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Short-handed Steelers are a Big Favorite in Houston

Short-handed and injury-riddled teams don’t often find themselves as big favorites, especially on the road, but that’s the exact spot the Pittsburgh Steelers are in after opening at -10.5 for their Christmas Day matchup with the Texans in Houston. This has traditionally been an awful spot for the Steelers as they’re 5-20 ATS in their last 25 road games as a favorite of 7 or more points, and an even worse 1-11 ATS in their last 12 as a double-digit road favorite. This includes an 0-2 ATS mark this season.

Shark Bites
  • The Texans are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games on Monday.
  • The total has gone OVER in nine of the last 11 Christmas Day games.
  • The Texans rank last in the NFL in net yards per play over their last three games.

Those ugly facts combined with the absence of Antonio Brown initially make the Texans a tempting option as a big home underdog, but the wheels have really fallen off for Houston recently after three straight double-digit losses in which they’ve averaged a pathetic 12 points per game. The once-reliable Texans defense is also starting to fall apart, as they’ve allowed a league-high 31.7 points per game during their three-game skid.

To add another wrinkle of confusion for bettors, the Steelers offense has really taken its foot off the gas in road games this season, averaging just 20.9 points per game outside of Pittsburgh compared with 28.3 at home. With Brown out, look for the game plan to center around Le’Veon Bell, who’s posted six consecutive games with at least 100 all-purpose yards.

The total for the game is hovering in the 44-point range and the Steelers have been an UNDER machine in road games this season, going UNDER the number in six of their seven road contests. Considering Pittsburgh’s offensive inefficiencies on the road, and the fact that T.J. Yates is starting for the Texans, the UNDER will likely be a popular bet in this game.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Those siding with the visitors in this matchup saw the Pittsburgh Steelers listed as 10.5-point favorites at shops such as Bovada. Meanwhile, the OVER/UNDER line for the betting matchup was at 44 over at 5Dimes.

OddsShark computer NFL score prediction models picked a possible 29-18 win for the Steelers on Monday. That score may change during the week, if injury or weather factors alter the numbers, so check the NFL picks page before game time. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Houston Texans Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Houston Texans sport a record of 4-10 and 7-7 ATS heading into this betting matchup, while the Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 11-3 and 6-8 ATS on the season. The OVER/UNDER totals records are 7-6-1 for the Texans and 5-9 for the Steelers. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Houston vs Pittsburgh injuries news.

The Power Rankings at OddsShark have the No. 9-rated Steelers taking on the No. 31-rated Texans in this betting contest.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Houston Texans' No. 14-ranked offense (22.79 PPG) against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that ranks No. 7 at 19.86 PPG. The Texans passing attack has averaged 221.64 yards per game, more than the Steelers give up through the air (206.71 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Steelers own the league's No. 3-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 94.14 yards per game when on the road. Houston, on the other hand, rates No. 13 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

In their last game, Pittsburgh got a 117-yard performance from Le'Veon Bell, but New England prevailed 27-24.

Houston didn't make much of a game of it last time out, losing to the Jaguars as Jacksonville blasted them 45-7 in Week 15 action.

Betting Trends
  • Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Pittsburgh is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games
  • Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
  • Houston is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Houston is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games
  • Houston is 11-5 SU in its last 16 games at home
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 6 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Pittsburgh home to Cleveland, Sunday, December 31
Houston at Indianapolis, Sunday, December 31