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Sunday Night Football Betting – Big Ben Back For Steelers vs. Chargers in Week 11

San Diego Chargers v Pittsburgh Steelers odds and picks

The Pittsburgh Steelers are still alive in the playoff race, and they can certainly win the AFC North. For that they can thank the Baltimore Ravens for tripping over themselves in Miami. But as BetOnline customers know, they’ve got holes to fill if they want to be a true Super Bowl contender.

Based on last week’s result, a 16-16 tie with the winless Detroit Lions, this train is not traveling at warp speed. But they have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back in action as they take on the Los Angeles Chargers in the NBC Sunday night football presentation. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Sunday Night Football Betting – Without Big Ben, here’s what happened

Mason Rudolph, who was drafted in the second round a few years ago, was not a smash hit. He had to step in as the starter because Roethlisberger was sidelined with Covid. And he had to throw the ball 50 times for just 242 yards. The Steelers had to play without deep threat Chase Claypool. And of course, Juju Smith-Schuster is out for the year.

The good news is that rookie Najee Harris had 105 rushing yards. And frankly, whether Roethlisberger is in the lineup or not, running the football is now a big priority for head coach Mike Tomlin.

In the Sunday Night Football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Chargers are favored.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 11 Odds

TeamSP/RLTOTALML
Steelers+6 ( -110 )47½ ( -110 )+210
Chargers-6 ( -110 )47½ ( -110 )-260
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Sunday Night Football Betting – Can Pittsburgh  move the ball on the Bolts?

Here’s the thing about the Chargers. The way their defense is designed, they DO invite you to run the football. Currently there are last in the NFL, allowing 4.8 yards per carry. But we should note that the figure is improving of late.

What Pittsburgh has to do is to hold off the Charger pass-rush. Roethlisberger has kept things relatively under control when he’s been in the lineup, throwing just four interceptions in 299 attempts. But we should note that a lot of these are short passes. Roethlisberger averages 6.6 yards per attempt and only six intended air yards per throw. So yes, the Steelers are playing it close to the vest. Claypool is expected back from his toe injury, so maybe they can stretch things a little. But that’s what Brandon Staley’s Chargers gear up for – stopping the explosive plays.

Sunday Night Football Betting – You want to stretch things? Try Herbert

Justin Herbert has taken quickly to the NFL. That much is certain. He is going to challenge the Pittsburgh safeties with his distance throws. It’s not that he goes deep a lot. But he is efficient when he does. When he is throwing the ball at least 20 yards downfield, Herbert has averaged 16.6 yards per attempt with a QB rating of 134.0, which is best in the NFL.

When you consider that he is only in his second season, this is heady stuff.  Both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have had over 600 yards in receptions.

Sunday Night Football Betting – Our conclusion

We are reminded about the last time the Steelers visited the L.A. area to play the Chargers. Devin Hodges was the quarterback and Pittsburgh had MANY more fans than the Bolts did at the Dignity Sports Center in Carson. So maybe you can throw that home field advantage out the window.

The Chargers have won five games. And in all but one, they have cut it real close – six points or less. The Steelers are none too explosive, and the Bolts’ defensive staff is scheming to make them really work for their points. At the same time, L.A. has played six of nine this season and 10 of the last 15 UNDER the total. That sounds good to us.

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