Sunday’s matchup between the Steelers and the Falcons is a must win game for both teams. Atlanta comes into this game looking to stop a 2 game skid, while Pittsburgh is looking to find some consistency. Both teams have struggled on defense, but have put up a ton of points on offense. This game should have plenty of offensive fireworks, which will be a treat for those fans who love high scoring contests. Kickoff inside Heinz Field is at 1 PM ET.
|Betting Data||Atlanta Falcons||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Current S/U record||1-3||1-2-1|
|2018 ATS Home||1-2||0-2|
|2018 ATS Away||0-1||1-1|
|2018 O/U Home||3-0||1-1|
|2018 O/U Away||0-1||2-0|
Sunday’s intriguing matchup will be the 17th time these two teams have played against each other with their first encounter taking place in 1966. The Steelers have dominated this series with a record of 13-2-1. However, these two teams haven’t played each other since 2014 and the Falcons are a much different team since then.
Atlanta (1-3) could be 4-0 on the season if it weren’t for their late-game letdowns. All of Atlanta’s 3 losses have been by 6 points or less. Furthermore, the Falcons had chances to win those games late in the 4th, but failed to capitalize on those chances and failed to play defense. However, top RB Devonta Freeman comes back this week and that could be the spark that the team desperately needs.
Pittsburgh (1-2-1) is in last place in the AFC South. That is a shocking reality for Steelers fans and the franchise itself. Pittsburgh doesn’t look balanced and has been mired in drama with Le’Veon Bell holding out. The Steelers hope to take advantage of the Falcons being banged up and get their 2nd win of the season.
Most online betting sites opened this game with the Steelers favored by 3 points. After a slight rise, the spread has come back down to the opening line. The Over/Under opened at 57.5 total points and remains unchanged with most sportsbooks.
Over the last two weeks, the Falcons have averaged 70 rushing yards per game. With Freeman coming back this weekend, Atlanta is hoping that he will be a spark for the offense and provide more balance for a team that’s been relying heavily on the passing game. For the season, the Falcons have averaged 425 total yards per game which breaks down to 329 passing ypg and 96 rushing ypg. They’re one of the worst rushing teams in the league.
The Falcons are the 21st ranked rushing team and the Steelers are the 28th ranked rushing team at 72.3 ypg. Pittsburgh has the 3rd ranked passing attack in the league at 353.5 ypg and the Falcons are 6th at 329 ypg. Both teams lack any balance, but it’s the Falcons getting their top RB back and not the Steelers. Pittsburgh will have to wait until at least Week 8 or 9 before Bell shows up.
Defensively, both of these teams are a hot mess. The Falcons are the 3rd worst scoring defense in the league as they give up 30.5 ppg. The Steelers aren’t much better as they come in with the 7th worst scoring defense at 29 ppg. Pittsburgh gave up 21 points to Cleveland and 26 points to the Ravens. The Falcons are much better than those two offenses as they average 29 ppg. I see Atlanta scoring over 30 points this game. In fact, I see both teams crossing the 30 point threshold.
This game will come down to whoever has the ball last. I believe Atlanta will win this game as they should get more balance on offense with the returning Freeman. Although Conner has done an admirable job, the Steelers seem to be less than thrilled to commit to the run. This game will be an aerial show and both offenses will easily go over 400 total yards on the day. Just sit back and get your popcorn ready because Big Ben and Matt Ryan will try to outduel each other for the win.
With that said, I like the Falcons in this game. I believe Freeman gives them a boost. However, I’m not going to take their moneyline although it’s an appealing one at +155. Instead, I’m going to take the 3 points and play this one safe.
Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-3-1 SU in their last 5 overall games, 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against Atlanta, 4-8 ATS following an AFC North game, and only 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a losing record. Atlanta is 10-1 SU in their last 11 games against teams with a losing record, and 12-7 SU in their last 19 road games.
If you want to be riskier with your bet then go with the Falcons moneyline at +155. If you want to play this one smart then the safe bet is Atlanta getting 3 points in a shootout at Heinz Field on Sunday.
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