Thursday, October 27, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 8, 2011-12)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had trouble against the New England Patriots during the Tom Brady era. Both defenses have had some vulnerabilities this season. Which team will prevail in a potential AFC Championship affair?

The early spread on this game is Patriots (-3). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of October 27, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
New England Patriots 5-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 4-3

Key Injuries
C Doug Legursky (Out), LB James Harrison (Out), WR Hines Ward, NT Chris Hoke, LB Jerod Mayo

Keys to the Game
  • No. 1 Offense versus No. 3 Defense
  • Can the Steelers contain Tom Brady and the Patriots’ spread offense?
  • How much will Casey Hampton’s return at NT help the Steelers’ underachieving run defense?
  • Can the Patriots contain Mike Wallace?
  • Will the past dictate the future between these teams?

Couple reasons I’m going with the Patriots. First, they’ve have a bye week. Second, I’ve always felt like spread offenses have given the Steelers much difficulty. Just look back at recent games against Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. This is the healthiest that the Patriots have been all season (One could say the same with the Steelers though). The Patriots have won seven of their past nine games against the Steelers since 1998. The Steelers are 1-6 against Brady.

I also look at the remaining portion of Pittsburgh’s home schedule. The Steelers have home games against the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams and Patriots. I feel like they’re due to have one home loss. I really don’t see them getting swept by the Ravens. I also don’t see them beating the Patriots and Ravens in consecutive weeks (They play Baltimore in Week 9).

I basically feel like the Patriots are a poor matchup for the Steelers and that the Steelers are due for a home loss. This

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: New England Patriots (-3)
Straight: New England Patriots 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 20

Stat sources:

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