Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals – Week 14 NFL Betting Analysis
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5 8-4 ATS) at Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1 7-4-1 ATS)
The Steelers have been a big surprise being in the playoff race with all of their injuries and they are a 2.5-point favorite this Sunday facing an Arizona Cardinals team that was blown out in their last game. The total for this non-conference matchup is 43.5.
Pretty surprising that the public has really backed the Cardinals in this game, as they opened as a 5.5-point underdog and as of Thursday are a 2.5-point underdog.
Pittsburgh has had a slew of injuries and they are staring their 3rd string QB and they still hold the 6th spot in the AFC. They are tied with the Tennessee Titans but hold the tiebreaker. Yeah, head coach Mike Tomlin should get legit consideration for coach of the year.
The Steelers have won six of their last seven games including their last two where they only gave up a total of 23 points. In the six wins in their last seven games, the Pittsburgh D has only given up more than 17 once.
While the Cardinals have played some tough teams in their last five games they lost them all and in their last game, they were blown out losing to the L.A. Rams 34-7. Kyler Murray had one of his worst games as a pro in that game and the defense was shredded giving up nearly 550 yards.
These teams have not faced each other since the 2015 season.
Balance Equals a Win
In their last game, the Steelers were at home and beat the Cleveland Browns 20-13 where they had great balance. They had 199 passing yards and 124 rushing yards, and their defense held Cleveland to three points in the 2nd half.
Devlin Hodges is the 3rd string QB for the Steelers and he has won both of his starts this season. In the Browns game, he had a TD and an INT passing for 212 yards with only one sack. James Washington was his main target with 111 receiving yards and this is having 98 receiving yards in his previous game.
James Conner leads the Steelers on the season with only 390 yards and he has missed a few games. He has missed the last two games and is questionable for this game with a shoulder injury.
In the win over the Browns, Barry Snell Jr. led the team with 63 yards and Jaylen Samuels chimed in for 32 rushing yards. Snell Jr. has stepped up in Conner’s absence rushing for 161 yards in the last two games.
Arizona’s pass defense was lit up in their last game and that unit ranks dead last in the NFL. Their run defense has been better but not by much, ranking 24th in the league.
In their bad loss to the Rams in their last game, they only totaled 198 yards while giving up 549 yards. Murray passed for 163 yards with no TD and an INT and was sacked six times. He is Arizona’s leading rusher for the season and only had 28 rushing yards in the Rams’ loss.
The run game has been an issue all season for the Cardinals and in the Rams’ game, Kenyon Drake led the team in rushing with only 31 yards averaging a weak 2.4 yards per carry. David Johnson only rushed for 15 yards in the game and he and Drake have to help Murray out in this game or Arizona may lose badly again.
Pittsburgh’s defense has played great in the last two games and on the season they rank 7th in the league against the pass and 12th against the run.
The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five games between these teams. Too bad for the Cardinals that trend will not continue. The Steelers will rely on good defense and a solid balanced attack to win their third straight game. Their defense will not completely shut down Murray, but they will shut down the run game. Pittsburgh will win and cover the spread continuing their impressive run.
PICK: Steelers -2.5