Struggling Chiefs Visit Steelers As Double-Digit Underdogs

By: Mike Cooper of | Friday, November 9, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Betting Preview
11/12/2012 at 8:20 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Pittsburgh -12½, O/U 43½
(click for latest NFL odds)
Television: ESPN

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers (5-3 straight-up, 4-4 against the spread) are coming off a 24-20 home win over the New York Giants where they came back from down 10 points in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a good game against the Giants, and he has six touchdowns and only two inteceptions during the team's three-game winning streak. The wide receiver duo of Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown has combined for 1,024 receiving yards on the season, and Big Ben will likely have time to find them facing a Chiefs pass rush that only has 14 sacks on the season. The running game is led by RB Jonathan Dwyer, who has rushed for over 100 yards in two straight games, and he is one of the reasons the Steelers have gotten back on track. In their last three games, they are putting up an average of 155 rushing yards per game, with RB Isaac Redman totaling a career-high 147 yards on the ground filling in for Dwyer last week. Defensively, the Steelers have missed some key guys, including safety Troy Polamalu who is still out with a calf injury (click to check updated NFL injury report). However, Pittsburgh has still played good D with the league’s top-ranked passing defense and seventh-ranked rushing defense. The Steelers have covered the spread in 10 of their last 14 home games, and in their last six home games the total has gone "under" every time.

Kansas City Chiefs: With QB Brady Quinn still out with a concussion, Matt Cassel will get another start for the Chiefs (1-7 SU, 2-6 ATS), and to say he has struggled this season is a major understatement. Kansas City has the most turnovers in the league by a wide margin, and Cassel is one of the main culprits with 11 interceptions and seven lost fumbles. He has WR Dwayne Bowe, who has had a pretty good season, but after him the receiving corps is a pretty weak one. That is not good facing the best pass defense in the league. One player who has to play well for the Chiefs to pull off the big upset is RB Jamaal Charles, who he has a neck injury but is listed as probable on the injury report for this game. Charles has had some big games this season, including rushing for 233 yards in Week 3, but in his last three games, he has totaled a combined 83 yards on the ground and has not had a rushing TD in his last 4 games. KC's defense has given up 30 points per game, which is the worst in the NFL. The unit has really been torched on the ground and while the pass D played pretty well in the first few games, the team has not done so well in the last few. Overall, the Chiefs rank 11th in the league defending the pass and 23rd defending the run. They have failed to cover the spread in their last five games but have covered in five of their last seven when playing a team with a winning record. In KC's last 19 games overall, the total has gone "under" 13 times.

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