Sunday Night Football Betting: Will the Steelers or Chargers Get Back on Track?
The Los Angeles Chargers are 6.0-point home favorites tonight over the Pittsburgh Steelers, per NFL odds. The total is set at 46.5 points.
Our nERD-based rankings have the Chargers slotted 10th overall while the Steelers are 18th. LA has lost three of four while the Steelers are coming off a tie against the Detroit Lions.
Let's dive into some interesting betting angles for this contest.
Tale of the Tape
After missing last week with COVID, veteran signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return under center for Pittsburgh.
Father Time seems to be coming -- and coming quickly -- for Big Ben. By our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, Roehtlisberger clocks in below the 2021 league average with a mark of 0.06 Passing NEP per drop back. He should eclipse the 2,000-yard passing mark today, but he has recorded a mere 10 passing touchdowns. His limited mobility has seen him sacked 18 times.
On the other side of the field, Justin Herbert has been far better. He's posted a clip of 0.18 Passing NEP per drop back, throwing for more than 2,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.
In the backfields, we have two good backs in Najee Harris and Austin Ekeler.
Harris is definitely the man for the Steelers. He carried the rock 26 times last weekend and added four receptions for 30 total touches. He's eclipsed 100 all-purpose yards four times in the last five games.
Ekeler boasts a solid mark of 0.14 Rushing NEP per c tarryhis season, and he's averaged almost five yards per carry. He's also an adept pass-catcher and has hauled in 39 passes for 340 yards and four scores.
The edge on D lies with Pittsburgh. The Steelers rank 7th in overall defense by our numbers while the Bolts check in 19th.
Bets to Consider
With the Chargers a solid 6.0-point favorite and the total at 46.5 points, where should you have your money for this one, according to our numbers?
We are projecting the Chargers to pull it out by a score of 27.58-21.65, so we are right in line with the listed spread. We see a little value on the over, which we project to hit 54.48% of the time.
One player prop our projections like is the over on Austin Ekeler's receiving yards. The line currently stands at 34.5 yards, but we have him totaling 39.32 receiving yards. He's gone for at least 48 receiving yards in five of nine games.
Historical Betting Trends
-- In the last 17 games between these two teams, the Chargers have covered 12 times.
-- Recently, the Chargers have been a great against-the-spread (ATS) bet, going 9-4 ATS in their last 13 contests.
-- The under has hit in six of Pittsburgh's last eight road games.