The Pittsburgh Steelers will visit the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL Week 14 edition of Thursday Night Football at 8:20 p.m ET on the NFL Network.
We’ve reached December, which means the NFL playoffs are on the horizon. For teams that have yet to be mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, every game matters.
In the Week 14 opener on Thursday Night Football, we will see the Steelers and Vikings. Both teams are currently on the outside looking in for the playoff picture, and whoever loses may see their postseason chances disappear for good.
Thursday Night Football Prediction Week 14
There have been times this season in which both of these teams have looked really good. There have also been times when they have both looked really bad.
For the Steelers, they have taken a step back defensively while their offense remains underwhelming most of the time. While they have popped occasionally, Pittsburgh plays an ugly style of football with an aging Ben Roethlisberger under center.
Meanwhile, the Vikings are not much different. Their defense is one of the worst in the NFL. While their offense is pretty good, it’s often not enough to overcome their defensive shortcomings.
To make matters worse for Minnesota, RB Dalvin Cook is a game-time decision with a shoulder injury. Backup RB Alexander Mattison is a quality No. 2 if Cook can’t go, but lacks the explosiveness and playmaking ability that Cook would normally bring to the table.
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The key to a Vikings win is attacking the Steelers’ secondary while keeping their defense honest with the run. QB Kirk Cousins doesn’t always play his best football in primetime, but there isn’t much on the line here.
For a Steelers win, they’ll need their defense to step up. Once the backbone of their team, Pittsburgh’s defense has been a shell of itself this year due to injuries, offseason losses, and cap casualties. They were in salary cap hell at the start of last offseason and have paid for it since.
The Steelers will also need a monster game out of rookie RB Najee Harris, as Minnesota has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. If Harris can get going and force the Vikings to play with an extra man in the box, Roethlisberger may be able to make some plays with his waning arm.
This will be an ugly game, but somebody has to win. I’ll lean on the Vikings to win a close one at home.
TNF Week 14 Pick: Vikings 24, Steelers 20
Thursday NFL Betting Trends for 2021
- The Over is 4-11.
- The Underdog is 7-8 against the spread.
- The Favorite is 12-3 on the moneyline.
- The Home Team is 6-9.
*Anthony Cervino is 26-16 on his NFL Best Bets for 2021 for The Game Day.
Thursday Night Football Best Bets Week 14
*NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of Thursday, December 9 at 5 PM ET.
TNF Best Bet: Steelers +3.5 (-115) at Caesars
Wager: 3 Units
While I like the Vikings to win outright, I do believe the Steelers will keep the game close until the end and will take them against the spread, as this game could very well come down to a field goal.
Three points are just too many to give Pittsburgh in a primetime spot against Cousins. Back the Steelers against the spread for our NFL bet of the day.
Check out more of our NFL Week 14 betting tips:
TNF Best Bet: UNDER 44.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
The Under has been the play on Thursday NFL games this season, hitting 11 times. Look for that trend to continue in Week 14.
- Check out our NFL Week 14 TNF Prop Bets.
Both teams have the firepower to put up points, but injuries and lack of rest are going to keep this game low-scoring. Minnesota’s defense will look to make a statement at home after getting embarrassed by Detroit, while Pittsburgh’s defense is coming off a strong performance against Baltimore and is always a threat to show up.
TNF Best Bet: Vikings Moneyline (-180) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
As expected, Minnesota is favored to win at home. There’s a bit too much juice for my liking, however, so I’d use the Vikings moneyline as a leg of a parlay.
Thanks for reading our NFL Week 14 TNF Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 14 Best Bets.