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Patriots Face Stiffest Test of the Season in Pittsburgh

After a loss that no one saw coming in Miami on Monday night, the Patriots will hit the road again and try to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in almost two years. It won’t be an easy task vs a Steelers team that’s won eight straight games, but oddsmakers still opened the Patriots as a small favorite. With major playoff implications, this is shaping up to be the must-see game of the year.

Shark Bites
  • In nine regular-season games vs the Steelers, Tom Brady has 24 TDs and three INTs.
  • The Patriots are 47-8 SU in their last 55 games in December.
  • The Steelers are 9-0 SU in their last nine games after an ATS loss.

It’s a rare spot for the Steelers to be in as a home underdog. However, it should feel somewhat familiar, as the last time they were in this spot was last season as a 7-point home underdog vs, you guessed it, the Patriots. New England went on to win that game 27-16. The Patriots have dominated this matchup during the Brady/Belichick era, going 10-3 SU and 9-3-1 ATS. This includes four straight wins, with three of those coming by double digits.

Prior to their setback in Miami, New England was clearly the best team in the NFL, but the loss put them a game behind the Steelers for first place in the AFC. The Dolphins exploited some holes, but the Patriots have been excellent at rebounding after losses. They’re a perfect 6-0 SU and ATS in their last six games following a loss, winning those games by an average of 10.5 points.

As mentioned, the Steelers have been rolling, with eight consecutive wins, but they’ve been an awful bet, only covering the spread once in their last five games. Either way, their offense has been lighting the world on fire over the last month, as they’re averaging 33.25 points per game over their last four games. Antonio Brown could very well be on the best stretch of his career during those four games, as he’s totaled 627 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

While it’s been full steam ahead for the Steelers’ Killer B’s on offense, the defense has taken its foot off the gas, allowing 28.7 points per game over the last three games. The Patriots are averaging 404.6 yards per game on the road, good enough for second-best in the NFL, so the Steelers might be in for an extended cardio session on Sunday.

It would appear as if this will be a high-scoring affair, and oddsmakers agree as the game opened with the largest total of the week at 54 points. Bettors will be interested to know that the total has gone OVER in the Steelers’ last four games, with the games having an average combined score of 59. As always, keep your eyes on the weather at this time of year when betting totals.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Odds at sportsbooks such as Bovada had the Pittsburgh Steelers pegged as 1-point underdogs in this betting matchup. The total, meanwhile, was listed by books like TopBet at 54.

NFL prediction models run by the computers at OddsShark picked a 26-23 result in favor of the Patriots earlier in the week. Watch matchup reports and the picks page for any changes, due to injuries or suspensions this week. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Supporters of the New England Patriots have seen them go 10-3 and 8-5 ATS so far this season, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are at 11-2 and 6-7 ATS. In totals betting, the Steelers are 5-8, while the Patriots are 6-7. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs New England injuries news.

The game pits the Steelers, currently No. 6 in our OddsShark NFL Power Rankings, against the Patriots, who rate No. 2 in the latest survey.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 12-ranked offense (23.45 PPG) against a New England Patriots defense that ranks No. 11 at 20 PPG. The Steelers passing attack has averaged 262.91 yards per game, less than the Patriots give up through the air (270.36 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the New England Patriots own the league's No. 10-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 110.71 yards per game when on the road. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, rates No. 26 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

In their last game, the Patriots were Week 14 losers coming out on the wrong end of a 27-20 score against Miami.

Ben Roethlisberger led the way last time out for the Steelers, connecting for 506 passing yards in a 39-38 victory over the Ravens at Heinz Field.

Betting Trends
  • New England is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
  • New England is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of New England's last 8 games
  • New England is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
  • Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games
  • Pittsburgh is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

New England home to Buffalo, Sunday, December 24
Pittsburgh at Houston, Monday, December 25