The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) travel west to take on the Seattle Seahawks (5-5) at CenturyLink Field in Week 12. Vegas currently has the Steelers as 3.5-point underdogs against the Seahawks.
The Steelers won their second straight game in Week 10, defeating the Cleveland Browns 30-9 at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh got some much-needed rest during the bye in Week 11, and will look to notch its third consecutive win in Seattle on Sunday.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, are in the midst of a disappointing season, after appearing in each of the last two Super Bowls. Seattle is coming off a 29-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11. The defending NFC Champions are 3-6-1 against the spread in 2015.
Week 10 Recap
The Steelers dismantled the Browns 30-9 in Week 10, easily covering the six-point spread. But not everything went as planned. Backup quarterback Landry Jones was supposed to start in place of injured starter Ben Roethlisberger, but Jones suffered a sprained left ankle during the second drive of the game. He was replaced by Roethlisberger, who sustained a sprained left foot in a win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. Roethlisberger battled through the injury, completing 22/33 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns. An extra week of rest came at a much-needed time for the Steelers star quarterback, who enters this week's matchup with the Seahawks in relatively good health.
Winning bets: Steelers to win -240, Steelers to cover -105, under 41.5 total points
Losing bets: Steelers to win by 7-10 points +550, DeAngelo Williams to score first Steelers touchdown +225, first scoring play Steelers TD run +750
Despite being without running back Le'Veon Bell, center Maurkice Pouncey, and left tackle Kelvin Beachum, the Steelers are as healthy as they've been all season. Linebacker Ryan Shazier and tight end Matt Spaeth were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, but it's likely that both will suit up and play on Sunday.
The Seahawks will be without starting running back Marshawn Lynch, who is dealing with an abdominal tear. Linebacker Bruce Irvin was listed as doubtful on Seattle's injury report, after failing to participate in practice during the week.
The Steelers won the last meeting between the two teams 24-0 in Week 2 of the 2011 season. The Seahawks have a 3-2 record at home in 2015, while the Steelers are 2-2 on the road.
Steelers offense: No. 12 (23.6 PPG) vs. Seahawks defense: No. 7 (19.2 PPG)
Steelers defense: No. 6 (19.1 PPG) vs. Seahawks offense: No. 15 (22.8 PPG)
Ben Roethlisberger: 141/211 (66.8%) 1,887 yards (8.94 AVG) 10 TD, 7 INT
Russell Wilson: 199/295 (67.5%) 2,378 yards (8.06 AVG) 13 TD, 7 INT
My season record straight up: 6-3
Steelers +257 ($10.00 wins $15.70)
Seahawks -180 ($10.00 wins $5.56)
This is a very important game for both teams, who are both battling for a Wild Card spot in their respective conferences. The Steelers are currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC, while the Seahawks are on the outside looking in at No. 8 in the NFC.
Seattle has been a very difficult place for opposing teams to play over the past few seasons. The Seahawks are a combined 14-2 at home in the regular season over the last two years. A deafening crowd and punishing defense have been their recipe for success at CenturyLink Field.
This feels like a game in which the Steelers will miss having a dynamic playmaker like Le'Veon Bell on offense. For Pittsburgh to have a chance, they'll have to find a way to move the ball through the air against the infamous "Legion of Boom," led by outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman.
The Seahawks will be without starting running back Marshawn Lynch, but backup Thomas Rawls has proven himself to be more than capable of picking up the slack in Beast Mode's absence. Rawls has eclipsed 100 rushing yards three times this season, and is averaging 6.0 yards per carry on 101 attempts.
The Steelers offense has scored over 30 points in each of its last two games, but Seattle's defense will present a difficult challenge in a hostile environment. It's going to be tough for Roethlisberger and company to move the ball consistently. If Bell and Pouncey were healthy I'd take the Steelers, but I like the Seahawks at home in a close one.
The play: Seahawks -180
My season record against the spread: 5-2-2
Steelers +3.5 (-120) ($10.00 wins $8.33)
Seahawks -3.5 (even odds) ($10.00 wins $10.00)
In what should be a tightly contested game, the extra half point is enough for me to take the Steelers at +3.5. Per Oddshark.com, Pittsburgh is 4-1-1 against the spread in its last six games on the road, and 6-1 against the spread in its last seven games as road underdogs in November.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, are 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight games at home, and 3-8-2 against the spread in their last 13 games.
Seattle's offense lacks the firepower to pull away from most opponents, especially a team like the Steelers, who rank No. 6 in scoring defense. I like the Seahawks by a field goal.
The Play: Steelers +3.5
Here's what Scott Cooley at BookMaker Sportsbook thinks about the Steelers-Seahawks matchup, and the other two Week 12 AFC North games:
Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 44)
We opened this spread at Seattle -4 on Sunday night but quickly moved to -5. On Monday, we took some smart money on Pittsburgh and adjusted it to -4.5. I don't expect this line to climb any higher and it should continue to fall.
You just don't get the feeling that the Seahawks are firing on all cylinders right now, and I'm not sure it will all come together this week. In my opinion, the Steelers are in a good spot, coming off the bye with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh, as long as Big Ben is standing, is going to be a very dangerous team down the stretch.
St. Louis Rams at Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5, 42)
With the Rams' quarterback situation a mess, we had to be generous with Cincinnati's side. And we've already seen a bump in the action after we opened Bengals -9. They should really roll in this matchup because they can negate the St. Louis pass rush with that formidable line, but you have to be wary of a hangover because that Sunday Night Football loss had to be hard to swallow.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 42)
I'm not sure Baltimore can score more than 14 points in any game the rest of the year. It's a good thing they are up against a poor defense in the first week without Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett. Flacco is the only reason the Ravens have been competitive most of the season. We opened this game at a pick ‘em and have seen nothing but Cleveland money since. This has all the makings of an ugly, offensive struggle.
46.0 (-110) ($10.00 wins $9.09)
Both the Seahawks and Steelers rank in the top ten in scoring defense, so both offenses should have a hard time putting points on the board. The total has gone under in seven of Pittsburgh's last eight games.
The play: under 46.0 points
Seahawks score under 25.0 points -115 ($10.00 wins $8.70)
Antonio Brown over seven receptions -115 ($10.00 wins $8.70)
The Long Shot
Heath Miller to scored a TD and Steelers win +650 ($10.00 wins $65.00)
Seahawks 23, Steelers 20