The Pittsburgh Steelers are nearly a touchdown favorite over the New England Patriots when they meet Thursday night at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
New England has lost five straight and has scored just 47 points over the past five games. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh will be without starting quarterback Kenny Pickett after suffering an injury in their 24-10 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Join me as I share my best predictions with two free picks for the Patriots and Steelers for Thursday Night Football.
New England vs. Pittsburgh Game Preview
This contest is going to be a mess. Reserve quarterback Bailey Zappe has replaced starter Mac Jones, and the Patriots have scored six points in his home start against the Los Angeles Chargers. New England has zero offense to speak of and has failed to exceed 29 points this season.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh lost a struggling Pickett in their loss to the Cardinals and will miss an undetermined amount of time. Backup Mitch Trubisky has plenty of starting experience and had a winning record as a starter with the Chicago Bears. He did throw a fourth-quarter TD pass to Diontae Johnson and threw for 117 yards in limited action.
There is a reason the bookies have a 30.5-point total on the board, and that’s because the Patriots defense is legit. They are third in rushing yards allowed but 16th against the pass, but Trubisky has proven throughout his career that he can throw the ball, and he’ll need to sling it to cover the -6 point spread.
Conversely, the Steelers boast the sixth-best scoring defense but allow a below-average 348.3 total yards per game. They bend but don’t break and have the sixth-best red zone defense in the league.
New England vs. Pittsburgh Best Bets
Steelers Struggle to Score
The Patriots’ defense is legit, and 18.5 total points for the Steelers is too many. Pittsburgh likes to dominate the ground, but New England has one of the best-rushing defenses in the league, and the Steelers won’t likely have much success rushing the football.
Trubisky and the defense will need to win this game for Pittsburgh, and while I do believe the Steelers offense will have some success, I don’t believe they will score 18.5 points.
Pittsburgh Steelers TT Prop: Under 18.5 (-118) at DraftKings New Jersey
Harris Slowed by Stout Pats Defense
Steelers running back Najee Harris will have a tough go to clear his 59.5 rushing yards prop, and I don’t believe he exceeds 59.5 yards. He’s cleared his prop mark in four of the past five, but New England allows the third-fewest rushing yards per game.
The Steelers running back is on the injury report and missed the team’s Tuesday walkthrough–if he plays at all, he’ll be in a timeshare with Jaylen Warren, and I don’t believe Harris will get enough touches to clear this prop.
Najee Harris Prop: Under 59.5 rushing yards at bet365 New Jersey