Monday, November 17, 2014

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Tennessee Titans

Market Watch

This number was -4.5 before both teams lost in Week 10.  Yet, even with a straight up loss to the Jets, the Steelers were still bumped up to -5.5 when the spread reopened.  It bounced back and forth between -5 and -6 all week, but we are now seeing a consensus -7 on the board. Nobody wants to touch the Titans because 87% of the tickets are on Pittsburgh.

Bottom Line

If you are betting on the Steelers, do straight up losses to the Bucs and Jets concern you?  A strong case could be made that the Steelers play up/down to the level of competition this year.  Just when it looked like they turned a corner, they lay a total egg last week in New York.

The primary area where the Steelers rank high in is their QB/passing game ratings. Put in context, they are also one of the most inconsistent offenses in 2014. How much are those numbers inflated by big weeks from Big Ben?  A lot. At the same time there's no one category that we can look at on either side of the ball and say, "they're terrible".

It's a different story for the Titans, who can't do much of anything very well. This offense goes through Mettenberger now, and he is surrounded be mediocrity. The biggest problem this team has had this year is sustaining drives on offense. The Pittsburgh defense isn't great, but they are above average on third down.

The more alarming aspect of Tennessee's season is their record against the spread (2-6-1).  It's one thing to lose games, but it's another not to cover.  Even when this team is given inflated point spreads, it doesn't make much of a difference.

I can't find very many reasons to make a play in this game. The Steelers are the only side I would consider, but not at the current number. Realistically they should be closer to field goal favorites than a full touchdown. Therefore it's a pass for me.

Read more: Week 12 picks.