The Buffalo Bills (3-1 SU, 2-1-1 ATS) may get to face a rookie quarterback as they return home for the first time in three weeks on Sunday to host the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3, 1-2-1) as double-digit favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.
The Steelers switched quarterbacks from veteran Mitch Trubisky to rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett in last Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the New York Jets, falling as 3-point home favorites with both players having a difficult time in front of their fans.
Steelers vs Bills Opening Odds
The point spread is up to -14 in favor of Buffalo following last week’s results, which saw the team rally from a 20-3 deficit to stun the Baltimore Ravens with a 23-20 victory on a field goal by kicker Tyler Bass as time expired.
Now the Bills will probably get the chance to welcome Pickett to town for his first NFL start on the road, with a raucous crowd and strong defense ready to make life miserable for him.
Pickett played well at times in his debut relieving Trubisky with two rushing touchdowns, but his three interceptions cost Pittsburgh the game vs New York. The total is also down a bit to 47 from 47.5.
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Steelers Should Lean On Running Game Regardless Of Which QB Starts
Pittsburgh has yet to see second-year running back Najee Harris total 75 yards on the ground this season, which is a number he surpassed seven times as a rookie last year. Harris was also a threat in the passing game a season ago, often acting as a safety valve for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in his final season.
With two new quarterbacks who have not performed particularly well in four games this year, the Steelers would be wise to give Harris more work, especially after he was not even thrown a ball in the loss to the Jets despite a season-high 18 carries.
Pittsburgh needs to take pressure off Pickett – if he gets his first start – or Trubisky, and Harris is the workhorse the team needs at Buffalo.
Bills Make Sure Not To Blow Another Chance To Win A Close Game
Buffalo’s 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 lingered early on in Week 4, with the team suffering a hangover before playing lights-out in the second half.
The Bills blanked the high-scoring Ravens 13-0 after the intermission, stopping them on a key fourth-and-goal play with an interception in the end zone and then driving 77 yards for the game-winning field goal in the final minutes.
That victory showed a lot of character for the Super Bowl favorites and put them right back into a tie atop the AFC East with Miami following the Dolphins’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Next they will go from playing against a league MVP candidate in Lamar Jackson to Pickett or Trubisky.
Steelers: Keys To Win
Pittsburgh must rely more on its running game and limit turnovers to have any chance to cover the spread and possibly pull off the upset. The Steelers have won 11 of the past 14 meetings with the Bills, but Roethlisberger was under center for many of those.
His replacement here must not throw interceptions to a Buffalo defense that is as good as any in the NFL, and running the ball more would help slow down the opposition’s offense. Pittsburgh still has the talent offensively to hang in there and cover.
Bills: Keys To Win
The Steelers are 0-7 now without reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt, who totaled a league-best 22.5 sacks last season. Watt still resides on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle, and Pittsburgh clearly misses his presence.
Look for NFL MVP favorite Josh Allen to have his way with the Steelers, enjoying success with his arm and legs whenever he decides to use them. This could be Allen’s best game yet.
NFL Computer Pick: Steelers +14
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