The Washington Football Team travels to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers after a very long week in the first of two Monday Night Football games in Week 13. Washington has not played since Thursday of Week 12 while the Steelers played in a rare Wednesday game last week. This is a short turnaround for Pittsburgh which is looking to stay unbeaten in the season. The Steelers are 11-0 SU so far to start the year and they look to improve their franchise-best start on Monday.
An interesting sidelight here will be the battle between Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger. The two are the betting favorites to win the 2021 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
Washington Football Team
Washington wasn’t expected to be a contender this season. In fact, they opened with 100/1 odds to win the NFC East this year. They opened the season with a 1-5 record but they have bounced back to win three out of their last five games and head to this contest after back to back blowout wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys to improve to 4-7 on the season, tied with the New York Giants for the lead in the division.
Alex Smith has returned from a life-threatening leg injury and has thrown for 1,067 passing yards while completing 69%. Despite Smith having only three touchdowns and five interceptions, he has been a morale-booster for the team. Rookie running back Antonio Gibson has rushed for 645 yards on 139 carries with 11 touchdowns. Terry McLaurin has caught 69 passes for 963 yards and three touchdowns while running back J.D. McKissic has 223 rushing yards and is the team’s second-best receiver at 338 receiving yards this season.
Odds from BetOnline as of 12/07/2020
The Steelers kept their unbeaten slate with a close win over the injury-riddled Baltimore Ravens in a rare Wednesday game last week. However, Pittsburgh won’t have much time to enjoy their 11-0 record as they play again on Monday. The Steelers though picked up a “bad” win as they won by only four points while being favored by double-digits because Baltimore was missing too many players due to COVID-19.
Ben Roethlisberger has completed 67.5% of his passes for 2,800 yards. His touchdowns to interceptions ratio of 25:6 are one of the best in the league this season. Running back James Conner leads the team with 645 rushing yards on 145 carries and five touchdowns. Chase Claypool leads the team with 611 receiving yards and 8 scores on 45 catches while Diontae Johnson has caught 57 passes for 583 yards while Juju Smith-Schuster has 66 receptions and 572 receiving yards. Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree suffered a season-ending ACL injury in week 12 and he will be sorely missed by the defense.
Washington is 4-11 SU in their last 15 games played. They are 1-6 SU in their last seven games played on the road. The Steelers are unbeaten in 10 games played this season. Pittsburgh is 6-0 SU in their last six games played at home.
Head to head, the Steelers are 6-0 SU in their last six games played against the Washington.
Washington’s passing has struggled but rookie running back Antonio Gibson has been on a tear in recent weeks. Gibson ranks 11th in the league in rushing yards and is third in touchdowns. He’s their best offensive weapon and looks for Washington to go to him a lot in this game. Defensively, they have the no. 2 ranked passing defense in the NFL and with Chase Young leading them, Washington should be able to slow down Big Ben’s passing.
Pittsburgh has more than enough depth on both ends of the field and that’s what’s kept them unbeaten so far this year.
Offensively, they will need to run the ball well here as they face the second-best passing defense in the league. James Conner will be a key player here and he missed their previous game due to COVID-19. If Conner plays, the running game will be fine for the Steelers. Pittsburgh also lost star edge rusher, Bud Dupree, to a season-ending injury. Without him, their two-headed monster is no more.
The Steelers have a short turnaround here and the absence of Conner and Dupree will hurt them on both ends of the field. However, this Pittsburgh team has great depth. It should be able to score enough points for their defense to hold. I like the Steelers to stay unbeaten in this defensive game.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers
Other Bets To Make
The Washington Football team is 4-2 ATS in their last six games played. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games played against the AFC. Pittsburgh is 7-2 ATS in their last nine games played. The Steelers are 4-2 ATS in six home games played this season, 1-4 ATS in their last five December games, and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 week 13 games played. Head to head, Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in their last six games played against Washington.
Odds from BetOnline as of 12/07/2020
The Steelers are coming off a “bad” win against the Ravens and they are for sure going to try and come up with a dominant performance against Washington. However, this is a Washington team that has fought well in their games and are 4-2 ATS in their last six games. The schedule favors Washington as Pittsburgh is making a quick turnaround here. Washington is in the thick of the NFC East race and has plenty of time to prepare for this game. I’m not sure if they win but as they’ve always done, they will keep the game close. This one could be a trap game for the unbeaten Steelers.
Prediction: Washington +6.5
The under is 5-4-1 in Washington’s last 10 games played. The over is 3-2 in their last five road games and 7-2 in their last nine games against the AFC North division. The over is 5-4-1 in the Steelers’ last 10 games played. The total has gone over in four out of their last six home games played. The under is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s last six games played against the NFC. Head to head, the under is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings between these two teams. The under is also 4-1 in their last five games played in Pittsburgh.
These are two of the top defensive teams in the NFL this season. The Steelers are ranked third while the Washington Football team is right behind them at number 4. Pittsburgh has produced the most sacks by any team this season while Washington is tied for second place in that statistical department. Because of this, I won’t be surprised if we don’t see too many scores in this game. I think that the posted total is too high. Washington will have trouble moving the ball here. But they are also very good defensively and have more than enough time to prepare for this matchup. I like these teams to go under.
Prediction: Under 43.5