Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. St. Louis Rams (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: September 27, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
Where: Edward Jones Stadium, St. Louis, MO.
by Wilson, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PITT -1/STL +1
Over/Under Total: 47
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The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to St. Louis this week for a matchup against the Rams. Both teams are 1-1 and it should be a decent contest if everyone is healthy. The Steelers looked impressive last week again (although they lost to New England in week one, they still looked good). Pittsburgh put up 43 points on the out-played, often times, over matched San Francisco 49ers. Big Ben aired the pigskin out more than a few times while the Niners struggled to get any points going in the first half. Meanwhile, the Rams lost to the Redskins 24-10 after a week one OT win over Seattle.
St. Louis QB Nick Foles is in his 4th year as a starter and he can be dangerous at times with his passing efficiency. To the Rams advantage as every other team in the league, Pittsburghs secondary remains suspect mainly because of their youth and inexperience. This will be the Rams best chance to stick with the Steelers in this game. Another advantage will be in the kicking game, the Steelers are using veteran Josh Scobee who missed 6 FGs last season and finished at 76% for the year when he was on Jacksonvilles roster and this year he is already 2 of 4 and even missed an extra point against the Niners.
The Rams defense proved they could hold early this season in the win over Seattle especially when they stuffed the run in OT, but they struggled to contain the Redskins balanced attack which opens the questionhow will they stop a powerful Steeler offense? Answer: They wont. They may have a brilliant play call from time to time but Pittsburgh is too versatile in their schemes. The Rams will simply have to score a lot of points and hope they can stay close and get the ball last.
Pittsburgh has not even had their number one RB in the backfield this season but you wouldnt know it based on backup RB DeAngelo Williams play. Williams has been more than impressive in his first two games with 41 touches for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns. Then you have Big Ben who is perhaps the best at staying in the pocket until he finds the guy he wants down field. Roethlisberger currently has QB rating of 122.6 and has thrown for 720 yards on 47 completions and 4 touchdowns. The Steelers receiving crew is arguably one of the best in the NFL with Antonio Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and TE Heath Miller to name the top 3. This week the Steelers welcome back RB LeVeon Bell who will only add to the Rams defensive stress.
On paper the Steelers are dominant in Total yards with 458 per game to the Rams 252. In passing the Steel town boys are 349 yards per game to the Rams 211 yards, and in rushing the Steelers average 109 yards against the Rams 71 yards. Pittsburgh also averages 10 more points per game at 32 compared to St. Louiss 22. Another area of concern for the Rams is 3rd conversionsthey convert 34% of 3rd down plays to Pitts 52%.
Both of these teams are at .500 early on and the home team Rams will love to get a W this weekend over the stronger Steeler team but I dont see that happening. Pittsburgh is too dominant in every aspect of the game except maybe kicking and secondary D but given the pressure they put on QBs it should not allow them to get beat too often. I like the Steelers to cover on the road this week in the Show Me State and get their 2nd win on the season. The return of Bell and they high flying play of Antonio Brown pulling in bombs from Big Ben will prove to be a recipe for success. Take the Steelers straight up. Luck to ya.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Steelers Straight up.
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