The Atlanta Falcons are 4-0 against the spread (ATS) the last four times they've been lined as home underdogs. The Pittsburgh Steelers are just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 spots as favorites on the road. The 8-5 Steelers will be short road chalk when they hit the field Sunday at the Georgia Dome against the 5-8 Falcons.
Point spread: This game opened as a pick'em; the total was 51 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (Line updates and matchup report).
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 30.0-21.3 Steelers
Why the Steelers can cover the spread
The Steelers just picked up a key AFC North divisional road victory at Cincinnati last week, exploding for 25 fourth-quarter points in a 42-21 win. Pittsburgh trailed the Bengals 21-17 through three quarters and then scored three touchdowns in a six-minute span, including a 94-yard Ben Roethlisberger bomb to Martavis Bryant, to snag the victory.
The Steelers outrushed the Bengals, 193-86, as Le'Veon Bell went off for 185 yards, and Big Ben tossed three touchdown passes without a pick. Bell, in fact, is now just 75 yards short of 2,000 from scrimmage on the season.
At 8-5, Pittsburgh leads the AFC Wild Card race and trails first-place Cincinnati by just a half-game in the AFC North.
Why the Falcons can cover the spread
The Falcons fell at Green Bay Monday night, 43-37, but they rallied to cover the spread as 13-point dogs. Atlanta trailed 31-7 at the half, but it got hot late, as quarterback Matt Ryan exposed a vulnerable Packers secondary to the tune of 374 yards and 30 second-half points.
So the Falcons, after struggling most of this season, are 3-2 SU over their last five games and 4-2 ATS over their last six. Most importantly, at 5-8, Atlanta leads the NFC South by a tiebreaker over New Orleans.
Pittsburgh is outrushing opponents this season by 20 yards per game, while Atlanta is getting outrushed by 26 yards per game. So far this season, teams that have outrushed their opponents have covered the spread 65 percent of the time. The smart choice in this spot is with the Steelers, giving the points.
- Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in its last five games when playing Atlanta.
The total has gone over in 11 of Atlanta's last 16 games at home.