2005 Season NFL Football Past Picks
November 28, 2005
This pick was released to clients on July 25, 2012 at 7:18PM ET.
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis
Monday 11/28 09:00 PM Eastern
1 unit on Pittsburgh +8.5 (-110) (risk 1 to return 1.91) RESULT: loss
1 unit on Game Total UNDER 47.5 -110 (risk 1 to return 1.91) RESULT: win
Well, we were on the wrong side of the Indy game last week. Against the Bengals, we thought the home dog would keep it close and in the end, Indianapolis covered the six point number by two in a shootout. Now they find themselves at 10-0 and laying another very large number against a very good team. The public "squares" have made money hand over fist this season by simply backing the best teams in the league, regardless of the spread. Indy, Dallas, Carolina, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Denver and the Giants are all 7-3 ATS or better. So, as expected, this line has already shifted 1.5 points towards the undefeated and public favorite Indy. In years past, this would be an easy play on the Steelers but this year, the favorites just keep winning and covering virtually any number. So, we really need to look closely here. After further review, I still think this is a bit crazy to be laying 8.5 points to a team as good as Pitt. Despite playing Charlie Batch and Tommy Maddox in several games this year, the Steelers are 7-3 ATS. Ben Roethlisberger is back for this one and as QB for the Steelers, he has never lost to any team other than New England (and we're getting 8.5). Pittsburgh has a great running game that averages 130 yards per game and Indianapolis' defense is giving up 25 points per game over their last five (and we're getting 8.5). The reason they remain undefeated is that their offensive output has increased to overcome their defensive struggles. Over the last seven games, Indy has scored a ridiculous 37 points per game. But who has that been against? With one exception (Cincinnati), it's been against the absolute doormats of the league. That stretch included games against Tennessee, San Francisco, St. Louis, New England, Cincinnati and Houston twice! All six of those teams (including Bengals) are ranked in the bottom half of the league in defense and four of them (SF, STL, NE, HOU) are the FOUR WORST defenses in the entire league! So, Indianpolis can rack up points against the worst defenses in the league. Great. Can they do it tonight agianst Pittsburgh? Oh, they'll score. But against the 6th ranked defense in the league, one that prides themselves on playing big in big games, they won't score like they have been. Pittsburgh should find ways to make life tougher on Peyton Manning. How many weeks can he and Indy play at peak performance? This is now their third big game in four weeks. It is very difficult to come with your A+ game week in and week out and that's what Indy will have to do again tonight to cover this very large spread. Bill Cowher has never lost to Indianapolis (6-0). Ben Roethlisberger is 9-0 on the road and 18-1 lifetime. These are straight-up numbers and, did I mention, the Steelers get 8.5 here? Pittsburgh won't give up tonight as they need this game more than Indy. Indy wants a perfect record but Pitt would lose significant ground to Cincinnati with a loss. Their playoff hopes are on the line. Indy's already wrapped up home field advantage. They want this one but they don't need it. Bill Cowher-led Pittsburgh is 21-5 ATS vs. top-level teams (75%+ SU). I like the Steelers plus the points and the UNDER as well as I think Pittsburgh gives Indy all they can handle in a game in which Indy's offense struggles for the first time in two months. One star on each.