Monday Night Football Steelers at Broncos Pick
Live Steelers vs. Broncos Lines – Expert MNF Picks – Top NFL Sportsbooks
How is the Denver Broncos beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night football an upset? I’m not totally sure either, but according to the Las Vegas Sports Consultants and handicappers alike, it would be an upset for 6-1 Denver Broncos, who are 4-0 at home this year, to pull off the victory. The line currently stands at Pittsburgh -3. The safe bet, the smart bet, the easy money bet for Monday night is to take Denver +3 points.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that continues to get by solely off their past reputation. The run heavy, ground and pound offense attack we have been so accustomed to hearing about from the media is in no way backed by reality. This dominating Pittsburgh rushing attack is 20th in the league in total rushing yards and 21st in attempts this season. Only once this year has Pittsburgh had a running back run for over 100 yards in a game. Week 4, Rashard Mendenhall ran for 165 yards against the 27th ranked run defense of San Diego. Denver’s defense is ranked 3rd in the league while their rushing attack is a respectable 14th in the league.
The once #1 ranked all everything Pittsburgh defense has also developed a number of holes through 8 weeks of the season. Pittsburgh is ranked 16th in the league in passing defense and for a team that believes to get by on attitude and intimidation, teams convert 43% of all 3rd downs, ranking 27th in the league. In comparison, Denver is ranked 6th in the league in pass defense and allows only 33% opponent 3rd down conversion rate, also good for 6th in the league. On the road, opponents are also finding it easier to put points on the board against Pittsburgh, averaging 20 points per which ranks 12th in the league. A decent number, but not the 11 points allowed per game that Denver is averaging at home, which of course is where the game is being played Monday night.
When has a 5-2 record ever been considered overrated? Easy, the 5-2 Pittsburgh Steelers became overrated when 4 of their 5 victories have come against teams with a combined record of 7-22. The unimpressive Pittsburgh schedule includes wins against the one-win Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, and the Detroit Lions. The two losses Pittsburgh suffered both came on the road to teams with winning records, the 4-3 Chicago Bears and the 5-2 Cincinnati Bengals. The 6-1 Denver Broncos continue to remain the antithesis of Pittsburgh in almost every way with 4 of their 6 wins coming against teams that are either leading or tied for their respective division leads, Cincinnati, New England, Dallas, and San Diego.
I fail to see how Pittsburgh is the favorite coming into this game. Thus far, Denver has proven to be better in almost every major statistical category and that margin in only magnified by the fact that the game is being played at Invesco Field. Maybe handicappers just see this as a bad match-up for Denver? How? I am not entirely sure at this point. Kyle Orton surely will not be the problem. He has thrown for 9 touchdowns to only 1 interception, completing 64% of his passes, and has a rating of almost 96. The Denver running duo of Buckhalter and Moreno probably will not do much this week against Pittsburgh as the Stealers are ranked #1 against the run, but I am not expecting this game to turn on Denver’s running game. The game will be decided by the continued smart and efficient play of Kyle Orton, the dominating 3-4 defense of Denver which ranks 1st in total yards allowed, 3rd against the rush, and 2nd in points allowed.
Do not expect this game to be close. In the end, the Denver Defense will wear down the Pittsburgh front five. Roethlisberger has had a hard time staying on his feet this year, his willingness to hold onto to the football combined with some bad offensive line play has forced 20 sacks this year, tied for 9th most in the league. Mike Nolan is very aware of this and with a defense that already ranks 2nd in the league in sacks, expect Elvis Dumervil to lead a heavy pass rush most of the game.
As I said in the opening, the safe bet, the smart bet, the easy money bet Monday night is to take Denver and the +3. Pittsburgh is in no way good enough to beat Denver on a neutral site let alone at Invesco Field. Be smart with the bank roll but do not be afraid to bet big on this game.
Monday Night Football Pick: Denver +3
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