NFL Week 15 Pick: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:02 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 5:02 PM UTC

Nah, nothing to see here. Only the biggest game of the 2017 regular season with home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs at stake. Survivor Pick: Pittsburgh.

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3, 53)

Did the AFC game of the year lose any luster because of New England’s stunning loss on Monday night in Miami? I don’t think so – the Patriots might have been caught looking ahead to this one a bit and underestimated the Dolphins. Plus, New England didn’t have Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski due to a one-game suspension. Pittsburgh (11-2) leads the Pats (10-3) by a game in the overall AFC standings. Don’t rule out Jacksonville (9-4) yet, either, as it owns a head-to-head win over the Steelers. Pittsburgh will clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a victory and a Jacksonville home loss to Houston, which probably won’t happen. The Steelers get a first-round bye with a victory no matter what. The Pats win the AFC East yet again with a victory or Buffalo loss earlier Sunday. New England clinches a playoff berth if Baltimore loses in Cleveland, which is very unlikely. Could this be the final regular-season matchup between Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady? You never know, it might be. Big Ben has made noise about retiring. I’m going Pittsburgh here simply as it’s home and the Patriots on a short week. I’ll be buying a half-point, however.

  • Steelers are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Steelers are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games in December.
Free NFL Pick: Steelers +3.5 (buy up from 3)Best Line Offered: Sports Interaction

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When’s the last time you saw an 11-2 team as a home underdog? Since Big Ben's rookie year in 2004, the Steelers have only been a home underdog a total of 12 times. Pittsburgh is 8-3-1 against the spread in them. Pittsburgh is 2-1 SU against the Pats as a home dog in that stretch. Of course, these teams played twice last year. New England won at Heinz Field in the regular season, 27-16, but Roethlisberger was out injured. In the AFC title game in Foxboro, the Pats won easily 36-17. Brady threw for 384 yards and three scores. The Steelers lost star running back Le'Veon Bell late in the first quarter to a groin injury. Brady owns a 7-2 regular season record against the Steelers, and he is 3-0 against Pittsburgh in the postseason. Pittsburgh will get back rookie WR Juju Smith-Schuster this week after he served a one-game suspension in last Sunday night’s shootout win over Baltimore. Big Ben became the first QB with three career 500-yard passing games. It looks like a sloppy late-afternoon in Pittsburgh (light rain, low 40s) so I’m going under here on that big number.

  • Under is 5-1 in Patriots last 6 road games.
  • Under is 6-1 in Steelers last 7 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
Free NFL Pick: Under 53Best Line Offered: Bovada

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