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Monday Night Football

Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh (5-2, 3-4 ATS) at Washington (6-2, 5-3 ATS)

The Steelers head into FedEx Field in the nation’s capital for a matchup with the Redskins, hoping to avoid a third loss this season to an NFC East opponent.

Pittsburgh fell 21-14 at home a week ago to the Giants as a three-point home favorite, squandering a 14-9 second-half lead. The Steelers only two losses this season are to NFC East squads as they also fell in Philadelphia 15-6 as a 3½-point underdog in September. The Pittsburgh defense has been doing the job all season, ranking third in the NFL in points allowed (15.7 per game), first in total yards allowed (236 per game) and third in rushing yards allowed (71.6 per game).

Washington’s defense comes in ranked sixth overall, yielding 278.1 yards per contest. Last week the Redskins held the Lions to just 274 total yards (57 rushing) in a 25-17 victory in Detroit, covering as 7½-point favorites. Jim Zorn’s squad has outgained the opposition in its last seven games and his offense is fourth in the NFL in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 32:31 per contest. A big part of that ball control comes courtesy of QB Jason Campbell, who has compiled 1,754 yards passing and eight TDs without an interception, and RB Clinton Portis, who leads the NFL in rushing with 944 yards

These teams haven’t met in a regular season game since 2004 when Pittsburgh got a 16-7 home win, coming up just short as a 10-point chalk. The last time these storied franchise met in a regular-season game in Washington was more than 20 years ago when the Redskins scored a 30-29 win.

The Steelers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after a straight-up loss, but otherwise they’re on ATS skids of 7-12-1 on the road, 1-5 on Mondays, 1-5 against teams with a winning record, 1-4 in November contests and 3-7 on the road against teams with a winning home mark. Meanwhile, the Redskins are on ATS slides of 3-7-1 in November games and 5-12 at home against teams with a winning road record, but they are on positive pointspread streaks of 5-2 overall and 22-8-1 against teams with a winning record.

For Pittsburgh, the over is on streaks of 8-3 overall, 5-2 against teams with a winning record, 6-1 following an ATS loss and 4-0 after a straight-up loss. Meanwhile, Washington is on a plethora of under streaks, including 4-1-1 overall, 4-1 at home (3-0 last three), 11-4 following a spread-cover and 6-1-1 on Mondays.

Finally, the over is 8-0-1 this season in Monday night games.


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Re: Monday Night Football

Steelers at Redskins: What's on the line

For the first time in what seems like a long time, we have a Monday Night Football game that is actually an intriguing matchup between two good teams playing well. Several of the Monday Night games have ended up being more than watchable, but far fewer have looked good on paper.

When Pittsburgh travels to Washington as a one-point underdog, we will be witnessing a showdown between the two most talented new coaches in the NFL. Mike Tomlin was a head-scratcher when he was hired last year, but he has shown that the team brass knew what it were doing. Jim Zorn's hiring inspired even less confidence, and after one game it looked like Zorn might be unemployed by Christmas, but the team has been, with the exception of the St. Louis game, as good as any in the NFC since.

I don't see a whole lot to separate these two teams, and neither does the public. The Steelers have a slight edge in the number of bets placed with about 56 percent of the action. The line has responded to that action as you would expect - it opened at the key number of three, but quickly moved off of it.

The movement would suggest that the smart money isn't throwing its weight around in this one yet. If anything, it would seem that the line movement is a bit stronger than expected since lines often stick at three with more tenacity. That could suggest that the money is flowing towards Pittsburgh at a somewhat higher rate than the proportion of bets.

If recent history is any indicator, this game will be much more of a defensive clinic than an offensive showdown. Five of the last six games in this series have gone under the total. That means we may actually see an under on a Monday night before the season is over.

The total opened at 38 and has since dropped to 36.5. Despite the history and the movement, though, the closer the game gets, the more the public will jump on the over. The public is nothing if not predictable.

It doesn't take a Hollywood script writer to craft the main storyline in this one. Pittsburgh owns the top defense in the league, and is third overall against the run. The Steelers have a habit of making good running backs look less than average.

Washington has the second-best running offense in the league, and Clinton Portis is the top rusher in the league by an astounding 260 yards. It's strength against strength. Portis has had 121 yards or more in each of his last five games, while no running back has run for more than 52 yards against the Steelers. It seems simplistic, but whichever team comes out ahead in this showdown is likely to win this game.

Whichever team loses this game will have an easy excuse to fall back on - injuries. Each team has key contributors on the sideline, and many more who are questionable. The likely style of this game isn't going to help the bone-weary feel healed, either. It might just be the case of the last team standing wins.

The best news on this front for the Steelers is that the Redskins don't have a particularly intimidating pass rush. Ben Roethlisberger is walking wounded, and the chief cause is that the Steelers o-line does an excellent impression of a revolving door, having given up 25 sacks. The league-best Titans, in stark contrast, have given up just two. Big Ben just might live to see another day.

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Re: Monday Night Football

Steelers at Redskins
By Brad Young

Two of pro football’s marquee teams collide under the Monday Night Football primetime lights when Washington hosts Pittsburgh. The two teams enter this Week 9 matchup with a combined 11-4 record, and are second and first in their respective divisions.

Pittsburgh’s two losses this season have occurred against NFC East teams, falling to Philadelphia in Week 3 and the New York Giants last weekend. The Steelers remain atop the AFC North standings as they are outscoring teams, 155-110.

Washington sports a 3-1 home ledger this season, and is 1-0 against the AFC North after beating Cleveland in Week 7 as a touchdown favorite, 14-11. The Redskins are currently second in the NFC East standings by outscoring opponents, 165-145.

Caesars Palace installed Washington as a 1½-point home ‘chalk’ over Pittsburgh, with the total set at 36 ½. The Redskins opened as a two-point favorite, with the total listed at 37. ESPN will provide coverage of Monday Night Football beginning at 8:35 p.m. ET.

Pittsburgh (5-2 straight up, 3-4 against the spread) is facing its second consecutive NFC East team after falling to the New York Giants last weekend as a 2½-point home ‘chalk,’ 21-14. The combined 35 points went ‘under’ the 41½-point closing total, ending a string of three straight ‘over’ outings for the Steelers.

Pittsburgh appeared to be in control of the contest before getting outscored in the fourth quarter, 12-0. Most of the game stats were pretty even except that the Giants led in turnovers forced (4-0) and time of possession (34:24-25:36).

Signal caller Ben Roethlisberger struggled by completing 13-of-29 passes for 189 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. Running back Mewelde Moore paced the ground game with 19 carries for 84 yards and a score.

Washington (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) has won back-to-back games SU after beating Detroit last weekend as a seven-point road favorite, 25-17. The combined 42 points landed directly on the closing total, ending a string of three consecutive ‘under’ outings. The Redskins had failed to cover their past two games before facing the Lions.

Washington finished the contest with advantages in first downs (22-13), rushing yards (135-57), passing yards (328-217) and time of possession (35:45-24:150). Quarterback Jason Campbell was 23-of-28 passing for 328 yards with a touchdown, while running back Clinton Portis had 24 carries for 126 yards.

The Steelers toppled the Redskins during the last meeting back in 2004 as a 10-point home ‘chalk,’ 16-7. The combined 23 points went ‘under’ the 34 ½-point closing total.

Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker (knee), offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu (ankle), linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) and wide receiver Santonio Holmes (disciplinary) are ‘probable’ versus the Redskins, while punter Mitch Berger (hamstring), defensive tackle Casey Hampton (toe) and linebacker Keyaron Fox (hamstring) are ‘questionable.’ Offensive tackle Marvel Smith (back), free safety Ryan Clark (shoulder) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (forearm) are ‘out.’

Washington running back Clinton Portis (ankle), quarterback Jason Campbell (calf), offensive tackle Chris Samuels (knee) and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (shoulder) are ‘probable’ against the Steelers, while wide receiver Santana Moss (hamstring) is ‘questionable.’ Cornerback Shawn Springs (calf) and defensive end Jason Taylor (calf) are ‘doubtful,’ while running back Ladell Betts (knee) and wide receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee) are ‘out.’

Pittsburgh follows this contest with home games against Indianapolis and San Diego. Washington has its bye week after this matchup.

Monday’s forecast for Washington, DC calls for partly cloudy skies, with a high of 67 degrees and a low of 51.

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Re: Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins

Oddsmakers currently have the Redskins listed as 2-point favorites versus the Steelers, while the game's total is sitting at 37.

The Steelers lost to the Giants 21-14 as a 3-point favorite in Week 8. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (41).

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 189 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions for Pittsburgh, while Mewelde Moore rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

The Redskins defeated Detroit 25-17 as a 7-point favorite in Week 8. The combined score caused this game to be a PUSH on the posted over/under total (42).

Santana Moss caught nine passes for 140 yards with a touchdown and ran back a punt 80 yards for a touchdown for Washington, while Jason Campbell passed for 328 yards with a touchdown in the win.

Current streak:
Washington has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Pittsburgh: 5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS
Washington: 6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS

Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing in November are 5-5
When playing on grass are 6-4
After being outgained are 8-2
When playing outside the division are 4-6

Washington most recently:
When playing in November are 3-7
When playing on grass are 6-4
After outgaining opponent are 7-3
When playing outside the division are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Pittsburgh's last 11 games
Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 6 games on the road
Pittsburgh is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Washington is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington's last 5 games at home
Washington is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games

Next up:
Pittsburgh home to Indianapolis, Sunday, November 9
Washington home to Dallas, Sunday, November 16

PITTSBURGH (5 - 2) at WASHINGTON (6 - 2)
Top Trends for this game.
PITTSBURGH is 45-25 ATS (+17.5 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 since 1992.
WASHINGTON is 45-69 ATS (-30.9 Units) as a favorite since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

Pittsburgh at Washington
Pittsburgh: 30-9 Under Away off SU loss
Washington: 2-6 ATS in non-conference games

Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Washington is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Pittsburgh
Washington is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games

Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins 

Steelers: Receiver Santonio Holmes will return this week and go back to his starting job at split end. There will be no more disciplinary action taken against Holmes, who was charged last week with possession of a small amount of marijuana. QB Ben Roethlisberger returned to the injury list this week with a sore shoulder after he was sacked five times and hit another 10 times by the Giants last Sunday. The Steelers offensive line needs to do a better job of protecting Big Ben against tough defenses like the one they will face tonight. The Steelers could be getting one of their top playmakers for this game back in RB Willie Parker, who is almost fully recovered from a sprained MCL.

Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
Steelers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.

Key Injuries - RB Willie Parker (knee) is questionable.


Redskins (-1.5, O/U 36.5): There is a good news, bad news situation surrounding the Redskins injury front. The bad news is there are a lot of guys banged up but the good news is most of them are expected to play Monday night. Head coach Jim Zorn expects five-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Chris Samuels (knee) and rookie safety Chris Horton (ankle) to return against the Steelers. Zorn also believes that defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, who missed the Detroit game with a sprained shoulder, will play on Monday, as will NFL rushing leader Clinton Portis (hip, ankle) and ace receiver Santana Moss (hamstring). The Skins will need all the offense they can get against a Steelers defense that only allows 15.7 points and 236 yards per game.

Redskins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win.
The UNDER is 6-1-1 in Redskins last 8 Monday games.

Key Injuries - RB Clinton Portis (ankle) is probable.
WR Santana Moss (hamstring) is questionable.


Steelers (5-2) @ Redskins (6-2)
Skins are 3-1 at home; they scored 7-17 points in their two losses, scored 23+ in five of six wins. Steelers are 3-1 on road (lost 15-6 at Philly), are 0-2 vs. NFC (also lost 21-14 to Giants). AFC North road dogs are 6-4 against spread this season. NFC East home favorites are 2-2. Pitt has only two takeaways in last four games. Skins have run ball for average of 165.4 ypg over last seven games. Steelers held last three foes under 90 rushing yards. Under is 4-1-1 in last six Redskin games, 1-3 in last four Steeler contests. Pitt is in nation's capital for first time in 20 years.

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