Pittsburgh Steelers’ Momentum Halted By Tie, Can Regroup This Week Against Chargers

Written By Dave Bontempo on November 17, 2021 - Last Updated on November 27, 2021

A hurry-up-and-wait sentiment greets Mountain State bettors regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hurry Up

The Steelers haven’t lost since Week 4, and are a serviceable 5-3-1 and in the thick of the AFC North race. On Sunday night, they are a big dog in facing the Los Angeles Chargers, who just lost at home to the Minnesota Vikings as a favorite.

The Chargers are struggling at home, at 2-3. Some bettors want to jump on the Steelers with almost a touchdown in their pocket.

Wait

We may not know the status of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger until late in the week. Big Ben was a late scratch from Sunday’s awful-looking 16-16 overtime tie with the winless Detroit Lions because of COVID-19 protocols, and his team suffered.

Backup Mason Rudolph looked rusty, as expected, overshooting some receivers and underthrowing a wide-open receiver in the end zone. He did not look good. The Steelers lacked the spark to put the Lions away.

The hard rain and dreary skies became a metaphor for the game nobody wanted to win.

The Steelers not only failed to forge a first-place tie with the Baltimore Ravens, but also, their projected over-under win total dropped from 8.5 to 7.5 at DraftKings West Virginia. The over requires juice, with it at -140 and the under at +115.

If Rudolph plays Sunday, some improvement can be expected. His timing will be better. And the weather will be better. So might the circumstances.

But will it be enough?

Will Big Ben play? The betting line suggests no.

“I think the line will tick back a little if he did manage to play,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayWV. “You have to figure the expectation that he would not play was put into that line. The drop-off is significant. There is nobody there to run the show now.”

Pittsburgh Steelers Odds At WV Sportsbooks

Week 11 Betting Approach: Najee, Najee

The Chargers are the worst team in the entire NFL against the rush. They yield 155 yards per game. That fits right into the scheme for Pittsburgh star rookie back Najee Harris, who will pay well at any WV sportsbook as a first-touchdown scorer and perhaps reasonably well as an anytime scorer.

One of the best first-round picks in the entire NFL draft (he was 24th), Harris has 646 rushing yards. And he has 317 receiving yards. That puts him at 963, ready to hit 1,000 yards in just this 10th game.

We have compared him here to the great Franco Harris, Pittsburgh’s Hall of Fame running back, who was part of four Super Bowl championship teams in the 1970s. Franco compiled 1,235 yards in 14 games in 1972. Najee is on pace to eclipse that.

Look for him to be utilized in both the rushing and swing-pass game. The Chargers may try to shut him down with an eight-man front, so the Steelers may have to use the pass to set up the run.

If that happens, the game plan would bode well for receiver Diontae Johnson and the passing game. Watch the status of Chase Claypool, too. He missed last week with a toe injury. His return would help.

Steelers Defensive Strategy

The Chargers have long been one of the worst home favorites in the NFL. Even in brand-new SoFi Stadium, they have carried this performance stigma over. They make a big mistake at a key point in many home contests.

Can the Steelers defense force talented quarterback Justin Herbert into some more?

Bettors can count on Herbert for good offensive numbers, but if he gets rattled, he may throw a game-changing pick. Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen are good anytime scoring threats for Los Angeles.

The game gets a higher profile than expected. The Sunday night national stage will elevate betting.

“It will probably generate four times as much business than if it was an earlier game,” Avello added.

“If the game was earlier, I’m not sure how much this game would be bet to begin with. For betting purposes, there are too many uncertainties.”

Additional Steelers Odds Vs. Chargers

Here’s a look around the sportsbooks at some other betting options.

A Caesars Sportsbook WV snippet:

Want some action right off the bat? The outcome of the first drive is a great market.

Pittsburgh:

  • Punt -117
  • Touchdown +340
  • Field goal attempt +380
  • Turnover +460

Los Angeles:

  • Punt +124
  • Touchdown +210
  • Field goal attempt +360
  • Turnover +525

Here are a few from BetMGM WV:

  • Steelers to win the race to 10 points +120
  • Steelers to win the race to 20 points +180
  • Both teams to score at least 20 points +100
  • Steelers to score first touchdown +110
  • Chargers to score first touchdown -150

Fun Bets

Watch for FanDuel WV’s weekly point total over-under for all NFL games. Pick a total and bet it, providing action on every single game.

Photo by Justin Berl / The Associated Press
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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others. He writes significantly about the emerging world of legal New Jersey sports betting.

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