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Steelers Look to Stay Unbeaten Against Feisty Washington

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) calls signals during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.

The Washington Football Team heads to Pittsburgh after an extra-long week to take on the undefeated Steelers (11-0 SU, 8-3 ATS) in the first of two Monday night games in Week 13. Washington (4-7 SU, 5-5-1 ATS) will have not played since Thursday of Week 12 while the Steelers played the last game of Week 12 on the following Wednesday due to a jumbled, COVID-influenced schedule.

Washington Football Team vs Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Date/Time: December 7, 5 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Heinz Field
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Steelers -9.5 | O/U 44 (Line History)
  • Washington vs Steelers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The game opened with the Steelers as favorites at -9.5, but that line has moved down across the board and can now be found anywhere from -7.5 to -9 depending on the sportsbook. The total opened at 44 and has moved down to between 42 and 43.5 depending on where you look.

Washington News & Notes

Washington rookie running back Antonio Gibson has been on a tear in recent weeks. While the team’s passing game has largely struggled, Gibson has become the focal point of the offense and ranks tied for 11th in the league in rushing yards (645) and third in rushing touchdowns (11) behind only Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry.

Gibson had just 33 rush attempts in two college seasons at Memphis but averaged a whopping 11.2 yards per carry and ran a 98th-percentile 40-yard dash during the draft process. Gibson’s combination of speed, size and pass-catching ability has him looking like a star in the making.

On the other side of the ball, Washington sports one of the league’s top defensive fronts. Led by rookie sensation Chase Young, this is one of the few groups of pass rushers in the league that could disrupt the Pittsburgh offense enough to give the team a chance. Washington’s pass defense ranks second in the league and will need to lead the way to any potential upset.

Pittsburgh News & Notes

Pittsburgh’s depth on both sides of the ball has made it a tough team to game-plan for. They can win an aerial shootout just as easily as they can win a low-scoring defensive battle. This week is more likely to be the latter. Despite the Steelers’ star-studded group of pass catchers, they will likely need to run the ball effectively against Washington’s top pass defense.

Bettors will need to keep an eye out on whether top back James Conner plays. Conner tested positive for COVID-19 and missed Week 12’s game. With such a short turnaround, he could easily miss Week 13 as well. 

On defense, the Steelers lost star edge rusher Bud Dupree to a season-ending knee injury in Week 12. It will be interesting to see how the injury changes one of the league’s best defenses that is largely successful due to the two-headed monster of Dupree and bookend T.J. Watt.

Betting Pick: Washington +8

With such a short turnaround from Weeks 12 to 13, the Steelers are already at a major disadvantage for this game. Add in the injury to one of their top defenders and the matchup against a fearsome Washington front and this has all the makings of a trap game for the unbeaten Steelers. We will take the 8 points.

Shark Bites
  • Washington is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games after consecutive ATS wins.
  • The Steelers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games.
  • Washington is 0-7 SU in its last 7 on the road vs teams with winning records.