It might sound repetitive from other recent weeks, but the Pittsburgh Steelers really need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive when they host the Tennessee Titans at 1 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field. The Steelers bets are all over the map but we’ll bring some clarity, or some free bets so you can’t lose.
A 1-3-1 record in their last five games have dropped the Steelers (6-6-1) into last place in the AFC North with four weeks left in the season.
Yet the Steelers are still within 1 ½ games of the division-leading Baltimore Ravens (8-5). And the Steelers can’t be counted out of the race for one of the three wild-card playoff berths in the bunched-up AFC standings.
The Titans (9-4), on the other hand, can wrap up the AFC South title if they beat the Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts lose to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Tennessee snapped a two-game losing streak last week by shutting out the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars 20-0.
The Steelers beat the Titans 27-24 last season in Nashville but not without drama. The Steelers nearly blew a 20-point lead and withstood a missed field goal attempt by Steven Gostkowski as time expired that would have forced overtime.
Here are the lines for Titans-Steelers at Barstool Sportsbook:
Spread: Titans -1 (-109), Steelers +1 (-112)
Moneyline: Titans -117, Steelers -105
Over/Under: 43 O (-107), U (-114)
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Steelers Betting Preview
Much has been made of the Steelers’ inconsistent offense with 39-year-old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playing behind an inexperienced and porous offensive line.
However, the defense also must shoulder its fair share of the blame for the Steelers’ struggles. The Steelers are 27th in total yards allowed among the 32 NFL teams and 30th in rushing defense.
The inability to stop the run could prove fatal against the Titans, who are more than making do following the loss of running back Derrick Henry. Last year’s NFL Offensive Player of the Year sustained a broken foot in Week 8.
The unheralded duo of D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard has filled in admirably. Hilliard is averaging 7.2 yards a carry and Foreman has a 4.4 average for Tennessee, which is averaging 158.3 yards on the ground over the last three games.
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Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is also a threat to run and has six rushing touchdowns.
Running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 205 yards against the Steelers last week to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 36-28 victory. While concentrating on double-teaming Cam Heyward, the Steelers’ best lineman, the Vikings offensive line opened huge holes for Cook.
Even if star linebacker T.J. Watt returns after sustaining a groin injury last week, it may not be enough to stymie the Titans.
Steelers Bets We Like
Titans -1 (-109) Barstool SportsBook
The Titans are not a great team, but they’ve shown some resiliency in continuing the lead their division without Henry. The matchup of Foreman/Hilliard against the Steelers’ sagging run defense isn’t promising for the home team.
Najee Harris Over 99.5 Rushing/Receiving Yards -115 DraftKings
Yes, there is a man crush going on here with the Steelers rookie running back. However, it’s hard not to love a player whose 1,270 total yards are a franchise record for a first-year player and 60 receptions are third-most in Steelers’ history of any rookie.
That the Titans are second in the league run defense gives pause for concern, but they are 22nd in passing yards given up.
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The Steelers haven’t had a losing season since 2003, which is an impressive feat. However, this year’s outfit has the look and feel of a sub-.500 team and the Titans will push the Steelers under that mark Sunday.
Titans 24, Steelers 19
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