NFL Betting – Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

You could say this is a big game in the AFC playoff picture, which is why it was flexed to Sunday night. The Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers enter the week holding down the two wild card spots in the conference, but with three games still to play nothing is certain. And there’s a third team close behind that just adds to the importance. The Steelers overcame a 1-4 start and the loss of Ben Roethlisberger to win seven of their last eight games. They can’t win the North meaning a wild card spot is all that’s left for them. The Bills can catch the slumping Pats in the East and have a showdown in Foxboro after this one.

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Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers

Date and Time: Sunday, December 15, 2019, 8:20 p.m. ET

Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Opening NFL Odds: Pick ‘em, O/U 37

Bills at Steelers TV Coverage: NBC

Odds Analysis

The game opened as a tossup with the line moving in favor of the Steelers getting as high as -2 before settling at -1.5. Buffalo had its three-game SU and ATS winning streak snapped last week in a 24-17 loss to Baltimore. They have thrived on the road this season going 5-1 SU with a 5-0-1 ATS mark. Hell, they even won and covered their two preseason games, so playing away from home isn’t a big deal. Pittsburgh beat Arizona, 23-17, as a 2.5-point favorite extending its win streak to three in a row SU and ATS. The total opened at 37, which was the lowest on the Week 15 board, and has tumbled to 35.5.

Buffalo Bills

If you said before the season started that Buffalo’s Week 15 game would be flexed to primetime you might have gotten some odd looks. And if you did, well who’s laughing now. There is a lot to be said about the schedule, and the Bills have had an easy one. Prior to last week they played only three teams that currently have a winning record. Buffalo beat Tennessee and lost to New England before dropping last week’s contest. They don’t make the schedule they just play it, and the Bills are closing in on a playoff spot.

A big reason for that is the play of the defense. The Bills kept Lamar Jackson in check, except for those three touchdown passes, and allowed only 118 rushing yards to the NFL’s top ground attack that averages more than 200 yards per game. Only three teams have scored more than 20 points against them and the Bills are No. 2 in points allowed (16.3) and No. 3 in yards allowed per game (296.8).

Josh Allen needs to get more from his group for the Bills to have a chance of winning their division. And a playoff spot isn’t guaranteed either. The emergence of Devin Singletary has sparked the run game, now if Allen can be more consistent passing the numbers will improve. That’s a big ‘if’ however. Allen was stymied by Baltimore completing only 17 of 39 for 146 yards and the Bills average just 206.6 passing yards per game. That’s one reason why the over/under is so low.

Pittsburgh Steelers

There’s a new folk hero on the Pittsburgh sports scene. But before we go making life size cutouts of Devlin Hodges we need to peel away the layers. Hodges took over for an ineffective Mason Rudolph in a Week 12 win over Cincinnati and started the last two games, wins over Cleveland and Arizona. Remember Hodges also started a game earlier in the season and beat the Chargers. The Steelers are 3-0 SU and ATS in those three starts.

Here’s where the layers get peeled. Hodges averaged 165 yards passing in those starts with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Steelers scored 67 points, but the defense and special teams help account for 35 of them. Two plays resulted directly in scores. Devin Bush returned a fumble against the Bolts and Diontae Johnson had an 85-yard punt return against the Cards. While Hodges has been able to manage the game, he’s also received plenty of help.

The Steelers haven’t been playing with a loaded gun, which makes their run even more amazing. That could change this week. James Conner, who played sparingly in one game since the end of October is expected back. Signs point to JuJu Smith-Schuster making a return after missing the last three games. That gives Hodges a few more weapons to attack Buffalo’s stingy defense with.

Bet Bills at Steelers at BookMaker.eu

It’s hard to see where the points are going to come from with two strong defensive teams against not so strong offenses. But the lower the total drops, the more enticing the OVER becomes. The clubs are opportunistic and they both have legit kickers, which should allow enough points to be scored. And I have to give the edge at quarterback to Allen, not by much. But it’s enough to get the Bills a victory.

NFL Score Prediction: Buffalo 21, Pittsburgh 17

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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