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Steelers vs. Bills Week 14 Predictions, Odds, Preview

Steelers-Bills Video Picks

  • December 10, 2020
  • By Matt Blunt
  • VegasInsider.com

The Sunday Night Football game this week gives us a battle of two playoff-bound franchises in the AFC, as the Pittsburgh Steelers – coming off their first loss of the year – go out to visit the Buffalo Bills who are looking to win their first AFC East title since the divisions were realigned back at the beginning of this century.

Buffalo's the only team of the four in the AFC East not to win a division title since the 2002 realignment (NY Jets won in 2002, Miami in 2008, New England in every other year), and should they get the expected help from the Chiefs (-7 vs Miami) beating the Dolphins on Sunday, a win over the Steelers would give Buffalo a two-game lead in the division with three weeks left.

Interestingly enough, the Bills have already gotten some significant support for this Steelers game this week, as Buffalo was originally catching a couple of points in this spread and have since flipped over to becoming the favorite.

Buffalo action has seen some resistance after hitting -2.5 earlier in the week, so where this game ultimately lands relative to the closing spread, and where the spread closes in general are two intriguing answers I'm somewhat excited to see.

Fading a team after their first loss this deep into a season tends to be more relevant in the collegiate game, but even when the Steelers were undefeated there were some murmurs underneath the surface about how legit they were based on the opponents they had faced.

After multiple weeks of frustrating scheduling changes and alterations, this is a great opportunity for Pittsburgh to have a relatively “normal” week and squash those murmurs, but will they be able to do it?

Steelers vs. Bills - Predictions

  • Score Prediction: Buffalo 24 Pittsburgh 23
  • Best Bet: Teaser - Steelers & Under

Betting Resources

Broncos-Chiefs Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Bills -1.5
  • Money-Line: Buffalo -125, Pittsburgh +105
  • Total: 48
  • Odds Subject to Change

    2020 Betting Stats

    (Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U)

    Pittsburgh

    • Overall: 11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-6-2 O/U
    • Road: 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS, 1-3-1 O/U
    • Offense PPG: 27.8 (Rank 7)
    • Defense PPG: 17.6 (Rank 1)
    • Offense YPG: 344.8 (Rank 21)
    • Defense YPG: 300.5 (Rank 3)

    Buffalo

    • Overall: 9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS, 8-3-1 O/U
    • Home: 5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS, 4-2 O/U
    • Offense PPG: 27.8 (Rank 7)
    • Defense PPG: 25.5 (Rank 18)
    • Offense YPG: 378.8 (Rank 10)
    • Defense YPG: 375.5 (Rank 21)

    Over vs. Under
    Handicapping the Total

    With all the scheduling issues Pittsburgh has had in recent weeks, I don't believe you can be all that surprised, nor all that punishing towards their offense to lean heavily on what we've seen from Pittsburgh's offense the past two games.

    It was a 19-14 win over Baltimore on a Wednesday afternoon, and a 23-17 loss to Washington on a Monday afternoon that was plagued by drops by Pittsburgh's receiving core.

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    It's been a trying season for everyone in the league, but Pittsburgh does have some excuses that hold at least some weight in terms of the poor product they've shown offensively on the field the past few weeks.

    This is still a Steelers team that expects to win on the backs of their stout defense though, and that's going to be tested against Buffalo as well.

    Bills quarterback Josh Allen has slowly been turning his detractors into “Billievers” with his play the past few weeks, most notably how great he looked on Monday night last week in doing anything he wanted against the 49ers defense.

    Week after week, Allen's accuracy, decision making, and overall grasp of what it takes to be a high level QB at the NFL level has improved, and he looked so great on Monday that it forced the hand of many early market bettors to get a piece of the Bills immediately to ultimately facilitate the point spread move we've seen in flipping the Bills to the favorite.

    But just as the Steelers defense will be in for a tough test against a strong offense with all their weapons available, Allen and this Bills offense are matched up against one of the better defenses they've seen in a long time in this league, and I'm not sure the precision carving we saw Allen do against SF last week is a reasonable expectation against Pittsburgh this week.

    But any criticism the Steelers get for playing an “easier” schedule to get to 11-1 SU has to at least be applied to their strong defensive numbers as well.

    That being said, the betting market has already shown their hand strongly enough this week in forcing the point spread to flip favorites, and in terms of the total, it's been a strong wave of 'over' money as well here.

    I'm sure much of that has to do with Buffalo's great performance last week and Buffalo scoring 24+ points in five straight weeks now, but both road games they played in that span came at the same stadium; climate controlled Arizona.

    A Sunday Night game in Buffalo in the middle of December is going to be anything but climate controlled, and it's not exactly the most ideal scenario to expect a lot of points either.

    Combine that with the majority of the market already showing their support for the 'over', the number barely moving from open (up from an opener of 47.5), the strong potential for this to have a playoff feel to it, and Pittsburgh struggling to catch the ball in the cold of late, the contrarian approach of looking 'under' the number makes the most sense to me here.

    Head-to-Head History

    • Dec. 15, 2019 - Buffalo 17 at Pittsburgh 10, Bills +1, Under 37
    • Dec. 11, 2016 - Pittsburgh 27 at Buffalo 20, Steelers -1, Over 45.5

    Steelers vs. Bills
    Handicapping the Side

    If I was a bettor who did manage to quickly jump on this line and take the Bills at their opener of +2 or +2.5, coming back and taking Pittsburgh to hope for a middle would be the no-sweat approach I'd take on a game that's expected to be tight like this.

    Opportunities like that don't come up all that often in NFC betting, and for someone like me who prefers to try and read the market just as much (if not more) as reading the individual game, games that flip flop through zero like this tend to end up in the “pass” category.

    I say that because it's clear that not all the Bills money is a simple reaction to how great they looked on MNF, nor how shaky the Steelers looked on the same day.

    That move can't be ignored whether you agree with it or not, but getting into the practice of betting into bad numbers (now on Buffalo) when you could have had them at a much better price isn't a habit I ever want to entertain either.

    There are cases to be made on both sides here as underdogs, and with Pittsburgh in that role now, we may actually see a bit more Steelers money show up as kickoff approaches.

    A forced selection would have me landing on Buffalo ML here, but in terms of wanting to bet now, I've got little interest. Maybe playing the Bills in live betting makes sense, but we can cross that bridge when it gets here.

    Valid arguments on both sides make teasing the options another way to find interest in this game, and chances are if you get the total part of the teaser correct, there is a decent chance either side is good.

    I'll take as many points as I can get right now though and that's with Pittsburgh.

    Key Injuries

    Pittsburgh

    • WR Chase Claypool: Illness - Questionable
    • LB Vince Williams: COVID-19 - Questionable
    • LB Ulysees Gilbert III: Back - Questionable
    • CB Joe Haden: Concussion - Questionable
    • LB Robert Spillane: Knee - Questionable
    • CB Steven Nelson: Knee - Questionable
    • NT Chris Wormley: Knee - Probable
    • K Chris Boswell: Hip- Probable
    • C Maurkice Pouncey: COVID-19 - Probable
    • RB James Conner: COVID-19 - Probable
    • LB Bud Dupree: ACL - Out

    Buffalo

    • S Jaquan Johnson: Ankle - Questionable
    • DE Trent Murphy: Undisclosed - Questionable
    • TE Tyler Kroft: Quarantine - Questionable
    • T Cody Ford: Ankle - Out
    • WR John Brown: Ankle - Out

    2020 Sunday Night Football (SNF) Betting Results

    Betting Results

    Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS)

    • Home-Away: 9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS
    • Favorites-Underdogs: 6-7 SU, 3-10 ATS
    • Over-Under: 5-8
    2020 Sunday Night Football Betting Results
    Week Matchup Line/Total Score ATS-Total
    1 Dallas at L.A. Rams Pick 'em, 51 20-17 Underdog-Under
    2 New England at Seattle Seahawks -4.5, 45 35-30 Favorite-Over
    3 Green Bay at New Orleans Saints -3, 52 37-30 Underdog-Over
    4 Philadelphia at San Francisco 49ers -8, 45.5 25-20 Underdog-Under
    5 Minnesota at Seattle Seahawks -5.5, 54 27-26 Underdog-Under
    6 L.A. Rams at San Francisco 49ers +2.5, 51.5 24-16 Underdog-Under
    7 Seattle at Arizona Seahawks -3.5, 55.5 37-34 (OT) Underdog-Over
    8 Dallas at Philadelphia Eagles -10, 43.5 23-9 Favorite-Under
    9 New Orleans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3.5, 51.5 38-3 Underdog-Under
    10 Baltimore at New England Patriots +7, 44 23-17 Underdog-Under
    11 Kansas City at Las Vegas Chiefs -8, 56.5 35-31 Underdog-Over
    12 Chicago at Green Bay Packers -8, 44 41-25 Favorite-Over
    13 Denver at Kansas City Chiefs -13, 51.5 22-16 Underdog-Under
    14 Pittsburgh at Buffalo - - -
    15 San Francisco at Dallas - - -
    16 Tennessee at Green Bay - - -
    17 TBA vs. TBA - - -

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