The Pittsburgh Steelers have been lined as home dogs 11 times over the last 13 seasons; they have covered the spread on eight of those occasions. The Steelers are short home dogs for Sunday's game at Heinz Field against the Detroit Lions.
Point spread: Lions opened as three-point favorites, but Steelers backers pushed the number down to one point by Wednesday; the total was 47.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 24.1-17.9 Lions
Why the Lions can cover the spread
Detroit may be a force to be reckoned with. After its win at Chicago on Sunday, the Lions, who haven't won a division title in 20 years, now lead the NFC North at 6-3. Detroit ranks sixth in total offense, and while the defense still needs improvement, it ranks eighth against the run.
Why the Steelers can cover the spread
Pittsburgh started 0-4 this season, but was it really that bad? The Steelers have now won three of their last five games and are only two games off the pace in the battle for the second AFC wild-card spot. So they're not dead yet. Yes, the offense looks dead at times, especially when it tries to run the ball. But the Pittsburgh defense ranks 11th overall and fifth against the pass.
The Odds Shark computer is predicting a Detroit victory and cover in a game that stays UNDER its total. This is a tough game to call. The Lions own the edge on offense, while the Steelers own the edge on defense. Detroit is coming off a big divisional road victory, while Pittsburgh has recovered after a bad start.
But one thing stands out; it just doesn't sound right calling the Lions a “road favorite” over the Steelers. Take Pittsburgh.
- Lions 5-1 ATS vs. Steelers since 1988.
- Steelers 8-2-1 ATS since 2000 as home dog.
- The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Pittsburgh's last 15 games at home.