Patriots vs. Steelers Predictions and Expert Picks for Thursday Night Football: Back Bill Belichick or Mike Tomlin?

With an extremely low total, how should you bet on this week's Thursday Night Football game? We break it all down with our Patriots vs. Steelers predictions.

Last week’s Thursday Night Football game was a 41-35 shootout between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys. For tonight’s game, expect the exact opposite.

The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are two of the worst offenses in the NFL and are each starting backup quarterbacks tonight. Does this mean to automatically bet the under for Patriots vs. Steelers, despite the very low total?

Should you also continue to fade the Patriots, losers of three straight despite holding each of their opponents to 10 points or less during this stretch? Let’s dive into the Patriots vs. Steelers predictions, expert picks, and more.

Patriots vs. Steelers Betting Lines

To no surprise, when the Patriots vs. Steelers odds first opened, the total was extremely low at 32.5. Since then, however, the total went down even further, as it’s currently at around 30/30.5 at most sportsbooks, with ESPN BET even dropping it to 29.5 at one point on Tuesday evening.

As it stands, this would be the lowest total in an NFL game since Week 14 of 2005.

All odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • Spread
    Steelers -6
  • Moneyline
    Patriots +235, Steelers -290
  • Total
    30.5

Patriots vs. Steelers Predictions and Expert Picks

Bearman: It’ll come as no surprise that it took me about 30 seconds after lines were posted to take the under here. I grabbed it at 32 and would still take it at this 30.5 number, which, despite being tied for the sixth-lowest total over the last 40 years, is still too high.

I wrote last week, in taking the Patriots team total under, that they had scored 13 total points in the previous two games. That number is still 13 over three games after a 6-0 shutout loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Pats have somehow fallen below the awful New York Giants offense as the worst in football at 12.3 points per game.

MORE: NFL Week 14 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

The Patriots defense, however, has been solid, holding opponents to a total of 26 points over the same three games, and New England hasn’t allowed more than 20 since facing the Miami offense five weeks ago.

Now they face a Steelers team that just lost its starting QB and was a mess last week against a bad Arizona Cardinals team. Bailey Zappe vs. Mitch Trubisky … the number can’t be low enough.

Pick: Under 30.5 (-118 at FanDuel)

Blewis: I could easily just tell you to bet the under, but I want to give you a variety of options to choose from in betting tonight’s game, so I’ll go with a different pick than Bearman.

Nobody wants to bet on the Patriots right now, who are losers of five straight games and the first team since 1938 to lose three consecutive contests despite holding their opponents to 10 points or fewer.

So, with that in mind, there’s value in betting on the Patriots, and contrary to public belief, the gap between these two teams currently isn’t as big as the point spread indicates.

As bad as the Patriots offense has been, their defense has been equally as impressive. Because of their defense, they have lost by an average margin of just 4.33 points per game during this losing streak despite their offense being horrendous. But during this streak, they have outgained their opponents in every single game by a combined 155 yards.

Like the Chargers, Colts, and Giants — two of which have considerably better offenses than the Steelers — I expect them to struggle offensively to the point that they don’t win by six points or more.

I’m not putting any of my hard-earned money on the Patriots to win, but I think they can keep this ugly game close.

Pick: Patriots +6 (-110 at DraftKings)

Katz: By now, you probably know I’m the prop guy. My name rarely surfaces in a side or total column. But I must step in to push back on the narrative surrounding this game. If you want data-based analysis, you won’t find that here. That’s in the props column. This one is purely based on feeling.

This total is too low. There, I said it. 30! I know the Patriots have scored 13 total points in their last three games. I get it. But weird stuff happens on Thursday nights. And it’s not always where offenses go to die.

We just saw Jake Browning score 34 points by himself. Tonight, we need two teams to score less than that. I think NFL fans are going to be reminded how easily a game can get to 30 points. A 19-13 field goal fest puts this game over. 17-14 puts this game over. We could see turnovers leading to points. We could see defensive scores. I say no to unders on ridiculous low totals!

Pick: Over 30 (-105 at DraftKings)

Soppe: When the Steelers have the ball, they figure to take some shot plays. In his limited action this season, Mitchell Trubisky’s aDOT is 31.8% higher than that of Kenny Pickett, a note of interest for George Pickens’ managers.

MORE: NFL Survivor Picks Week 14

The Pats own the eighth-highest opponent aDOT this season, and during their five-game losing streak, we’ve seen the primary deep threat on the opposing team make at least one splash play (listed is their longest catch of the game when facing NE):

  • Quentin Johnston (Week 13): 27 yards
  • Jalin Hyatt (Week 12): 41
  • Alec Pierce (Week 10): 21
  • Jahan Dotson (Week 9): 33
  • Tyreek Hill (Week 8): 42

Pickens isn’t Hill, but I’d argue that his raw skill set ranks above average for this list, and if he can haul in one pass of significant yardage, we are in business!

For his career, Pickens averages 74.2 receiving yards per game in games in which he hauls in a 20+ yard pass, clearing 55 yards in 77.8% of those contests.

Pick: George Pickens over 40.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)

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