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The last two times these squads met, the Bengals' defense showed up and shut the Steelers down.
Cincy held Pittsburgh to 10 points this season at Pittsburgh and to 17 points at home last season. Since the last meeting, there have been a few changes for the Steelers' offense.
In the previous meeting with the Bengals, that was game that Najee Harris had 40 rushing yards but a whopping 14 receptions on 19 targets.
Ben Roethlisberger struggled to get much going in that game but attempted 38 or more passes in six straight meetings with the Bengals.
Mike Tomlin's press conference was convincing about the magnitude of this game and the approach. We should expect a classic AFC North smashmouth game with playoff implications on the line.
Pittsburgh sits at 5-4-1 on the season, while Cincy is 6-4 on the year. The Bengals won the earlier season meeting, so the Steelers need this one. I expect both teams to play extremely hard and each possession to have an extra emphasis.
Over the last six meetings between the two, the scores have combined for 46 or fewer points. In the past 10 meetings, the Under is only 5-4-1 (55.5%).
However, look at how low-scoring the games have been, along with the total.
In November, the Steelers Under has been nothing but cash on the road.
The Bengals only have five home games in November over the past three seasons, with a 3-2 mark to the Over.
Continue to play the Under between these two squads as one or both normally struggle to reach 20 points.
I would play the Under down to 43.0 as I think one of these teams are going for 20 or fewer points.
Pick: Under 45 (1u)
Did you know that Kyle Shannahan as a home favorite since 2018 is 4-14 ATS in the regular-season (22.2%)?
Shannahan and the 49ers have failed to cover in nine straight as a home favorite dating back to December of 2019, per NBC's Edge Finder.
The Vikings are 6-3 ATS as a road dog over the last two seasons (66.7%), cashing three straight.
On the road overall, Minnesota has covered four straight and eight out of the last 13 games (61.5%).
San Fran is not profitable at home this year or over the past few years, so this is a trend worth playing on both ways.
The 49ers beat the Lions, Eagles, Bears, Rams and Jags this season, four un-impressive wins. They are off two blowout wins versus the Rams and Jaguars.
The books were telling us they would beat the Rams and I fell for a trap with the Jags +7 last week, but this week, the Vikings are far more fit to keep this close.
I expect all three to have chances to score at least once in this matchup, plus Kirk Cousins has tossed two or more touchdowns in 19 out of the last 27 games.
The 49ers' have looked great over the last two weeks, but the Vikings are always alive for a backdoor cover.
That would mean a big week for Elijah Mitchell, but he is questionable with ribs and a finger injury. He had a splint put in his broken finger to protect it. He should play, but if he is unable to go, Deebo Samuel, Jeff Wilson and Trey Sermon will could see an increase in touches.
I would play this down to +3 and if you have +2.5 or lower, I would opt for the ML.
Below is my breakdown from Thursday's Show "Blitzing The Board."
Pick: Vikings +3.5 (1u)
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Buccaneers (-3) at Colts: O/U 53.0
Who looked better? Jonathan Taylor versus the Bills or the Bucs against the Giants?
Both looked pretty darn good. The spread is beginning to move from -3 to -3.5, so the time to buy in on Tampa Bay's spread is running out.
Indy is riding a three-game winning streak and won five of the last six games overall. The Colts are 3-7 ATS and on the ML following a three-game winning streak, so history says this is a great fade spot.
The Colts are 1-5 ATS following the last six, three-game winning streaks. Tampa Bay is not the ideal candidate to continue the three-game winning streak against, although, Brady is currently 0-5 ATS in his last five road games.
One of the streaks will be broken on Sunday.
I understand how well the Colts have played (Jonathan Taylor, I mean) but I think the pressure will be fully on Carson Wentz in this game and if we are betting between Brady and Wentz -- I know what side I am on.
Looking over the Colts as a home dog -- it is bad. Is it bad like Brady ATS on the road with the Bucs? I think it is worse.
Indy lost nine straight as a home dog and and are 1-6 ATS in the past seven. The Colts covered against the Rams to break a six-game losing streak ATS as the home dog.
I expect the Bucs to turn up here and make a run in the NFC behind Brady, putting the NFL on notice.
In November, Brady is 41-32-1 ATS (56.1%) and 52-21 on the ML (71.2%) over his career. I would play Tampa Bay out to -5.5 as I think they win by a touchdown or more and score 27-plus points.
Brady won 17 out of 22 games as a road favorite in November and I think he adds a victory over Wentz to that.
Pick: Bucs -3 (1u)
Tyler Conklin O/U 35.5 Yards vs. 49ers
If you remember our Tyler Higbee bet against the 49ers, this is a similar play.
The 49ers are one of, if not the best team in the league against opposing tight ends. San Fran permits an average of 29.4 yards per game to tight ends.
San Fran allowed two tight ends to hit 35 or more yards and only Hockenson to record four-plus receptions versus the 49ers. Here is a running list since Week 1.
Dan Arnold: 0 REC, 0 TAR, 0 YDS
Tyler Higbee: 3 REC, 5 TAR, 20 YDS
Zach Ertz: 3 REC, 5 TARG, 27 YDS
Jesse James: 3 REC, 3 TAR, 38 YDS
Mo Alie-Cox: 3 REC, 3 TAR, 25 YDS
Maxx Williams: 1 REC, 1 TAR, 14 YDS
Will Dissly: 2 REC, 2 TAR, 5 YDS
Robert Tonyan: 1 REC, 1 TAR, 6 YDS
Dallas Goedert: 2 REC, 2 TAR, 24 YDS
T.J. Hockenson: 8 REC, 11 TAR, 97 YDS
At this point, we should be betting every tight end Under against the 49ers. On the other hand, the way to bet Overs versus this 49ers' defense is betting the wideouts against these cornerbacks.
Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are set for big games here. Jefferson has six touchdowns on the year and Thielen with eight. Big-name Running backs have also feasted against the 49ers, so watch out for Dalvin Cook.
I will be fading Conklin and throwing smaller wagers on the Vikings' big three, all to score a touchdown.
I would play this down to 32.5 yards as I grabbed the 35.5 (-125) on PointsBet.
Pick: Tyler Conklin Under 35.5 Rec Yards (1u)
Nick Chubb O/U 10.5 Receiving Yards vs. Ravens
Kareem Hunt will return to the Browns for this Sunday Night Football matchup between two AFC North rivals.
Chubb has 10 targets and 10 receptions on the season for 83 yards.
That is 8.3 yards per game on 1.3 targets. Chubb has recorded three games of 10 or more receiving yards this season and five Under that amount.
Only three times in eight games has Chubb totaled two receptions this year -- I doubt he does two here.
In his career versus Baltimore, Chubb hit the Under 10.5 receiving yards four out of six times per statmuse.
Chubb had 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the previous meeting with the Ravens.
When Hunt has played this year, Chubb is 4-1 to the Under this season with an average of 1 reception for seven yards.
Chubb has never averaged more than 9.4 yards per reception in a season. Chubb's receptions and yards have decreased since Hunt's arrival.
Chubb had 56 receptions on 78 targets over his first two seasons (32 games). Over the previous year and a half, Chubb has 26 receptions on 28 targets (20 games).
Back Chubb Under 10.5 receiving yards (-131) on PointsBet down to Under 8.5.
Pick: Nick Chubb Under 10.5 Receiving Yards (1u)
Mac Jones O/U 237.5 Passing Yards vs. Titans
Mac Jones is on his way to the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
The Patriots' first-round pick has been a stud all season and I expect that to continue here today. However, Jones will not need to hit his passing total for a win, as the Titans are down a boat-load of players.
I talked about how I like the Titans Team Total Under 19.5 on our Thursday Show "Blitzing The Board," and since then, the line has dropped to 16.5 and 17.5.
Jones has hit the Under on 237.5 passing yards in three straight games and PointsBet already lowered this line to 230.5. Jones is 6-4 to the Under 237.5 this season and 5-5 to the Under 230.5.
Jones has tossed 229 or more passing yards in every home game this season, but this is the perfect one for him to slip Under.
The Titans allow the sixth-fewest completion percentage (62.5%), the 10th-fewest yards per pass attempt (7.0) and ninth in QBR (88.7). Back Jones to go Under 237.5 (-115), passing yards down to 230.5.
Pick: Mac Jones Under 237.5 Passing Yards (1u)
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