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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

NFL Predictions 2013 Week 4: Steelers vs Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Minnesota Vikings: PIT -1 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

In the Vegas look-ahead line, this game was a 'pick em'. After the weekend, it re-opened at -1 in favor of the Steelers. The primary thing to note here is that there is no built-in adjustment for home field advantage. The Vikings are the home team only in name. Instead, this line is a pure reflection of how these teams stack up.

Many sportsbooks have begun to adjust the line to -1.5, but I'd still pick them at that number if I had to. If you shop around, -1 is still available.

UPDATE: If you like the Steelers to win this game like I do, you better not wait. The latest word out of London is that Christian Ponder is dealing with a rib injury, and there's a chance that Matt Cassel could play. Some books have pushed the line to -2.5, and I wouldn't be shocked if it went all the way to -3.

52% of the action is on the Steelers, but I expect that to go up before kickoff.


Bottom Line

Pittsburgh have had a rough start to the season. The good news is they get Le'Veon Bell back for this one and Heath Miller has a game under his belt. Those are two big weapons that Big Ben didn't have a couple weeks ago. They'll also have the benefit of going up against a really banged up and suspect Vikings back seven.

For the Vikings offense, there isn't a lot to be excited about. Adrian Peterson gets his Pro Bowl fullback back in the lineup, but will it be enough? The offensive line has stunk and Christian Ponder has shown very little sign that he's ready for the next step. The situation is even worse if Matt Cassel gets the start. The Steelers defense might not be what it once was, but I'm not sure it has to be in this matchup.

I'll back Pittsburgh to get their first win on the season in the backyard of London, England.

NFL Pick: PIT -1
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