Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Packers/Steelers under 39
1:00 PM EST. The Green Bay Packers won last weekend at home against a backup QB, slow clap, but there was nothing particularly impressive about the W. Green Bay let second-string QB Brett Rypien and the Rams hang around in a one-score game until 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter, where they finally created separation. Along the way, the Packers were mistake-prone and clumsy, fumbling it twice to eliminate potential scoring drives and only going 1-4 in the red-zone. It was the ultimate “gimme spot” for Green Bay, off multiple losses and against a team they were short-handed, yet they nearly let LAR make it a competitive game. Jordan Love had a clean performance, that’s a positive, but he was also facing a Rams’ defense that’s been struggling against the pass (22nd in opponent yards per pass, 23rd in sack rating) and occupies a bottom-third ranking in holistic stats like opponent points per game and yards per play. They will have no such defense on Sunday.
The Steelers found a way to make it happen again. Against the rifle arm of Will Levis and an energized Titans’ squad last Thursday night, Pittsburgh answered the call in clutch moments and found a way to win. Many see Pittsburgh’s style of play as improbable and unsustainable, but we see a team that remains united because of an elite coach, and a roster with exceptional talent that can take over games in the most pivotal moments. This total is predictably low for several key reasons. Firstly and most obviously is what everyone in sports/betting media is talking about– the Steelers’ lack of production. Game in and game out, Pittsburgh produces very mediocre results in points and yards, an offense that’s ranked unsurprisingly in the bottom five of the league. This game projects to be no different, especially since the Packers have been a solid defense this season. Green Bay is 6th in opponent yards per play (4.9), tenth in points allowed per game (19.9), and ninth in yards per pass (6.2). Full of young energetic talent, they should be able to keep the Steelers at bay for most of this battle.
Star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick could return for the Steelers this Sunday, but either way we anticipate plenty of success for their defense. Jordan Love is on pace for 16 interceptions in his inaugural year as a starter, and when he’s faced an above-average pass defense this season (Saints, Lions, Vikings), the Green Bay offense has only mustered 16 ppg. Aaron Jones has been banged up and looked better last Sunday in Green Bay’s win over the Rams. In fact it was easily the Packers’ best output from their backfield. Pittsburgh can be humbled against good running teams (they allow 4.5 yards per carry, ranked 26th), but we imagine defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and an aggressive Steeler-defense will fill the box and force Love to beat them this Sunday.
Few spots are harder than playing against a raucous Pittsburgh crowd and we have no faith that Love can hold his own. There are no explosive qualities to the Green Bay passing game through eight games. That creates a fine recipe for TJ Watt and a hungry defensive line to bear-down and force Love and the Packers’ offense into more errors. The Steelers will probably win, but their offense rarely needs to do much.
Green Bay/Pittsburgh u39 -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)