Betting Preview and Prediction: Seattle at Pittsburgh

Najee Harris leads the Steelers up against the Seahawks tonight at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Line: Steelers -5

Total: 43

Where: Heinz Field

When: Sunday, 10/17 at 8:20 p.m. ET


Seattle will begin its stretch without quarterback Russell Wilson when it travels to Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Wilson is expected to miss at least four weeks of action with a finger injury. The Seahawks were 2.5-point road favorites on the look-ahead line, but Pittsburgh is now a 5-point favorite following the injury. Sunday’s total has also adjusted, dropping from 48 to 43.

Geno Smith will make his first start since 2017 in replacement of Wilson. The 31-year-old filled in late in Seattle’s 26-17 loss to the Rams last Thursday—he has completed 10 of 17 passes for 131 yards this season.  Smith led the Seahawks on a 98-yard scoring drive to give them late life against the Rams, but he threw an interception on the ensuing drive.

Wilson is not the only player out for Seattle on Sunday, as running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are going to be out as well. Star wide receiver DK Metcalf is listed as ‘probable’ with a foot injury.

Pittsburgh veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a pectoral injury, but he is ‘probable’ for this game. He will be without one of his top targets on Sunday, as wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is out for the season with a shoulder issue.

The Steelers are coming off a 27-19 win against Denver last week, which snapped a three-game losing skid. Their offense has struggled this season, ranked No. 27 with 319.6 yards per game. Roethlisberger has completed 63.6 percent of his passes and has a 6-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio.

Rookie running back Najee Harris has rushed 78 times for 307 yards, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Wide receivers Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson have been Roethlisberger’s top targets, with each of them going over 300 receiving yards. They are facing a Seattle defense that is dead-last in the NFL, allowing 450.8 yards per game.

The Seahawks have lost three of their last four games and will now need Smith to step up with Wilson sidelined. Their offense has not been its usual self, averaging 351.0 yards per game.

The running game will now depend on Alex Collins, who has averaged 4.4 yards per carry on 28 attempts. They are going to face a Pittsburgh defense that is allowing 361.0 yards per game.

Seattle is 2-5 against-the-spread in its last seven games, but it has covered at an 8-4 clip in its last 12 games against Pittsburgh. The Seahawks have gone ‘under’ in six of their last seven road games.

Pittsburgh is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games and has gone ‘under’ in four of its last five games. These teams have cashed the ‘under’ in four of their last six head-to-head meetings.

The pick: Over 43

The early movement towards the ‘under’ has made since given Wilson’s injury, but I think there has been too much of adjustment. Seattle has been the worst defensive team in the NFL this season, so Pittsburgh’s offense should be able to do some damage. Smith looked decent in his small sample size against the Rams—the interception was simply unlucky. The Seahawks are going to be very thin at running back, which is going to force them to throw the ball more. That factor is what really provides some value on the ‘over,’ especially after the five-point adjustment.  

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