The Philadelphia Eagles will take the PA Turnpike west this week to battle it out with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon in a showdown for state bragging rights. All the action is set to get underway at 1 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
This weekly betting preview is part of an ongoing series where I take an in-depth look at each and every Eagles game and offer free NFL picks using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System. It is always smart to bet on what you know best as concentration on a particular team has proven to be a viable approach to creating a successful sports betting strategy for wagering on the NFL.
Betting Lines by 5Dimes
Pointspread: Pittsburgh -3
Total Line: 44
Game Overview: Philadelphia
While it has not always been pretty, the Eagles have found a way to win three of their first four games to take an early lead in the NFC East. Given the fact that they are 0-3-1 against the spread, it has been a handicapping challenge to know what to expect from this team on a week-to-week basis. The one good sign is the zero turnovers in last Sunday night’s win against the Giants after turning the ball over 12 times in their first three games.
The key to it all continues to be the play of Michael Vick. When he plays true to form great things usually happen, such as three late-game drives to pull out a win. When he is taken out of this rhythm is when the costly turnovers and mistakes happen. Given that he will be on the road against an opportunistic Steelers’ defense, this Sunday’s matchup will undoubtedly be another stern test for No.7.
Game Overview: Pittsburgh
It has been a mixed bag for Pittsburgh this season, so we have yet to get a true picture of just how good (or bad) this team is. The Steelers should benefit greatly from an early bye week after a 1-2 start. This has given head coach Mike Tomlin a chance to address some of the team’s problems on both sides of the ball. It also helps that his team should have three Pro Bowl players back in the starting lineup for this week’s game.
The Steelers have really struggled to run the ball this season, but the long-awaited return of running back Rashard Mendenhall, who went down last season with a torn ACL, should address this issue if he can quickly regain his form. Linebacker James Harrison has yet to play a down this season, but he is expected to be on the field this Sunday. Throw in the return of safety Troy Polamalu, who missed the last two games, and we should see a much better defense than the one that is currently ranked 25th in the NFL in points allowed.
Game Betting Trends
The Eagles are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a losing record and 3-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games following an ATS loss. The total has stayed “under” in their last four games on the road.
The Steelers are 9-0 ATS in their last nine games following a SU loss and 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a bye. The total has stayed under in their last four home games.
The last time these two teams met in the regular season was in 2008 when Philadelphia grinded out a 15-6 victory as a 3.5-point favorite at home. Over the years, the Eagles have a slight 4-3 edge ATS in seven games dating all the way back to 1988.
I had the Giants winning last week’s game and got lucky with a “push” on a closing line of two points. This week’s game sets up as another potential push considering how closely these two teams matchup to one another along with the fact that three of the Eagles first four games have been decided by a total of four points. It is safe to say that this is another game that will remain close until the final gun. The deciding factor is the Steelers coming off a bye with a couple of their best players back in the starting lineup. Utilizing Doc’s Sports Service Unit Betting System, I recommend a 2-Unit play on Pittsburgh this week to cover the three points at home.
Take # 414 Pittsburgh (-3) over Philadelphia for 2 Units
YTD Record: -5 Units (-$580)
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s NFL picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any NFL handicapper on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert football handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.