Broncos at Steelers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Updated Spread, Betting Preview for Week 5 Matchup
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: ben Roethlisberger.
- The Steelers are a short home underdog against the Broncos in NFL Week 5 (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
- Pittsburgh has been abysmal on offense since beating the Bills in their opener, and really needs a win on Sunday to prevent its season from slipping away.
- Get an updated Steelers vs. Broncos spread and our pick below.
Broncos vs. Steelers Updated Spread
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
The Pittsburgh Steelers have reached a critical juncture in Week 5.
After suffering three consecutive losses, they host the Denver Broncos, who are coming off their first seasonal loss to Baltimore. Pittsburgh desperately needs a win and especially needs to get its sputtering offense going. Despite all these issues, the Steelers still bring a very talented roster to the table on both sides of the ball.
Can Pittsburgh finally right the sinking ship in Week 5, or will the Broncos get back to their winning ways with a big road win at Heinz Field?
Banged-Up Broncos Head to Pittsburgh
Denver is dealing with a myriad of injuries entering this critical Week 5 battle.
Linebacker Bradley Chubb has been out for two weeks due to ankle surgery. He was sorely missed in Denver’s 23-7 home loss to Baltimore and will again be critical against a second consecutive physical AFC North foe. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II was limited on Friday, but he’s expected to play.
On offense the Broncos have two key players listed as questionable after limited practices on Friday. Running back Melvin Gordon is dealing with a lower leg injury, and top wide receiver Courtland Sutton rolled his ankle this week in practice.
The good news is that Denver expects to have starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater back after leaving last week’s loss to the Ravens with a concussion.
With limited receiving weapons, the play of Denver’s offensive line will be even more critical against a strong Pittsburgh pass rush. Broncos offensive tackle Garrett Bolles has really struggled, ranking only 39th in pass-blocking per PFF grades.
Denver will need to rely on their defensive unit to provide Bridgewater plenty of short-field opportunities. The Broncos are seventh overall in defensive DVOA.
Pittsburgh’s Offense Searching for Answers
Pittsburgh needs to find a way to get its offensive going. The Steelers rank just 25th overall in offensive DVOA and 26th in run offense efficiency.
Rookie running back Najee Harris has received a ton of work with limited efficiency. He’s only averaging 3.4 yards per carry but ranks first in targets (34) and receptions (26), third in receiving yards (178) and fifth in fantasy points per game (18.6) among all running backs.
The Steelers should be close to fully healthy with wide receivers Chase Claypool (hamstring) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) returning to full practice on Friday.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has struggled this year but with a full receiving core at home, this should be his best game of the season. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson has been his go-to guy, ranking first among all wide receivers in Hog Rate per PlayerProfiler, with a 24.6% target per snap rate.
The Steelers defense was bolstered by the return of linebacker T.J. Watt (groin), who ranks seventh per PFF in pass rush grade. Watt helps keep Pittsburgh’s run defense elite, ranking seventh-best in DVOA.
The Steelers have struggled defending wide receivers on deep passes, something Denver does not excel at with Bridgewater under center. With Jerry Jeudy still out and Courtland Sutton potentially limited, the Broncos receiving corps will be much less challenging than any team they have faced this season.
I love that this game has flipped to Pittsburgh +2.
Head coach Mike Tomlin has thrived in these situations throughout his tenure with the Steelers. In 16 games as a home underdog, Tomlin has covered at a 78.6% rate with a +47.2% return on investment (ROI).
Pittsburgh found a way to earn a tough road win at Buffalo in Week 1. Despite losing three games in a row, including two at home, I think Tomlin’s crew comes up with a big effort against a shorthanded and conservative Denver team.
Pick: Pittsburgh +2 | Play up to Steelers PK