Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) at Buffalo Bills (9-3)
Steelers Bills Bet Tips
Steelers Bills Odds and Betting Lines
- Against The Spread: Bills -2.5 (-115)/Steelers +2.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Bills (-145)/Steelers (+125)
- Total: 46.5 — Over 46.5 (-105)/Under 46.5 (-115)
- Implied Team Totals: Bills 24.5, Steelers 22.
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Steelers Bills Key Injuries
SteelersSteelers CB Joe Haden is in the league’s concussion protocol, as he suffered the head injury in the fourth quarter of Week 13’s loss to Washington. On a short week, there is still a chance Haden can play on Sunday night, but his overall playing status is in question. Haden is Pro Football Focus’ No. 28-ranked cornerback this season on 721 snaps. If Haden is out, Cameron Sutton is expected to see extended playing time. While Sutton is PFF’s No. 12 ranked corner, he has only played 380 snaps. Also in Pittsburgh’s defensive backfield, CB Steven Nelson, who missed last week’s loss with a knee injury, is expected to practice this week. Though like Haden, there are no guarantees Nelson will play. Nelson is PFF’s No. 36 ranked corner. The Steelers have an embarrassment of riches with four corners ranked in the top 36. If both Haden and Sutton miss Sunday night’s battle in Buffalo, the Steelers’ defense will be at a severe disadvantage facing the Bills’ high-octane passing attack.
BillsThere are no new significant injuries for the Bills.
Steelers Bills Players to WatchSteelers RB James Conner was activated from the reserve/ COVID-19 list this week and is expected to play and start on Sunday night at Buffalo. Conner has missed the past two games since being placed on the list. While Benny Snell played well in the first game sans Conner, totaling 93 yards on 19 touches against the Ravens, he followed it up with a dud. Snell only managed 10 total yards on 10 touches in last week’s loss to the Football Team. The Steelers not only need Conner back healthy and ready to go, but they must re-establish him as a top tier runner to create more balance in the offense. In the three games leading into his stint on the COVID list, Conner maintained a three-game scoring drought while totaling fewer than 99 yards each of those contests, going for fewer than 48 total yards twice. This is a terrific get-right matchup for Conner as the Bills are surrendering the ninth-most rushing yards per game (126.0) in 2020. With John Brown on the injured reserve list with an ankle injury, rookie Gabriel Davis has quietly stepped up. In each of the past two games without Brown, Davis has drawn four targets, catching three of them for at least 68 yards and a touchdown. He’s also scored in three of his past four games overall. Potentially facing a banged-up Steelers secondary — Steven Nelson (knee) and Joe Haden (concussion) are both up in the air to play — Davis could be in line for another quality outing.
Steelers Bills Weather ReportThe weather at New Era Field calls for foggy nightly skies at the time of kickoff with an 11% chance of precipitation. The temperature is forecast at 34 degrees Fahrenheit with 11 mph winds blowing West-SouthWest.
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Steelers Bills Bet Tips
BEST BET: Over 46.5 (-105)The Steelers are a banged-up football team. Players that include LB Bud Dupree (knee, IR), LB Robert Spillane (knee), CB Joe Haden (concussion), CB Steven Nelson (knee), and C Mike Pouncey (illness) are all either out or questionable to play. As you can see, the bulk of those players are on Pittsburgh’s defense, which makes a regular strength, a potential weakness. That bodes well for Buffalo’s offense to put up points. On the other side, the Bills’ defense is surrendering the 15th-most points per game (25.5). And with James Conner activated from the COVID list and expected to return to his usual workload, we could see a more balanced Steelers’ offense, which will open up the passing lanes for Ben Roethlisberger and his slew of pass-catching weapons. The Steelers’ offense is averaging the seventh-most points per game (27.8), but have scored fewer than 19 points in each of their past two matchups against Baltimore and Washington, both top-end defensive units. Defense is not Buffalo’s forte, which is good news for, you guessed it, points. The Over is 3-5-2 in the Steelers’ past 10 games, but 0-4-1 in their past five. The Over is 6-3-1 in the Bills’ past 10 games and 4-1 in their past five.
CONSIDER: Steelers (+125)This is a pivotal game for all parties involved. The Bills are in first place in the AFC East with the Dolphins one game behind, while the Steelers are in first place in the AFC North with the Browns two games behind. A Steelers win would likely lock-up the division without officially clinching it. If the Steelers were not coming off of their first and only loss of the year last week against Washington, I would probably err on the side of the Bills. However, I just don’t see this Steelers team dropping two straight. While I do like the reasonable 46.5-point total to go Over, the team with the better defense will likely end up making the game-changing or clinching play when it is all said and done. While Ben Roethlisberger has seen it all in his career, Josh Allen has yet to face a defense quite like the 2020 Steelers. Sure, he’s played well against good defenses, but when the Steelers are on, they are virtually unpenetrable. Pittsburgh will bring it, which could force the sometimes giveaway-prone Allen to make a mistake. The Steelers are 11-1 straight up their past 12 games. The Bills are 5-1 SU in their past six, winning two straight.
CONSIDER: Steelers +2.5 (-105)I would rather take the Steelers outright as it has better odds, but if you think this could be a squeaky-close game going in either direction, you might want to protect yourself and take Pittsburgh getting the points. The Bills are 4-4 against the spread in their past eight games, covering in each of their past four. The Steelers are 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games, but 2-3 ATS in their past five, failing to cover in two straight. Anthony Cervino is 41-35-1 on his NFL Best Bets in 2020.
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