Pittsburgh (1-4) at LA Chargers (2-3)
When: Sunday, October 13th, 2019
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park,
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -5.5/43.5
It’s really never too early to call an NFL game a ‘must-win’ situation, but you could say that for the Sunday Night Football between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams have played below expectations thus far, but the Steelers have an excuse after losing two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with an injury in Week 2. Pittsburgh had a big chance to get back into the AFC North race, but fell to the Baltimore Ravens 26-23 in overtime, which means the goal is probably a wild card berth at this point. The Chargers offense has been inconsistent in losing three of their last four games and are seeking to get back to the .500-mark after dropping a 20-13 decision last week to the Denver Broncos as 6.5-point favorites. L.A. doesn’t have quarterback issues with Philip Rivers set to make his 214th consecutive start on Sunday. The Chargers come into this contest as 6.5-point favorites and have covered the spread in six of their last seven following an ATS loss. The Steelers hold a 22-8 edge in the all-time series, but dropped a Week 13 game in Pittsburgh last year 33-30. Pittsburgh was up 23-7 late in the third quarter and had been 174-0-1 all-time when leading by at least 16 points in a home game. Rivers threw for 299 yards and two scores and Big Ben 281 and two TDs. Pittsburgh has covered seven of the past 10 meetings, while the total is 5-5 in that span.
Pittsburgh might be on their third quarterback after Mason Rudolph was knocked-out by Ravens safety Earl Thomas last week and is not expected to play on Sunday. Next up is former FCS Player of the Year Devlin Hodges – an undrafted rookie out of Samford. He was 7-for-9 for 68 yards in place of Rudolph against the Ravens and took the first-team reps on back-to-back days in practice as he prepares for the possible start. Pittsburgh’s defense needs to help out the rookie quarterback by stopping the other team. The unit has allowed at least 24 points in all four defeats and is ranked 16th overall (355.6) and 21st against the run (125.8). The Steelers rank third in the NFL with 19 sacks and are 12th against the pass, allowing 229.8 yards per game. Pittsburgh will have an extra long bye week coming up, as their next game isn’t until October 28th – a Monday night affair with the Miami Dolphins. Could that be the worst MNF game of all-time?
The Broncos had been the only team in the NFL yet to force a turnover and forced the Chargers into three of them last week. L.A. recorded just 246 yards of offense and only 35 on the ground. Melvin Gordon made his season debut off a contract holdout and had ran 12 times for 31 yards, while Austin Ekeler recorded just three carries, but did catch a franchise-record 15 passes for 86 yards. Tight end Hunter Henry missed another game, but could be ready to go Monday. Linebacker Melvin Ingram (hamstring) could miss his second straight game for a Chargers’ defense that ranks eighth against the pass (215.0) and 11th overall (334.8). L.A. will be at Tennessee next week.
I fully expect this Chargers team to bounce-back strong after getting embarrassed by Denver last week. The talent is there to make a run at the playoffs behind Rivers, while Pittsburgh is in the middle of a lost season. Los Angeles gets an easy win here.
Pick: Chargers -6.5 (More Week 6 Free Picks)
Steelers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
Steelers are 49-24-2 ATS in their last 75 games in October.
Steelers are 1-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Steelers are 7-21-1 ATS in their last 29 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
Steelers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
Chargers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 6.
Chargers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Chargers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
Chargers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.
Chargers are 17-8 ATS in their last 25 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
Chargers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
Chargers are 11-28-1 ATS in their last 40 home games.
Chargers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC.
Chargers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Chargers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Under is 6-0 in Steelers last 6 games in Week 6.
Under is 6-1 in Steelers last 7 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 5-1 in Steelers last 6 vs. AFC.
Under is 7-2 in Steelers last 9 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
Under is 16-5 in Steelers last 21 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
Under is 6-2 in Steelers last 8 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
Under is 19-7 in Steelers last 26 games in October.
Under is 5-2 in Steelers last 7 games on grass.
Under is 37-15 in Steelers last 52 road games.
Under is 35-16 in Steelers last 51 vs. a team with a losing record.
Under is 4-0 in Chargers last 4 games overall.
Under is 4-0 in Chargers last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Under is 5-0 in Chargers last 5 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
Under is 6-1 in Chargers last 7 games in October.
Under is 5-1 in Chargers last 6 games on grass.
Under is 4-1 in Chargers last 5 home games.
Under is 8-2 in Chargers last 10 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
Under is 21-8 in Chargers last 29 vs. AFC.
Under is 20-8 in Chargers last 28 vs. a team with a losing record.
Under is 5-2 in Chargers last 7 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
Under is 5-2 in Chargers last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 14-6 in Chargers last 20 games in Week 6.
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.