Sunday Night Football Betting -- Chargers Host Pittsburgh in Front of Steeler Fans



The Pittsburgh Steelers come off a tie with winless Detroit but have Ben Roethlisberger back as they visit the Los Angeles Chargers.


The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for redemption this week. And it's not because they lost. No, they wound up in a tie with the NFL's only winless team, the Detroit Lions. It was a drab effort, and Coach Mike Tomlin knows that his team is capable of more. But in the process of Sunday Night Football betting, the question BetOnline customers might have to ask themselves is, how much more?

Their future Hall of Fame quarterback is in the lineup, but there are key members of the defense missing as the Steelers get ready to play the Los Angeles Chargers, with kickoff at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time at Sofi Stadium near LAX.


Sunday Night Football Betting -- First of all, who's missing?

Well, not Ben Roethlisberger. The quarterback was shelved last week because of Covid protocols, but he was cleared on Saturday, so he'll play. Of course, after all this time in the league, he doesn't really need to practice.

In his place, Mason Rudolph started against Detroit and took all the first-team reps this past week. Rudolph threw the ball 50 times last Sunday, and did so for less than five yards per attempt. This is not the kind of balance Pittsburgh is looking for, especially as recently it has committed itself to the run.

So maybe they'll get back to basics against the Chargers, who have allowed 4.8 yards per carry. More on that in a few moments.

The absences you have to take note of are TJ Watt, Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the stop unit, and it's Fitzpatrick in particular who is a Covid casualty this week. So this definitely leaves a hole give a defense that allowed Detroit to run for 229 yards last week.


Here are the numbers...

In the Sunday Night Football betting odds posted at BetOnline, the Chargers are the favorites at home:

Los Angeles Chargers -6
Pittsburgh Steelers +6

Over 47 points -110
Under 47 points - 110


Sunday Night Football Betting -- Big Ben not at his best

There is no question that things are winding down in Roethlisberger's career. Right now is quarterback rating, if the season ended today, would be his lowest ever for a full season. He's averaging 6.6 yards per attempt and six intended air yards per attempt. So we're not talking about a wide-open attack.

But it probably doesn't have to be. Najee Harris, the rookie they drafted in the first round out of Alabama, had 105 yards on the ground last week, and the Steelers might be able to make a living opening up some holes against the Los Angeles defensive front. Now, we must note that the Chargers are improving against the run, but the design of their defense is such that they don't get a lot of support from safeties on rushing plays.


Sunday Night Football Betting -- The Pittsburgh receivers

Juju Smith Schuster won't be available for the rest of the season, but the Steelers do expect to have Chase Claypool back in the lineup. Claypool is a big-play guy, and he missed the game with the Lions, leaving the team with a rather thin receiving corps.

Pat Freiermuth, the rookie tight end out of Penn State, may figure into the festivities here. The Chargers have allowed tight ends to score seven touchdowns with 12.8 yards per reception. Those are poor marks against the position.


Sunday Night Football Betting -- This is a dangerous dog

Under Tomlin, the Steelers are a 67% proposition getting points and only slightly lower than that as the road underdog. Another important thing to note is that if you were constructing this point spread on the basis that the Chargers would enjoy a real home-field advantage, think again. The last time Pittsburgh visited the Bolts, and Devin Hodges was the backup quarterback who got the start, the Dignity Health Sports Park Stadium in Carson, the Chargers' temporary home, was packed with Steeler fans. So with this atmosphere being anything but "hostile," you can cancel the "HFA" out.

That's kind of why we think it might be a bargain to grab the points with Pittsburgh.


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