Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7) at Atlanta Falcons (5-7)
Opening Spread: Falcons -1.5
Opening Game Total: 42
Opening Team Totals: Falcons (21.75), Steelers (20.25)
The Line Report
- This line opened as Falcons -1.5.
- This line has moved between Falcons -1 to Falcons +.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Falcons -1.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Falcons +1.
- This total opened at 42-points.
- This total has moved down to 41.5 points.
Falcons: Questionable: LG Chuma Edoga
Steelers: Questionable: RB Najee Harris, C Mason Cole, DL Larry Ogunjobi, Edge T.J. Watt, LB Myles Jack, CB Ahkello Witherspoon
The Falcons Offense vs. Steelers Defense
The Falcons have a league average offensive line. Now that T.J. Watt is back, the Steelers have a top-five defensive front. The Steelers’ pass rush has a moderate trench advantage in this contest.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Falcons are 7-5 against the spread this season.
- The Falcons are 7-5 on overs this season.
- Marcus Mariota is 40-42-2 against the spread in his career.
- Marcus Mariota is 47-36-1 on overs in his career.
- Arthur Smith is 13-15-1 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Arthur Smith is 14-15 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Falcons are scoring 22.7 points per game, good for 14th in the league.
- Atlanta is 31st in the league in yards passing per game and fourth in yards rushing.
- The Falcons are passing on 49% of their offensive snaps and running on 51%, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Per the Edge, among quarterbacks Mariota is sixth in yards rushing with 425 yards.
- Since returning from injury in early November, Cordarrelle Patterson has double-digit carries in three-of-four games. Patterson has seven total targets over his last two games.
- Tyler Allgeier has at least eight carries in all four of the games since Cordarrelle Patterson returned from injury. Allgeier has breached 50 yards rushing in three of those contests. Allgeier has five total targets over those four games.
- Drake London has a 25.5% target share and a 24% air yards share. Due to the Falcons’ low volume in the passing game, London has six or more targets in two of his last seven games.
- Per TruMedia, Drake London has played 491 snaps on the perimeter and 60 in the slot.
- The Steelers have allowed 23.7 points per game, which is 24th in the league.
- The Steelers gave up 42 yards rushing in five carries to Josh Allen and 10 yards rushing on two carries to Jalen Hurts. The Bills and Eagles both blew out the Steelers, decreasing the need for quarterback carries.
- Per The Edge, the Steelers have allowed the 18th-most yards rushing per game and the 16th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Pittsburgh has given up the fourth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Pittsburgh has given up the fifth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers and the second most to slot receivers.
- The Steelers have allowed the 13th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Steelers Offense vs. Falcons Defense
The Steelers have a below average offensive line. The Falcons have a below average defensive front. This trench matchup is a relative draw from a macro sense, while Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has a significant individual matchup advantage.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Steelers are 5-5-1 against the spread this season.
- The Steelers are 5-6 on overs this season.
- Kenny Pickett is 4-4 against the spread in his career.
- Kenny Pickett is 4-4 on overs in his career.
- Mike Tomlin is 128-119-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Mike Tomlin is 111-138-3 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Steelers are scoring 17.6 points per game, which is 28th in the league.
- Pittsburgh is 25th in the league in yards passing per game and 21st in yards rushing.
- The Steelers are passing on 64% of their offensive snaps and running on 36%, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Per the Edge, Najee Harris left Monday Night Football against the Colts last week and didn’t return. In his previous two games he had 20 carries and at least 90 yards rushing in both contests. Harris has six targets in two of his last four games.
- If Harris can’t go this week, rookie running back Jaylen Warren has been impressive as both a runner and pass-catcher.
- Diontae Johnson has only reached 60 yards receiving in two of the eight games that Kenny Pickett has played. Johnson has eight or more targets in four of those games.
- George Pickens has six or more targets in six of the eight games that Kenny Pickett has played. Pickens has at least 60 yards receiving in four of those eight games.
- Pat Freiermuth has seven or more targets in five of the seven games he’s played with Kenny Pickett. Freiermuth has seven or more targets in four of his last five games.
- Per TruMedia, Diontae Johnson has played 586 snaps on the perimeter and 75 in the slot.
- George Pickens has played 485 snaps on the perimeter and 77 in the slot.
- Pat Freiermuth has played 326 snaps as an in-line tight end, 15 on the perimeter, and 111 in the slot.
- The Falcons have allowed 24.4 points per game, which is 25th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Falcons have allowed the 12th-most yards rushing per game and the 19th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Atlanta has given up the sixth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Atlanta has given up the eighth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers and the fifth-most to slot receivers.
- The Falcons have allowed the ninth-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Falcons have allowed the eighth-most PPR points per game to in-line tight ends.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Falcons vs. Steelers
As bizarre as it is to say, the Falcons are an unexpected 5-7 team that has a very real shot at winning the NFC South. Atlanta is a run-centric offense that has shown very little ceiling in the passing game. If you’re betting on the Falcons, you are betting on Atlanta’s offense at least meeting expectations against a surging Steelers’ defense. The Falcons have a bottom-10 defense that has been absolutely torched through the air. A bet on the Falcons can be a bet against Kenny Pickett’s ability to exploit that advantage. Your biggest concern as a Falcons bettor is that this game looks a lot like the Steelers’ Monday night win in Indianapolis, where Pickett plays a relatively solid game while the Steelers’ defense keeps the Falcons below expectations.
I could see myself betting the over on the Steelers’ win total next spring. I don’t think Pickett is the next Joe Burrow, but I like Pickett more than most. The Steelers have an uncharacteristically unreliable offensive line, but they have a solid skill group. The Steelers’ secondary could still improve, but overall, their defense has been a tough out since T.J. Watt returned to action. If you’re betting on the Steelers, the Falcons are the weakest defense that Pickett has faced this season by a significant margin. But ultimately, if you’re betting on Pittsburgh, you are primarily betting on the Steelers’ defense mimicking their effort last Monday night in Indianapolis. Your primary concerns as a Steelers bettor are that Pickett has an uneven game with a couple of turnovers while the Falcons play a turnover free, ball control type game on offense while squeaking out another close win.
Awards Market Ramifications: None
Winner/Confidence Pool: I’m going to be Steelers-heavy in winner pools, but I’ll likely play the Falcons in at least one entry. I expect to be slightly above consensus on this game in confidence pools.
Spread Pool: I’m leaning towards taking the Steelers in my main ATS entry this weekend.
Survivor Pool: It’s very aggressive, but I am considering the Steelers as an option in survivor pools this week. While I might do that myself, I wouldn’t recommend that type of consideration in most instances.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 38-22
Props 2022: 39-23