Hopeful that getting one of their best players back can turn their season around, the Pittsburgh Steelers host the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday at Acrisure Stadium. PHN readers can cash in on the DraftKings promo exclusive, too.
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Outside linebacker T.J. Watt is expected to play for the first time since sustaining a pectoral injury in the Steelers’ overtime victory over the Bengals in Week 1 in Cincinnati. The Steelers have won just once in seven games since Watt got hurt, leaving them with a 2-6 record coming out of their bye week.
The Saints (3-6) are also struggling with three losses in their last four games. New Orleans was beaten by the visiting Baltimore Ravens 27-13 on Monday Night Football earlier in the week.
Here are the Steelers odds and lines vs. Saints at DraftKings:
Spread: Steelers +1 (-110), Saints -1 (-110)
Moneyline: Steelers -105, Saints -115
Over/Under: 40 O (-105), U (-115)
Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview
The impact of Watt’s absence goes beyond the win-loss record.
The Steelers had seven sacks of Joe Burrow and forced five takeaways, including four interceptions, in the opener. The Steelers have had eight sacks and five takeaways in the ensuing seven games without Watt.
Watt was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 when he had 22.5 sacks to tie the league single-season record set by Michael Strahan in 2001 with the New York Giants.
The Saints have been plagued by turnovers all season, as they have committed 17 through nine games with 10 interceptions and seven fumbles. Conversely, New Orleans has forced just seven turnovers, and the minus-10 differential is the largest in the league.
Quarterback Andy Dalton is coming off a lackluster performance against the Ravens in which he completed 19 of 29 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted once and got sacked four times.
Dalton has a dismal 3-13 record against the Steelers, which all came when he was with the Bengals from 2011-20.
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Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett has also struggled with turnovers since taking over as the starter for Mitch Trubisky at halftime of a Week 4 loss to the New York Jets.
In 4.5 games, the first-round draft pick from Pitt has been picked off eight times. He has completed 67.9% of his 165 passes for 962 yards and just two touchdowns.
The Steelers have been unable to generate a productive running game to take some of the offensive load off Pickett. They are 27th in the league in rushing yardage, and coach Mike Tomlin has hinted rookie Jaylen Warren might start getting more carries Sunday.
Warren is averaging 5.3 yards on 29 attempts. Feature back Najee Harris has gotten just 3.3 yards a pop in 108 carries.
The Steelers are off to their worst start since losing six of their first eight games in 2013. They bounced back to finish 8-8 that year, but it seems like a tall task for the 2022 team to rally like that.
Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Prediction
Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction
Frankly, this is a dog game between two dog teams. While that would seemingly set up the underdog to be the play here, we’ll go with the Saints.
This should not be an aesthetically pleasing game. It will be interesting to see how many empty seats there are on what is forecast to be a chilly and cloudy day.
Saints 17, Steelers 14
Pittsburgh Steelers Bets We Like
Saints -1 (-110)
Under 40 (-115)
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