Braylon Edwards’ statistical dropoff has been alarming for the Jets offense.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won four straight, with a 3-1 spread record in that stretch. Mike Tomlin’s club hosts its second straight home game in Sunday’s matchup against the New York Jets, who are 2-5 ATS in their last seven contests.
Sports books opened Pittsburgh as a 5 ½-point favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 36. Early wagers on the Steelers and ‘under’ moved the numbers to 6 ½ and 35 ½, respectively.
Pittsburgh’s latest win came in last Sunday’s 23-7 triumph as a nine-point home favorite against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers prevailed despite failing to notch an offensive touchdown, controlling the ball for 35 minutes.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected on 21-of-33 passes for 258 yards. The 28-year-old led his squad to 18 first downs, while being sacked four times.
Roethlisberger’s favorite target was wide out Hines Ward, who finished with a season-high eight catches. Ward logged a team-high 115 yards, failing to reach the end zone for a fourth straight game.
The Steelers defense held Cincinnati to 190 yards. Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley united for three interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Woodley added a team-high two sacks, finishing with a season-high five tackles.
The lopsided affair’s combined 30 points ducked below the ‘total’ of 39 ½, making the ‘under’ 4-0 in Pittsburgh’s last four games. Steelers placekicker Shaun Suisham hit 3-of-3 field goal attempts, extending the Ontario native’s season streak to 9-for-9.
Pittsburgh improved to 4-2 ATS in its first six home dates, with the ‘under’ also moving to 4-2. Polamalu and Co. have allowed a stingy 14.2 PPG in that span.
New York picked up its second straight loss in last Sunday’s 10-6 setback as a five-point home favorite against the Miami Dolphins. The Jets were unable to erase an early 10-0 deficit, mustering only two field goals from placekicker Nick Folk.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez completed 17-of-44 passes for 216 yards, while logging one fumble and one interception. The second-year man guided his offense to 14 first downs in its 34 minutes of possession.
New York’s LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for a team-high 49 yards on 19 carries. The 31-year-old running back failed to score a touchdown for a seventh straight game.
The Jets defense held Miami to 131 yards, while recording five sacks. Linebacker Bart Scott and nose tackle Sione Pouha each logged a team-high seven tackles.
The tight battle’s combined 16 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 37 ½, bringing the ‘under’ to 2-1 in New York’s last three games. Miami coughed up three fumbles, while bring forced to punt 10 times.
The Jets are 4-2 in their six road games, with the ‘over’ cashing at 6-0. Rex Ryan’s crew has scored 24.2 PPG in that stretch, while allowing 23.7 PPG.
New York is 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings against the Steelers, with the ‘under’ also collecting at 3-1.
The foes have not met since 2007, when the Jets notched a 19-16 overtime win as a nine-point home dog. Roethlisberger was held to 195 passing yards for the Steelers, tossing one interception while fumbling once.
Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. (PT), with CBS providing television coverage in some markets. The weather forecast in Pittsburgh calls for a high of 24 degrees, with 10 mph winds and a 30-percent chance of snow showers.
Pittsburgh will have a three-day rest, remaining on its home grass for Thursday’s matchup against the Carolina Panthers. The Jets will travel again as part of next Sunday’s league slate, visiting the Chicago Bears.