s battle. One reason Pittsburgh is the popular choice this Sunday is because of how bad the Kansas City offense has played and how well the Pittsburgh defense has played so far this year.
The Steelers defense has not given up more than 20 points all year and now will get the privilege of battling a struggling Kansas City offense. The Chiefs have only scored 16 points combined in their last 3 games. If you consider that Kansas City will now have to battle one of the best defenses in the entire NFL this Sunday, you may see why so many early bettors have backed the Steelers.
The Steelers offense has not posted overwhelming points this season averaging just 22 points (19th in NFL) per game. Of course the offense has not necessarily needed to score a lot of points to be successful, but the offense is still a fairly solid group. QB Ben Roethlisberger seems to always make the big plays that come at crucial points in games. On the year, Roethlisberger has completed 63.3% passing for 2,877 yards with 16 scores and 9 interceptions. The Steelers star quarterback has really picked up the pace in recent weeks in the passing game averaging 325 yards through the air in each of the last 4 games.
Steelers’ wide receiver Mike Wallace is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s premier receivers. Wallace currently ranks 4th out of all NFL receivers with 922 receiving yards on the year. Wallace has averaged over 17 yards per catch and posted 6 scores. Pittsburgh also has another young talented wide out in Antonio Brown who is progressing with each passing week as well. Brown has posted 626 receiving yards on the season. If Brown continues at his current pace, he will likely become the 2nd receiver behind Wallace to possibly eclipse the 1,000 yard receiving plateau by season’s end. With both of these talented receivers ready go this Sunday; the Steelers will look for another big performance from their passing attack with Roethlisberger at the helm.
For Kansas City, the Chiefs need to have a great defensive effort first and foremost. I just can’t see anyway the Chiefs offense is going to be able to keep pace if Roethlisberger throws for another 300 plus yards. Therefore, the Chiefs have to play well against the pass and possibly force a few turnovers. The Chiefs have picked off 13 passes this season so if they can get a few this Sunday night it will definitely help their cause.
Still, this game will ultimately be decided out of the gates by the pace of the Chiefs’ offense. QB Tyler Palko got his first start behind center for the Chiefs last weekend against the Patriots. Even though Palko did not look terrible, he still tossed 3 picks without any touchdowns. Kansas City does not have a strong running game and it will be extremely tough for running back Jackie Battle to find much running room against the Steelers defense. Therefore, Palko needs to play well and find a way to get the ball to WR Dwayne Bowe. Bowe and WR Steve Breaston can create some challenge to the Pittsburgh secondary. If Palko can play well, maybe the Chiefs can turn this game into a much closer game than most expect.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Kansas City has failed to play well on both Monday night stages this year. I know they beat the Chargers in overtime, but that was a poor game from both teams. I do not see the Steelers faltering here and I will side with most of the public bets. Take Pittsburgh -10.5.
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