Sunday night NFL betting matchup pits Steelers and Patriots

By: Joe Freda | Friday, November 12, 2010
Bill Belichick

The Patriots head to Pittsburgh off a 34-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have played three straight road games, escaping with two wins and a 1-2 spread record.  Mike Tomlin’s squad returns home for Sunday night’s clash with the New England Patriots, who are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games.

Sports books opened Pittsburgh as a four-point favorite, with early wagers moving the number north one point to five.  NFL betting shops set the ‘total’ at 45, the highest for a Steelers’ matchup this season.

Pittsburgh survived last Monday’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-21, as a five-point road favorite.  The Steelers allowed two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter after leading, 27-7.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 17-of-27 passes for 163 yards.  The 28-year-old notched one touchdown, hitting wide receiver Hines Ward for an eight-yard strike.

Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall logged 22 carries for a team-high 99 rushing yards.  The three-year running back took in a one-yard touchdown during the first quarter, giving the Steelers a 7-0 lead.

The Steelers’ defense allowed 359 yards, with 218 coming through the air.  Linebacker LaMarr Woodley recorded two of Pittsburgh’s four sacks, while mate Lawrence Timmons grabbed his second interception of the season.

The battle’s combined 48 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 41 ½.  Steelers wide out Antwaan Randle El threw a 39-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace during an end-around handoff for the team’s final score.

Pittsburgh is 2-1 ATS in its three home dates, with the ‘under’ also going 2-1.  Woodley and Co. have allowed a stingy 12 PPG in that span.

New England ended a five-game win streak with last Sunday’s 34-14 defeat as a four-point road favorite against the Cleveland Browns.  The Patriots trailed for the entire contest, equaling their lowest scoring effort of the season.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady connected on 19-of-36 passes for 224 yards.  The five-time Pro Bowl selection threw two touchdowns to tight end Aaron Hernandez, who finished with a team-high 48 receiving yards.

New England’s Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis logged nine carries each, uniting for 68 rushing yards.  The duo’s offense notched 19 first downs during its 22 minutes of possession.

The Patriotsdefense gave up 404 yards without logging an interception or sack.  Linebacker Jerod Mayo notched a team-high seven tackles.

Mayo and Co. allowed a late 35-yard touchdown dash from Cleveland’s Peyton Hills with 2:38 remaining, lifting the game’s 48 combined points ‘over’ the ‘total’ of 44.  The Browns also reached the end zone on 3-of-4 trips inside the Patriots’ 20-yard line.

New England’s setback dropped Bill Belichick’s crew to 2-2 ATS in its four road games, with the ‘over’ improving to 3-1.

The Patriots are 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings against Pittsburgh, with the ‘over’ cashing at 6-3.

The Steelers won the most recent meeting between the foes, 33-10, as one-point road dogs in a 2008 trip to Gillette Stadium.  New England committed five turnovers and allowed five sacks, while Roethlisberger logged 179 passing yards and two touchdowns for Pittsburgh.

Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. (PT), with NBC providing the national television coverage.

The weather forecast in Pittsburgh calls for a 60-degree night, with calm winds and a 30 percent chance of showers.

Both squads have home games slated for next Sunday's league card.  New England meets the Indianapolis Colts, while Pittsburgh hosts the Oakland Raiders.

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