Solid NFL Pick on Double-Digit Steelers Victory Over Texans

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, October 20, 2014 3:01 PM GMT

Before making your NFL pick tonight, know that each of these teams has clearly underperformed in their recent history. Both Houston Texans & Pittsburgh Steelers are 3-3 SU. Find out how we'll bet.

In 2012, Houston was one of the best teams in football.  A 2nd round playoff loss at New England left them looking forward to 2013 in which they were expected to challenge the post-season supremacy.  But in one of the strangest NFL seasons recorded in the annals of this league, the Texans ended the season with a record of 2-14 SU, 4-12 ATS.  This happened in spite of the fact that Houston outgained the opposition by an average of 347-318 for the season.  Consider that it was a season in which there were numerous key injuries at inopportune times and that the Texans lost 9 games by 7 or less points.  Paying the price for the disaster were HC Kubiak and QB Schaub.  Enter former New England Asst. and Penn St. HC Bill O’Brien, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is now at the helm.  The result for the Texans has been a 3-3 SU start with victories vs. Washington, Oakland and Buffalo but losses to Indianapolis, NY Giants and Dallas.  All but the NY loss has shown Houston to be competitive.  One thing that cannot be ignored, however, is the fact that THEY HAVE LOST IN THE STATS EVERY GAME, including last week when they were outgained 456-332 by the Colts in a 33-28 loss. 

The Steelers have been on a rollercoaster ride this season.  With more speed and younger legs on the defensive side of the ball, there was an expected return to the Steel Curtain.  A younger, healthier OL was expected to key an improved ground game.  After all, in the Steelers’ Super Bowl seasons, there was clear dominance at the point of attack.  Go back no further than the 2010-2011 seasons, which show the Steelers with a combined record of 26-10, including a Super Bowl loss to Green Bay.  In those years, they outrushed the opposition by 120-61 and 121-102. But, in 2012 and 2013, Pittsburgh was 16-16 SU, ATS.  Last year, Pittsburgh was outrushed 116-87.  It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Steelers, as they seek to claw their way back to the upper echelon of the NFL.  Facing a relatively easy early schedule, featuring only Baltimore as a winning team, the Steelers have alternated victories and defeats.  Today, they come off one of their most embarrassing performances in the most recent 3 seasons.  After losing on this field to Tampa Bay 3 weeks ago, then barely eeking out a win at Jacksonville (17-9), the Steelers traveled to Cleveland to face a Browns team, they had totally dominated over the previous decade.  A measurement of how the Steelers have plummeted to the nadir of their discontent is represented by the fact that after leading the Browns (27-3) at halftime of their first meeting, Pittsburgh has since been outscored 55-13 by the Browns.  Though the stats don’t confirm it, the 31-10 Pittsburgh loss was every bit as bad as the final score.  They now stand at a 3-3 SU crossroads with plenty to prove. 

Both statistical and technical numbers, as well as the situation, clearly support Pittsburgh in this game.  While the Texans have been outgained by over 61 YPG, the Steelers are manhandling their opponent by a +57 margin in YPG.  Most impressive has been a ground game that has returned to form with numbers of 137/4.9.  It has opened the airways for 66% completions by QB Roethlisberger.  Even more impressive are the technical numbers which lineup in favor of the Steelers.  Pittsburgh is 10-4 ATS at home off a loss and 13-0 ATS following a SU ATS division loss in a game where they allowed more than 30 points.  In addition, Pittsburgh has long been excellent on their home field under the primetime lights.  Note that the Steelers have won 15 consecutive MNF home games, including 4-0 SU under HC Tomlin.  This includes a record of 6-0 ATS if they are favored up to -6.      

Backed by the positive situation, the fundamentals and the technicals, make your NFL pick expecting a huge performance by the Steelers tonight resulting in a double-digit victory.   

Please note that with both the New England and Denver Primetime games flying over the posted total this week, that all NFL Primetime games this season are 17-4 to the over.  We follow that tonight at Bet365 , knowing that 5 of 6 recent Steeler home games have also gone over the posted total.