Below is a breakdown of the popular lines and odds heading into Sunday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.
All odds found on Draftkings- located here.
Spread: Packers are 6.5 point favorites
Moneyline: Packers are favorites at -275
The Pittsburgh Steelers are stuck in NFL purgatory. With the (to put it mildly) aging quarterback Ben Roethlisberger commanding the Pittsburgh offense, the Steelers have put up an average of 16.7 points per game and have really been limited in terms of what they can play call. The Steelers are 24th in league offensive DVOA and are talented yet not effective.
After a lackluster first game and a half, the Packer’s offense seems to be putting its identity together. The unit that most people, including myself, had the most questions about coming into the season was the young offensive line.
That challenge was intensified with the loss of Elgton Jenkins to injury which reduced an All-Pro caliber player from the lineup combinations and, more importantly, forced the Packers to stick an inexperienced player to protect Aaron Rodgers’s blindside. They just made a significant investment in Bakhtiari and will be making one soon when they inevitably extend Elgton Jenkins. To not have either of those guys available is an understated loss and a credit to the likes of Adam Stenivich and Nathaniel Hackett.
The Green Bay defense has allowed 27.7 total points per game but has definitely improved from their cataclysmic performance against the Saints in week one. Facing inferior Pittsburgh offense, they should be able to hold up. This is in no doubt attributed to the increased role of Eric Stokes at the outside corner.
Kevin King was favored by the Green Bay front office but has been either hurt or ill on games this year, and can no longer be counted upon as a dependable number 2 corner opposite Jaire Alexander. Stokes will get his rookie lumps but has the make-up speed that King lacks to try and lower the impact of footwork errors when pressing coverage.
If the Packers have found a press-man corner in Stokes, the ability to play that technique on both sides of the boundary would open up some very interesting possibilities in terms of defensive alignment and calls.
Packers to win and cover.
Over/Under: 45.5 total points scored
This game features a rematch of Superbowl XLV titan quarterbacks but at very different points in their respective careers. Big Ben Roethlisberger has been the Steeler’s workhorse of a quarterback for a decade and a half, but this could and should be his final NFL season. Aaron Rodgers is coming off an MVP caliber season and looks to be around for another 10 years potentially. While I do not believe that the Steelers will be able to replicate their offenses of old, especially with the loss of Chase Claypool, I do think this one could hit on the over.
Take the over.
Last Week: 1-2 (33%), Overall 3-6 (33%) this season
——————Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.