Two teams well-versed in close games meet when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Minnesota Vikings at 8:20 p.m. Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. After beating the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Steelers bets are trending up this week and there are exciting promos available.
The Steelers have played eight games decided by eight points or less this season and have a 6-1-1 record. The Vikings, meanwhile, are 4-7 in one-possession games.
Both teams played close games last week.
The Steelers (6-5-1) held off the visiting Ravens 21-20 when a two-point conversion attempt by Baltimore with 12 seconds left failed. The Vikings (5-7) lost to the previously winless Lions 29-27 on the road when Detroit’s Jared Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired.
Because of a scheduling quirk, this is the Steelers’ first trip to the Twin Cities since 2005. They beat the Vikings 18-3 at the Metrodome on their way to a Super Bowl title as Jeff Reed kicked three field goals and presumably did not tear the paper towel dispenser off the bathroom wall at the local Sheetz.
Here are the lines for Steelers-Vikings at Barstool Sportsbook:
Spread: Steelers +3.5 (-117), Vikings -3.5 (-105)
Moneyline: Steelers +143, Vikings -177
Over/Under: 43.5 O (-110), U (-110)
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Steelers Betting Preview
Both teams need a victory as neither would currently qualify for the playoffs.
The Steelers are eighth in the AFC and seven teams reach the postseason. However, they are just a half-game behind three 7-5 squads in the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers.
The Vikings (5-7) are ninth in the NFC. They trail the San Francisco 49ers and Washington by one game and the Philadelphia Eagles by a half-game.
Minnesota has one of the hottest pass-catch duos in the NFL in quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Cousins has thrown for 1,213 yards and nine touchdowns in the last four games with one interception, while Jefferson has 577 yards and three TDs on 32 receptions.
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The Steelers will likely try to disrupt the Vikings’ passing game with a heavy rush. Outside linebacker T.J. Watt had 3 ½ sacks last week despite missing all three days of practice while on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Watt’s 16 sacks have tied the franchise single-season sacks record set by James Harrison in 2008. Watt is also on pace to break the NFL record of 22.5 by Hall of Famer Michael Strahan in 2001 with the New York Giants.
Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris figures to get heavy usage against a run defense that is 29th in the league. The Steelers could use some balance in the run game as Harris has rushed for 779 yards this season and their other three backs have combined for just 95 yards.
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Vikings -3.5 (-105) Barstool Sportsbook
The easy narrative is to say the Steelers have some momentum going after slipping past the Ravens. However, Pittsburgh was also 0-3-1 in its previous four games and didn’t exactly dominate Baltimore.
And the Vikings figure to be in a foul mood following the loss to the woebegone Lions.
Justin Jefferson to score a TD -105 DraftKings
No Vikings player has ever had as many yards receiving over a four-game span as Jefferson. The Steelers will also be without cornerback Joe Haden (foot) for a fourth straight game.
This is not a good matchup for the visitors.
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The track records say the Steelers should beat the Vikings in a one-possession game. However, every time things seem to be going the Steelers’ way this season, something bad happens next. That trend will continue.
Vikings 27, Steelers 20
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