Sunday Night NFL Week 15 Preview: Steelers-Bills Best Bets
The Buffalo Bills (9-4 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) are not the most explosive of teams, because they don’t score a lot of points. But they’ve had to compensate for that with some great defense. And it has gotten them to the point where they are in line for a playoff spot.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) weren’t expected to be contenders, not after losing Ben Roethlisberger. But they have rallied behind other starters at quarterback, and they could go to the post-season too.
These defensive-minded teams will go at it on Sunday at Heinz Field. The game gets underway at 8:20 PM ET. And BetAnySports customers can watch it on NBC and place wagers in real-time with Sports Betting Ultra.
Bills lack big wins
Buffalo’s season is kind of strange in a sense. They have beaten only one team with a winning record. And that was a Tennessee team that was a lot different at that time with Marcus Mariota at quarterback. But they have played excellent teams like New England and Baltimore very tough.
Last week against the Ravens, the Bills brought things right down to the wire before going down to a 24-17 loss. They held Baltimore to 257 yards, including just 40 rushing yards by Lamar Jackson. The problem was that they had only 209 yards of their own.
Singletary a big-time rookie for Buffalo
Josh Allen has demonstrated that he is a feisty leader in his second year in the NFL. His numbers haven’t been all that great. Allen’s accuracy is below 60%, which is low in this day and age.
The Bills like to emphasize the ground game. And that is why, as Frank Gore experiences his golden years as an NFL running back, it’s been important that they’ve had the services of rookie Devin Singletary, who has averaged 5.6 yards a carry.
Here are the numbers……
In the Sunday night NFL odds that have been posted on this game, the Steelers are a slight favorite at home:
Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 NFL Betting Odds
|Bills||+1 (-115)||36½ (-115)||-105|
|Steelers||-1 (-105)||36½ (-105)||-115|
Remember that if you are interested in a better price than the customary -110 on football, you’ll want to check out “reduced juice” at BetAnySports!
Bills could make Hodges nervous
The Buffalo defense is formidable, to say the least. This unit has allowed opposing quarterbacks just 5.6 yards per pass attempt. When they faced New England earlier in the season, they held Tom Brady to his lowest passer rating in fourteen years. And they have 38 quarterback sacks.
This supplies one heck of a challenge for Devlin Hodges, the undrafted rookie QB who is now in the saddle for the Steelers. Hodges is gutsy and fearless, and he has proven to be a capable game manager. But he is still a little raw and of course inexperienced.
Steelers’ pressure could make Allen nervous, too
Pittsburgh isn’t going to be easy to penetrate. The defense has gotten better and better, and now ranks fourth in efficiency against both the run and the pass, according to the metrics provided by the folks at Football Outsiders. They might be the league’s best team when it comes to pressuring the passer, and they’ve got 48 sacks. So they could haunt Allen indeed. But there is the chance that Buffalo can move the chains against them. Pittsburgh is 30th in the NFL in “stuff rate” (the percentage of run plays they hold to no gain or a loss).
The Steelers’ injury report might be important here. Pittsburgh is going to be without WR Juju Smith-Schuster and tight end Vance McDonald. And they may also be without James Conner in the backfield. Kerrith Whyte, a teammate of Singletary’s at Florida Atlantic, picked up some slack with 41 rushing yards. It could be a “committee” again.
It defies logic how the Steelers have been able to contend for a wild card spot. Mike Tomlin has done nothing short of a sensational job. Pittsburgh leads the league in takeaways, and they are second in sack percentage. They seem more likely to make the big plays on the stop unit.
But they haven’t exactly been dominant, scoring just 103 points the last five games. Buffalo hasn’t exactly faced a “murderer’s row” on the road, but they have nonetheless allowed just 15 ppg as the visitor. And Baltimore was only the second team to top 21 points against them. So a vote for the Bills here.
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