Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. New York Giants (6-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 4th, 2012, 4:25 p.m. EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV: CBS/DirecTV 714
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Pit +3/NYG -3
Over/Under Total: 47.5
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One of the legendary franchises in the AFC will take on one of the NFC’s top teams in a battle of recent champions when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to water-logged MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants in Sunday afternoon’s national feature game on CBS.
The Steelers enter the Sunday AFC-NFC showdown fresh off a convincing win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday, 27-12, for their second victory in a row. The ole Steel Curtain defense held the Redskins to 255 yards of offense and 3-for-12 on third downs while Ben Roethlisberger threw for three scores on offense in the victory.
But they’ll be facing the defending Super Bowl champs and probably the hottest team in the NFL right now, the New York Giants, who gave up a 23-point lead on Dallas and needed to re-flip the switch and comeback again in their, 29-24, win last Sunday in Dallas.
The Giants have won four straight and are starting to put some distance between them and the rest of the NFC East, but they’ll have to treat this week like a short week due to Hurricane Sandy, not exactly what you want to do against the Steelers.
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Oddsmakers opened the Steelers-Giants matchup with New York as 3.5-point favorites at home in MetLife Stadium. With most of the people in the New Jersey/New York area concerned about staying alive, there hasn’t been a lot of early action on this game but there’s been enough to drop the line to minus -3 at a few of the offshore sportsbooks on the Web.
The over/under total opened at 46.5 at a few offshore books before going up a full point to 47.5 after early money on the over.
Most of the early money came in on the over because of the way both Roethlisberger and Eli Manning are playing this season.
Big Ben hasn’t had much of a running game due to injuries at running back and along the offensive line, but it hasn’t stopped him from tossing 273 yards a game and a 24 points per game average. With Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown emerging as an exciting duo on the perimeter, and steady TE Heath Miller over the middle, the Steelers have become a passing team out of necessity and Roethlisberger has blossomed in the heightened role.
But as good as Roethlisberger has been, Manning has been better. Manning has the Giants clicking on all cylinders right now, both running the ball (115 ypg – 12th) with Ahmad Bradshaw and passing the ball (282 ypg- 6th) to Victor Cruz and crew.
But with experienced top-10 defenses at their disposal, especially defenses as adept at bringing pressure from all angles in the blitz game, it will be interesting to see how well these well-oiled offenses can move the ball on Sunday. Especially with a short week to prepare due to the hurricane, it may be hard for the Giants to get exotic game-plans installed in time on both offense and defense, so this game might turn into a battle of who is more physical on Sunday for all four quarters.
Being an AFC-NFC matchup, these two play only once every four years. Back in 2008 the G-men went into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers 21-14, but that was revenge for when the Steelers came into New York in 2004 and beat the Giants on their home turf, 33-30. New York is 4-2 SU and ATS over the years, including three straight covers against the spread.
But Pittsburgh has been a lousy wager on the road, where they are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight road trips. The Giants also tend to play up to their competition, going 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record.
The under also looks like a solid betting trend wager, going 10-4 in the Steelers last 14 games overall, 11-4 in the Giants last 15 games overall and 5-2 in the Giants last seven home games at MetLife.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With the hurricane interrupting life on the East Coast, I have to think that the Giants might not come out of the gates real sharp on Sunday. The field might not be in good shape, and both defenses are well above average too so this one might not be so easy as the Giants and Steelers have made it look in recent weeks. I’m taking it safe, playing the under of 47.5.
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