It Pays to Shop When Betting Steelers-Rams Total: NFL Pick

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, September 24, 2015 12:03 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 24, 2015 12:03 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a fine offensive performance at home against the 49ers, and now travel on the road against another NFC West opponent in the St. Louis Rams. Our NFL handicapper takes a look at this matchup and finds value in the total as he gives his Week 3 NFL Picks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers visit the St. Louis Rams for the first time since 2007 in Week 3 action, as each team sports a 1-1 record heading into this matchup. Opening NFL odds have the Steelers favored as Pick’em to 2-point favorites at multiple books. The O/U total opened at 47, but has risen to 47.5 and 48 points at most online sportsbooks.

Maybe the St. Louis Rams were thinking about their big win in Week 1 on Sunday, when they basically stormed the field like a bunch of stupid college kids after beating the Seahawks, because they definitely weren’t thinking about the Washington Redskins in Week 2. They got trampled on the ground by rookie RB Matt Jones for 123 yards and let Kirk Cousins complete an efficient 23 of 27 passes en route to a 24-10 loss on the road.

The Pittsburgh Steelers used their extra time off from an opening loss to the New England Patriots to game plan a brilliant 43-18 trouncing of the San Francisco 49ers at home in Week 2. In that game Pittsburgh amassed 453 yards of total offense, even though they had lost the time of possession battle 23:01 to 36:59. The Steelers went for two often after TD’s, and were successful, helping them build an early 29-3 lead at halftime. In addition to the offensive explosiveness on display, the Steelers exhibited excellent pressure on the quarterback and sacked Colin Kaepernick a total of five times in the game.

Although they haven’t needed it lately, the Steelers look to get a little healthier on offense with Le’Veon Bell coming back in Week 3. This will be Bell’s first game action in 2015 after serving a 2 game suspension so he figures to be 100% and ready to go. Pittsburgh head coach, Mike Tomlin, has already stated that Bell will start in the game and see significant action. This is in addition to the already brilliant play by Ben Roethlisberger lately. Big Ben was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after posting a 21-27 line with 3 TD’s, 369 yards, and 155.8 QB rating.

The Pittsburgh offensive numbers are at odds with how the Rams have been performing on defense so far this year, which is surprising since they have one of the best defensive lines in the league. Even with their personnel, the Rams are giving up an 81% completion percentage to opposing QB’s through the first two weeks. I don’t know if there is a solid reason for this, but one would have to think the success teams are having running the ball against the Rams has opened up schemes for opposing teams in the passing game. Only the Packers and the Browns rank behind the Rams in defending the run.

If I was analyzing the spread, I don’t think there is much of a choice between these two teams. You can find pick’em odds still, yet Pittsburgh is found at #4 and the Rams at #19 on major power ranking sites after Week 2. Not hard to argue that as Pittsburgh’s only loss was against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.

The NFL Pick: I believe the value here is to use the recent performance of the Steelers to take the under amid the inflated number of 48. Including the preseason, in the last 5 games for each team you would only have one offensive performance each that would combine to cover an over of this magnitude.  Shop around and take Under 47 as one of your Week 3 NFL picks.

Free NFL Pick: Bet Under 47 at The Greek

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