NFL Football Betting: Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins

NFL Football Betting:  Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins

The Pittsburgh Steelers are nothing if not mentally tough. There may be better ‘X’s and O’s’ coaches in the NFL than Mike Tomlin but there are few, if any, as good at instilling this essential quality in his team. That’s why it’s not really surprising that Pittsburgh made the playoffs in 2015 despite Ben Roethlisberger missing 4 games. Roethlisberger is a pretty tough dude himself and he’s played countless times throughout his career with injuries that would have had other quarterbacks riding the pine. ‘Big Ben’ should be ready to go for this game but Pittsburgh will be playing without suspended RB Le‚ÄôVeon Bell and WR Martavis Bryant. Bryant’s absence is a bigger deal than Bell since the Steelers can do what they’ve done any time they’ve needed a steadying force at the running back position. That’s hand the ball to veteran DeAngelo Williams who at age 33 is more effective than most younger running backs. He piled up 907 yards in 10 games last season and is just a beast in the Pittsburgh backfield.

In the other corner, the Washington Redskins are heading in the right direction and coming off a somewhat improbable 9-7 season and NFC East title winning campaign. That’s what happens when you hire a competent football coach, in this case 6 times Arena Football ‘Arena Bowl’ champion (as a player)Jay Gruden. Gruden needed the 2014 season to clean up the mess left over by Mike Shanahan but just one year later had the Skins back in the playoffs in what might have been the most impressive coaching job of last year. Kirk Cousins isn’t the athlete that RG III was at one point but he’s a very capable and efficient quarterback. The Skins are still a ‘work in progress’, however, and need to improve on defense (#28 in the league in YPG in 2015) and bolster their running game (#26 in rushing YPG LY).

Even without Bell and Bryant the Steelers are the play. At first glance, the Skins look like a ‘live dog’ having gone 6-2 SU at home last year. The problem is that none of those six wins were against winning teams. They are on a 5-1 SU/ATS run as a home dog of +3 or less but the Steelers are a better balanced team and should be able to run the ball effectively against a so-so Skins’ stop unit.

BET PITTSBURGH STEELERS -2.5 OVER WASHINGTON REDSKINS