Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions
Date and Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field
Week 8 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Steelers -3, O/U 44.5
Steelers vs. Lions TV Coverage: NBC
The Steel City was down in the dumps after the Jaguars stormed Heinz Field and left with the surprising 30-9 outright win as 7.5-point underdogs. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves and wilting under the pressure of opposing the last remaining team in the league in its own house, the Steelers put forth one of their finest efforts of the season by upending the Kansas City Chiefs 19-13 as 3.5-point road dogs.
That win was followed up with a sterling second half last weekend when the Steelers shut the Bengals out in the second half to lock up the care free 29-14 win and cover as 4-point chalk. The betting public paid dearly for fading them in that spot. It’s now back to the road for Mike Tomlin’s squad who checks in 3-1 straight up and 2-2 against the spread with the lone defeat coming against the Chicago Bears in overtime.
Having already logged a win against the division leading Minnesota Vikings, the Lions have to love the way the division shakes up moving forward. For them to have any say in what goes down the rest of the way, the defense must step up and resort back to the turnover forcing ways that saw it log victories three of the first four weeks of the regular season.
They didn’t force any versus the Carolina Panthers in a slim 27-24 loss at home back in Week 5, and though it forced two versus the Saints the following week, five of their own miscues made it nearly impossible to come out on top in New Orleans. Pittsburgh has turned the pigskin over an average of 1.4 times per game to date, so the Lions will have a shot to improve upon their league-leading 2.3 takeaways per game average.
Player to Watch
Matthew Stafford – After inking that enormous deal in the offseason that has him set for life, upper management is waiting for their field general to take the bull by the horns and get the offense up to speed. Entering Week 8, Detroit ranked No. 26 overall in total offense and only No. 19 in passing offense. The unit has put up an average of 26.8 points per game ( No. 8 ), but that has more to do with the defense setting the offense up with fantastic field position or putting points on the board themselves. Their 11.1 offensive yard per point average is misleading because of it. Opposed by the young up and coming defense of the Steelers, this is a huge litmus test for the Lions questionable offense.
Steelers vs. Lions Picks
These teams last met back in 2013 when the Steelers scored the 37-27 win and cover as 3-point home dogs. The win moved them to 8-2 straight up but just 4-6 against the spread in the team’s last 10 overall meetings dating back to 1983. Many will be quick to fade the Steelers since they’re on the road, but did you know Big Ben and company check in a lucrative 5-2 at the best NFL sportsbooks the last seven times they were favored on the road? Still, the Steelers have covered the game before their bye once over the last five seasons, and came up short each of the last two times when that game took place on the road. The Lions have covered each of their last five matchups following a bye, and would be 2-0 against the spread as a home dog to date had the refs not botched the last call of the game versus the Atlanta Falcons. I’m expecting these trends to continue on Sunday Night Football.
Steelers vs. Lions Week 8 ATS Pick: Lions +3 at BookMaker.eu
Steelers vs. Lions Score Prediction: Lions 23 – Steelers 21