Eagles vs. Steelers Picks: How We’re Betting This Spread, Player Props, More
Getty Images. Pictured: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner
With the Steelers set to host the Eagles in a battle of Pennsylvania teams on Sunday, our staff is here to break down how they’re betting the showdown.
Find their spread and other picks for this Week 5 matchup below.
Eagles at Steelers Picks
Sean Koerner: Steelers -7
The Steelers are coming off a forced bye week due to the Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak, and get to face an Eagles team that lucked out with a 25-20 win over the 49ers last week.
Carson Wentz is playing behind a decimated offensive line that has now lost three starters, and will be facing a Steelers defensive line that leads the league with a pressure rate of 66%(!), and out of 36 qualified QBs, Wentz’s 17.0 QB rating when pressured ranks 35th. It’s not like the Eagles can lean on the run game in this spot, either, since the Steelers currently rank first in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the run.
Ben Roethlisberger should improve as he gains more confidence in his surgically repaired elbow. He’s surrounded by talented weapons that can attack all areas of the field. Second-round rookie Chase Claypool should be ready to break out over the next few games, and he has the potential to elevate this offense to one of the best in the league.
I have the Steelers as 8.5-point favorites, but only want to take them at -7 since it’s such a critical number.
Brandon Anderson: Steelers -7
This game is a matchup of divisional leaders, and heading into the season, it looked like a good candidate for game of the week. But the Eagles have not lived up to billing thus far, even with their first win of the season in Week 4.
Philadelphia’s offense has struggled mightily, and Carson Wentz has been the problem much more than the solution. Wentz has been one of the lowest-rated passers in the league, and he continues to be plagued by constant mistakes. Wentz has already thrown seven interceptions and is probably lucky the number is that low. He’s also fumbled four times and has been sacked 14 times.
The Eagles rank near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every offensive metric, and now they have to fix things against one of the league’s elite defenses.
But the real edge here is health and rest, and that edge is massive.
Philadelphia is one of the most injury-plagued teams in the NFL. The offensive line is an absolute disaster. Two starters are out for the season, another is on IR, and the other two are struggling through injury. Their top three receivers are out, along with tight end Dallas Goedert, and the defense has injuries throughout the secondary.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is more healthy and rested than any team in the league. The Steelers have no real injuries of note and are coming off an unexpected Week 4 bye after their scheduled game was postponed with the Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak.
The Steelers were already better on both sides of the ball, but now they’re healthy and rested against a Philadelphia MAS*H unit. The Eagles will have a difficult time scoring or moving the ball with any regularity against the Steelers.
Once the Steelers shake off the rust, they should roll. I’m grabbing at -7 while it’s there or teasing if it gets above that key number.
Raheem Palmer: Eagles-Steelers 1H Under 22.5
This Philadelphia Eagles offense isn’t scaring anyone.
During a period in which we’re seeing historically great scoring in the NFL, the Eagles are scoring just 21 points per game while gaining 4.5 yards per play. Injuries to pass-catchers Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor and Alshon Jeffrey have left this offense depleted. The Eagles rank 29th in explosive play rate with only 8% of their plays going for 20 or more yards, 28th in total offense success rate (45%) and 31st in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA.
Oddsmakers set Philadelphia’s implied team total at 18.5, which tells us they’re not expecting much success against a vaunted Pittsburgh defense that ranks second in points allowed (14.5), third in yards per play against (5.1), leads the league in pressure rate (46.5) and is second is sacks (15).
Pittsburgh’s offense isn’t anything to write home about, either.
The Steelers are scoring just 20 points per game (29th), gaining 5.6 yards per play (21st), and are 20th in explosive play rate (8%) and 26th in total offensive success rate (46%). Now they face an Eagles defense that ranks sixth in yards per play against (5.1),first in sacks (17) and ninth in pressure rate (25.6%).
All things considered, we have two anemic offenses playing two solid defenses. After Thursday night’s matchup between the Buccaneers and Bears, unders are now 27-36 (42.9%), so we can expect to see some regression to the mean going forward with oddsmakers inflating these totals.
Given the nature of these two teams, I expect a slow start to this Sunday’s matchup. I like the first half under 22.5 and would play it down to 21.5.
Koerner: Eagles WR John Hightower Over 24.5 Rec Yards (-113)
My best investments this season have been in rookie wideouts before they break out. Now we have an opportunity to back two in this game.
This is more of a bet on opportunity.
With DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery out again this week, we can bank on Hightower to run a route on 80-85% of pass plays. He’s been targeted on only 9% of his routes run so far — a rate that we can expect to regress upward given the lack of competition for targets right now
I would bet this up to 26.5 yards.
Koerner: Steelers WR Chase Claypool Over 23.5 Rec Yards (-113)
This is more of a bet on talent.
Claypool’s situation reminds me of when I was getting Justin Jefferson props in this range back in Week 2. Claypool is buried as the WR4 on this depth chart, but could pass up James Washington as soon as this week
If any Steelers wideout were to miss time, Claypool would see a massive boost in playing time and targets. And he doesn’t even need much playing time to make an impact in the game, as evidenced by his yards per catch of 25.2.
Claypool is too talented for the Steelers to keep under wraps for much longer.
I would bet this one up to 26.5, too.