This game involves two teams heading in opposite directions as Pittsburgh has won and covered three consecutive games, whereas the Jets have lost eight straight contests (1-7-1- ATS). However, the point spread is inflated due to the team’s disparate results over the last few weeks, thereby giving us excellent value on a home underdog that actually outgained the Chiefs last week despite losing 24-10.
New York is not a very good team as the Jets are 0.6 yards per play worse than average offensively (4.9 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.5 yards per play) and 0.1 yards per play better than average defensively (5.5 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.6 yards per play). While New York’s offense doesn’t strike fear in anyone, the Jets should have success exploiting a subpar Pittsburgh stop unit that is 0.4 yards per play worse than average (6.1 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play).
The key for New York is its ground attack that is 0.6 yards per rush play better than average (4.7 yards per carry against teams that would combine to allow 4.1 yards per carry), which matches up extremely well against a weak Pittsburgh run defense. In fact, Pittsburgh is allowing 4.4 yards per rush play to teams that would combine to average just 4.0 yards per rush play, thereby making the Steelers 0.4 yards per rush attempt worse than average defensively in 2014.
Based on those numbers from the line of scrimmage, New York possesses a significant 1.0 yards per rush play advantage offensively over the Steelers’ front seven. Let’s also note that Pittsburgh will be without linebacker Ryan Shazier (sprained right ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu (sprained right knee). I would never advocate laying points on the road with a team that is allowing 24.3 points on 355 yards at 6.1 yards per play, but I can certainly recommend investing on a home underdog that possesses a substantial advantage on the ground against a subpar defensive front seven.
Pittsburgh’s advantage on offense is not as great as one would expect as the Steelers are 0.5 yards per play better than average (6.3 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yards per play), which gives them a nominal 0.4 yards per play advantage over the Jets’ stop unit. And, the Steelers won’t be able to run the ball against a solid New York front seven that is limiting opponents to just 76 rushing yards at 3.0 yards per carry at home. I also like the fact that this is Pittsburgh’s first road game in a month, and the Steelers are averaging just 17.5 points per game away from home this season.
From a technical standpoint, NFL road teams coming off three consecutive home games are a money-burning 111-145-2 SU and 120-134-4 ATS since 1980, including 15-32-1 ATS when our ‘play against’ team is a non-division road favorite and 3-18 ATS as a favorite of more than three points. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin is 4-12 ATS versus .499 or worse non-division opponents, including 0-8 ATS when his team is coming off a SU and ATS win. With Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger standing at 15-24 ATS on the road, take the Jets and invest with confidence.