It’s the most important game in the NFL in the 2017 regular season, in my opinion, on Sunday from Pittsburgh as the top seed in the AFC playoffs is likely on the line when the Steelers host the Patriots in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game and potential preview of this year’s. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a rare home underdogs in the NFL Week 15 spread.
New England at Pittsburgh NFL Week 15 Spread & Expert Prediction
#Patriots head to Pittsburgh for Week 15 matchup with the Steelers.
Opponent preview: pic.twitter.com/8NUGsYPko9
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 14, 2017
When: Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Radio: 98.5 FM (New England) / WDVE-FM 102.5 (Pittsburgh)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Week 15 Spread: Patriots -3 (53)
- Chance of Rain: 4°C/39°F
- Humidity: 70%
- Precipitation: 66%
- Wind: 6 mph S
- Cloud Cover: 99%
- Type of Stadium: Open
They met twice last year, both Pats wins – but Pittsburgh had a key injury in both. In Week 7 in Pittsburgh, the Pats prevailed 27-16. The Steelers were within 14-13 when LeGarrette Blount broke runs of 11 and 25 yards to set up a 36-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski early in the third quarter. With Ben Roethlisberger missing the game, Pittsburgh scored one touchdown in four trips to the red zone and was flagged 10 times for 85 yards.
In the AFC title game in Foxboro, the Pats rolled 36-17. Brady threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Hogan caught nine balls for 180 yards and two scores. Pittsburgh lost star running back Le’Veon Bell late in the first quarter to a groin injury.
Why Bet on New England?
The New England Patriots are going to be angry after playing horribly Monday night in a 27-20 loss in Miami to end the team’s eight-game winning streak. Brady was intercepted twice by Xavien Howard and held without a third-down conversion. Brady went 24 for 43 for 233 yards and one touchdown. Miami sacked him twice and hit him five times, and held the Patriots to 25 yards rushing. New England was 0 for 11 on third down. The Pats were without Gronkowski as he served a one-game suspension.
The team also signed WR Kenny Britt this week. Britt, who played nine games with the Browns this season, gives the Patriots a much bigger receiving target at 6-foot-3 and 223 pounds. Britt is a bigger target who offers a contrast to the top three players on the Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart: Brandin Cooks (5-foot-10, 189 pounds), Hogan (6-foot-1, 210) and Danny Amendola (5-foot-11, 190).
Since the beginning of the Brady and Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have played the Steelers a total of 12 times, including the playoffs, and gone 10-2 against them. In the past four meetings between these two teams, the Patriots have gone 4-0 straight-up and 3-0-1 ATS.
The Patriots will clinch the AFC East for the ninth consecutive season with a win at Pittsburgh or a Buffalo loss earlier in the day. It would be the 17th division title since Robert Kraft purchased the Patriots in 1994. The Patriots have the most division titles of any team since the 1994 season with 16. New England can lock up a playoff spot with a Baltimore loss.
In his 12 starts against the Steelers, Brady has a 115.1 passer rating with 29 touchdown passes and three interceptions. In his past seven games vs. Pittsburgh, Brady has 22 touchdowns, zero interceptions and six wins.
The Patriots are 7-10 all-time in the regular season in games played in Pittsburgh, but they are 3-2 all-time in the regular season at Heinz Field since it opened in 2001.
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
Since Big Ben’s rookie year in 2004, the Steelers have only been a home underdog a total of 12 times. Not only are the Steelers 8-3-1 against the spread (ATS), but they also have a strong track record of pulling off the upset, going 8-4 SU. Of the 12 games the Steelers have played as a home dog in the Roethlisberger era, three of them have come against the Patriots. Pittsburgh is 2-1 when they play New England as a home underdog.
The Steelers have clinched the AFC North and have won eight consecutive games, including last week’s 39-38 comeback win against Baltimore. Roethlisberger passed for 506 yards and is the only player in NFL history to have three games with at least 500 passing yards. The Steelers will clinch a first-round bye with a win and Pittsburgh will also secure the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win combined with a Jacksonville loss.
Le’Veon Bell leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,105) and scrimmage yards (1,684) while wide receiver Antonio Brown ranks first in receptions (99) and receiving yards (1,509). Brown needs one reception to become the first player in NFL history to have at least 100 receptions in five consecutive seasons.
He has 9,886 receiving yards in his eight-year NFL career. Brown, who will play in his 115th career game on Sunday, can tie Calvin Johnson (115) for the fewest games to reach 10,000 receiving yards in NFL history. Brown also can become the first player in NFL history with at least 1,600 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in three different seasons.
The Steelers also get back rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster this week. He was suspended for the Ravens game. He’s the team’s second-leading receiver with 585 yards.
Latest NFL Betting Trends
- New England is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 games
- New England is 8-1 SU in the last 9 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New England’s last 9 games
- Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games
- Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in the last 5 games
- The total went OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games
Expert Prediction & NFL Pick for Week 15
Buy this NFL Week 15 spread up to 3.5 points and take the Steelers. They might win outright, but won’t lose by more than 3.