The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to take on the Saints. This week 16 matchup will kick off at 4:25 PM. ET.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) are coming off a win over the Patriots that showcased a return to form for their defense. Coming into that game, the Steelers had lost three straight and were in desperate need of a victory. The Steelers’ defense frustrated New England all afternoon, forcing them into 14 penalties and 106 penalty yards. In a game that was decided by one score, Pittsburgh’s discipline clearly played a factor in the outcome.
The Saints (12-2) are coming off a low scoring victory over the Carolina Panther. The Saints currently occupy the top seed in the NFC playoff race. Their offense is one of the best’s in the NFL, but their defense at times this season has been questionable. Against the Panthers, the Saints demonstrated that their defense can win them games when their offense doesn’t show up. The Saints’ offense only managed to score 12 points in the game, barely beating their season-low. Yet, they still managed to execute enough when it mattered most to win the game. That’s what separates championship teams from really good teams.
The Steelers hold on the AFC North is shrinking.
The Steelers currently lead the AFC North by half a game. With Baltimore winning on Saturday night, Pittsburgh cannot afford to take a loss. The playoff race is tightening and with 2 weeks remaining any loss can easily sink a team’s playoff chances.
According to NFL Stats, the Steelers defense ranks 9th in yards per game. The Steelers are allowing 22.6 points per game. Facing a Saints offense that ranks second in the NFL in terms of points per game, expect the Steelers’ defensive struggles to return.
The Steelers offense continues to impress in the absence of James Connor. Against the Patriots in week 15, Jaylen Samuels continued to impress in the Steelers’ backfield. Samuels rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries. That’s an average of 7.5 yards per rush. Expect Samuels to have a solid game against the Saints’ defense.
Against the Patriots in week 15, the Steelers’ wide-receivers struggled. Antonio Brown had four receptions in the game on seven targets for 49 yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster was targeted 10 times but only managed to haul in four passes for 40 yards. Against the Saints expect both of these receivers to bounce back in a big way.
The Saints are the team to beat in the NFL.
There are only two weeks remaining in the season, and New Orleans has separated themselves from much of the NFL. Last week against the Panthers, the Saints’ offense struggled to get anything going through the air. Quarterback, Drew Brees failed to find the end zone and was picked off once in the game. New Orleans’ rushing attack managed to gain 156 yards on the ground on 32 carries. Alvin Kamara found the end zone for the 12th time this season.
Kamara continues to be a threat in both the rushing attack and the passing game. Expect the Steelers’ defense to try and limit Kamara as much as possible.
While the Saints offense looked vulnerable last week, don’t expect the Steelers’ to limit Brees and company the same way the Panthers did.
Steelers Vs Saints Betting Lines
The Saints are coming off a real grind it out performance. The Steelers, similarly, need to grind out their win against New England. Expect both these offenses to rebound this week, but don’t expect this game to become incredibly high scoring. While both teams are due for a bounce-back performance, expect the Steelers to do enough to steal a game on the road in New Orleans.
Play: Steelers +6.5 @ BetOnline.ag