Sunday Night Football Preview – Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Obviously the Green Bay Packers have not been a cohesive offensive unit without Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, but they are moving forward as well as they possibly can. On Sunday they may encounter a freight train as they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team on a five-game winning streak, as action commences at 8:30 PM ET at Heinz Field. Of course, since this is Sunday night, this is the NBC-televised game, and while it is progressing, BetAnySports customers can get their fill of exciting real-time wagering by utilizing the state-of-the-art software from Live Betting Ultra.
Since Rodgers went down with his collarbone injury, the Packers (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS) have lost four out of five games, and Brett Hundley, who took over in his place, is struggling big-time. Hundley had four turnovers last week against Baltimore – three interceptions and a fumble – and was sacked six times in the 23-0 loss. Right now there doesn’t seem to be very much working for this squad, except perhaps the fact that Jamaal Williams was able to produce a little something from the backfield. But Williams, the rookie from BYU, hasn’t run for more than eight yards in any individual carry, so he’s not necessarily somebody the Steelers have to worry about. Unfortunately, his fellow rookie, Aaron Jones, is out with a knee injury, and Ty Montgomery, who did so well last season shifting from wide receiver to running back, is nursing a rib injury and isn’t necessarily sturdy enough to be the every-down back.
The Steelers come into this game with a record of 8-2 straight-up and 6-4 ATS, and they are in command in the AFC North. Their defense is ranked second in the league in points allowed per drive, and they should scare Hundley a little as they have registered 34 sacks (projected total of 54 for the entire season). And while Ben Roethlisberger is not having the best season of his career, he is at least operating with top-level protection, as he’s been sacked only 14 times in ten games (against 351 attempts).
In the Sunday night football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Pittsburgh is laying a couple of touchdowns:
Pittsburgh Steelers -14
Green Bay Packers +14
Over 43 points -110
Under 43 points -110
Pittsburgh has the league’s leading rusher in Le’Veon Bell, who has 886 yards on the ground, despite not really having a training camp. Antonio Brown is having a good time playing the role of Antonio Brown (70 receptions, 1026 yards). And Roethlisberger likes what he is getting out of rookie juju Smith-Schuster, who has averaged 17.2 yards per catch. The problem with the Steelers is that they are next-to-last in the NFL in touchdown scoring percentage in the red zone, and that has held them back a little. That has also greatly contributed to this team having eight “unders” in 10 games.
Of course, on the other side, the Steelers have given up a total of 76 points in these last five wins, and no team has scored more than 17. So really, where are the Packers going? Jordy Nelson has been more or less neutered by the absence of Rodgers, and Hundley is leaning perhaps a little too heavily on Davante Adams, who has caught 20 passes in the last three games.
Defensively, Green Bay has allowed the opposition to complete 68% of its passes, and they are forced to use a couple of rookies in the secondary – cornerback Kevin King and safety Josh Jones. However, they have held their opponents to less than 2.4 yards per carry over the last three weeks, which is somewhat encouraging. What would REALLY be encouraging is if Clay Matthews got to play. He was termed a game-time decision with his groin injury, so we will have to see.
It is hard to imagine Green Bay coming up with much momentum in the way of offense here, and Hundley will most likely experience pressure on my long. But Pittsburgh is not perfect on the offensive end; Big Ben has been intercepted 10 times and this team converts only 37.5% on third down. We are looking at another UNDER in Sunday night footballbetting.
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