The Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions have each been around for more than 80 years. Sunday night’s matchup from Motown will be the first time they ever face off in a prime-time game. Hard to believe! The Steelers are short NFL betting favorites, as Pittsburgh is -3 in the Week 8 odds.
Pittsburgh at Detroit Week 8 Spread & NFL Betting Pick
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 27, 2017
When: Sunday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Ford Field
Radio: WDVE-FM 102.5 (Pittsburgh) / WJR 760 AM (Detroit)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Betting Lines: Steelers -3 (45)
- Mostly Cloudy: 7°C/44°F
- Humidity: 61%
- Precipitation: 1%
- Wind: 7 mph WNW
- Cloud Cover: 70%
- Type of Stadium: Indoor
In Week 11 of the 2013 season, Pittsburgh beat visiting Detroit 37-27. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns, including two in the final 5 minutes as the Steelers rallied from a 27-23 deficit. Roethlisberger led the Steelers 97 yards for the go-ahead touchdown after the Lions botched a fake field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. Antonio Brown caught seven passes for 147 yards and two scores. Matthew Stafford threw for 362 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
- Total Meetings: 31
- First Meeting: November 4th, 1993.
- Last Meeting: November 17th, 2013. Heinz Field. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- All-Time Series: Pittsburgh Steelers 16-14-1
- Largest Margin of Victory: Detroit 45-3 (1983)
- Longest Win Streak: Detroit 5 (1950-1956)
- Current Win Streak: Pittsburgh 4 (2001-2013)
Why Bet On Pittsburgh?
Not only is Roethlisberger 3-0 all-time against the Lions, but Detroit hasn’t beaten the Steelers since 1998. The Steelers lead the AFC North and aim for their third win in a row. Last week, Pittsburgh defeated Cincinnati 29-14 as Big Ben threw two touchdown passes and running back Le’Veon Bell racked up 192 scrimmage yards (134 rushing, 58 receiving). Bell has amassed at least 190 scrimmage yards in each of the past two weeks and leads the NFL with three games with at least 185 scrimmage yards this season. No other player in the league has two such games.
The Steelers’ defense has a unit efficiency rating of 77.1. To put that into context: Only three teams since 2006 have bested that rate. A key part of that defense is disruption of the passing attack. The Steelers are pressuring opposing quarterbacks on 30.2 percent of dropbacks, the seventh-highest rate in the league, despite blitzing just 20.6 percent of the time, the fifth-lowest rate in the league.
Will the Steelers be distracted by the whole Martavis Bryant issue? The former No. 2 receiver has been benched for this game in the wake of trade demands and ripping young receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on Instagram. Smith-Schuster has been stealing much of Bryant’s targets. Bryant wants out of Pittsburgh because he felt he was being underutilized. But the Steelers aren’t moving him, which means he’ll be a part of their offense for the second half of the season.
Bryant, who had eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2014 and six more a season later, missed all of 2016 due to a suspension. Through seven games this season, he has just 18 receptions for 234 yards and one touchdown.
- Average Score For: 21
- Total Yards: 359.71
- Pass Yards: 246
- Rush Yards: 113.71
- Average Score Against: 16.57
- Total Yards: 258.43
- Pass Yards: 147
- Rush Yards: 111.43
Why Bet On Detroit?
Detroit (3-3) currently trails the Vikings (5-2) and Packers (4-3) in the NFC North. The Lions’ remaining 10 opponents currently own a win-loss record of 31-37.
The Lions had a bye in Week 7 and look to bounce back from their Week 6 loss in New Orleans. Detroit trailed by as many as 35 points in that contest but rallied to close within seven points in the fourth quarter. Stafford passed for 312 yards and three touchdowns against the Saints.
It’s likely that Stafford is without top receiver Golden Tate as he suffered a shoulder injury vs. the Saints. Even with Tate, the Lions’ offense has often struggled to start quickly in games, and this season, it has been ranked in the bottom third in multiple passing categories. You could see plenty of Marvin Jones this week. He has faced the Steelers seven times in his career, all with Cincinnati. He averaged 6.8 targets in the six games as a receiver against Pittsburgh, including at least eight targets in three of his last four such games. In his time with the Lions, he has been targeted eight or more times in only seven games, including a career-high 14 targets against New Orleans.
The Lions running game again has struggled. Their 84.0 yards per game ranks 28th in the NFL. They notched just 71 yards on the ground vs. Atlanta, 50 vs. Carolina and 66 against New Orleans. All three of those contests were losses for the Lions.
The Steelers’ Bell might not have his best game in this one, though, as the Lions’ run defense has produced the fourth-most expected points per game this season.
- Average Score For: 26.83
- Total Yards: 298
- Pass Yards: 214
- Rush Yards: 84
- Average Score Against: 24.83
- Total Yards: 338.66
- Pass Yards: 244.33
- Rush Yards: 94.33
Latest NFL Betting Trends
- Steelers are 4-2 ATS in the last 6 games
- Steelers are 14-3 SU in the last 17 games
- The total went UNDER in 6 of Pittsburgh’s last 7 games
- Lions are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 games
- Lions are 3-7 SU in the last 10 games
- The total went OVER in 4 of Detroit’s last 6 games
Expert Prediction & Week 8 NFL Betting Pick
Since 2012, the Lions are 5-0 straight-up after a bye and 5-0 ATS. So I’ll take them here. But the spread up to 3.5.