Vikings vs. Steelers Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Pittsburgh is the favorite at home today, as the Steelers are getting odds of -6 points against the Vikings. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 44.5 points. Pittsburgh has won three of its last four meetings with Minnesota but the two are both 2-2 against the spread in those four games. Today’s game takes place from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and will air live on FOX.
Minnesota started its season with one of the best performances in Week 1, a 29-19 win over the Saints on Monday night that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Vikings covered the 3-point spread in the victory. Both sides looked good in the win, as the Minnesota defense held the Saints to 344 total yards, while Sam Bradford led a great offensive showing, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-32 passing. He connected with Stefon Diggs for two scores while Adam Thielen hauled in 157 yards on nine catches. The run game was also impactful as Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards on 22 carries in his NFL debut. There is a slight bit of caution with the win, though, as Bradford suffered a knee injury that has had him limited in practice this week. He is a game-time decision to play, with Case Keenum set to start if Bradford can't.
Pittsburgh opened its 2017 season with a 21-18 win at Cleveland last weekend, but the Steelers were a 10-point favorite on the road. Pittsburgh didn’t look great on offense, tallying just 290 yards. One of their scores came on a blocked punt for a touchdown. The run game finished with just 35 yards on 17 carries as Le’Veon Bell was held to only 32 yards. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 263 yards with two touchdowns while Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 182 yards. The Pittsburgh defense was led by T.J. Watt and Anthony Chickillo, who each had two sacks. The Steelers could be without defensive end Stephon Tuitt, as he suffered a biceps injury last week and has been listed as questionable all week.
Minnesota hasn’t had long to celebrate as it appears that Bradford will definitely be impacted by this knee injury if he does play. His mobility is a concern and it could also impact his throws if he doesn’t have the ability to plant full strength on the bad leg. The Minnesota offense lives on runs and short passes, so his accuracy is vital to their success. If he’s off, Pittsburgh defense should dominate this game. Returning home should also provide a boost for the Steelers offense, especially Le’Veon Bell. The Vikings are just 1-5 against the spread in their last six road games, so go with Pittsburgh against a hobbled Minnesota team.
NFL WEEK 2 PREDICTION: PITTSBURGH STEELERS -6