Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) +1.5, 37 O/U at Washington Redskins (6-2)
-1.5, 37 O/U, FedExField, Landover, Maryland, 8:30 PM Eastern,
by Badger of Predictem.com
Thanks to an impressive 6-2 start by the Washington Redskins under first-year head coach Jim Zorn, the Monday Night Football crew gets to call a humdinger of a game this week when the Pittsburgh Steelers
visit FedEx Field.
The Steelers are fresh off of a 21-14 loss in their big game versus the New York Giants last Sunday. Even though they are still in first
place in the AFC North, and really didnt play bad in the Giant loss,
the Steelers will still be looking to get a little redemption versus
the NFC East. Both of their losses this season have come at the hands
of the Eagles (week 3) and Giants.
The Redskins enter Mondays showcase game on the heels of an all-to-narrow, 25-17, victory over the winless Detroit Lions. Quarterback Jason Campbell threw for 328 yards and a touchdown to Santana Moss,
and Moss later added an 80-yard punt return as the Redskins took
their time pulling away from the Lions last Sunday.
The books opened the game with Washington as 3-point favorites, but with the early one sided action on the Steelers the number has
dropped to just 1.5-point favorites at most offshore sportsbooks. The
number hasnt moved as much in Las Vegas, as they all list the Skins
as 2.5-point home favorites.
The over/under total opened at 38 and has dropped to 37 at most books, even 36.5 at some. If you bet these teams on
the moneyline youll have to pay -126 on the Redskins, with the
Steelers listed at +116 underdogs.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (1,359 yds., 10 TD, 7 INT) has led the Pittsburgh offense for a few weeks now at half strength, without the services of running back Willie Parker. Mewelde Moore has filled in
admirably in his absence, but the Steelers have slipped to 18th in
the league in rushing (107.3 ypg) and 26th overall in total yards
(291.7 ypg) without Parker and his game-breaking speed.
With Zorn and his west coast offense youd think the Skins would rely heavily on short passing game, but Washington ha become a dominant running team. Clinton Portis nearly has 1,000 yards already (944), and the Skins boast the leagues 2nd-ranked running attack
(155.2 ypg). Campbell has been terrific in his first year in Zorns
offense, putting up a career-high 100.5 quarterback rating and has
yet to throw a pick.
But with all of that offense Ive already spoken about, his game will still come down to defense. And this game will feature two of the
NFLs best, although the Redskins will be severely shorthanded.
Pittsburgh is No. 1 in both yards allowed (236 ypg) and passing yards
allowed (164.4 ypg), 3rd in rushing yards allowed (71.6 ypg) and 4th
in points allowed (15.7 ppg).The unit just welcomed back the services
of nose tackle Casey Hampton, but with have to go without corner
Bryant McFadden who is out indefinitely with a dinged-up forearm.
Washingtons defense is ranked 6th overall allowing just 278.1 yards
per game, and is especially strong versus the run (82.8 ypg 5th).
But the Skins will be without the services of their best pass rusher,
Jason Taylor, and one of their corners, Shawn Springs, who are both
nursing bad calf muscles.
These two teams have played recently, in the preseason though, so there is a lack of good historical betting trends to read for this
contest. Their last regular season game was in November of 2004 ( a
16-7 Steelers win in Pittsburgh), and their last head-to-head contest
before that was back in 2000 (a 24-3 Steelers win in Pittsburgh).
For the season the Redskins are 5-3 ATS, while the Steelers are 3-4
ATS. With both teams defenses being so strong youd think the under
would be a strong bet, but the Steelers have actually gone over the
total in eight of their last 11 games overall. The Skins are 2-5-1
this season versus the total.
Even though the Steelers have an incredible straight up record on Monday Night Football, it isnt so glorious when it comes to betting on them. In their last six games on MNF the Steelers are just 1-5 ATS.
The Redskins also have a strong MNF betting trend, with the under
going a strong 6-1-1 in their last eight games in the national
Badgers Pick: This game sets up on paper for a defensive battle, but with the Redskins missing key players, Im going the other way.
Take the over of 37.