NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds For Vikings vs. Steelers: Our Experts Debate Thursday Night Football Spread

NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds For Vikings vs. Steelers: Our Experts Debate Thursday Night Football Spread article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

  • Updated Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings odds list the home Vikes as a 3.5-point favorite, up half a point from the opening point spread earlier in the week.
  • Our experts are taking different approaches to betting Thursday Night Football and outline the numbers they're looking for below.
  • Find out why they're on opposite sides of the spread with their betting previews and picks below.

NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds: Vikings vs. Steelers

Pick
Vikings -3
Lean Steelers +3.5


Vikings -3

Sean Koerner: With 51% of the bets and 72% of the money on the Steelers (check real-time public betting data here), I’ll fade the public and go with the Vikings at -3 — they’re playing much better than their record suggests and should survive without Adam Thielen (for at least this one game) thanks to Justin Jefferson.

Plus, the market is likely overlooking the fact the Vikings will welcome back Eric Kendricks while the Steelers will have to shake up their offensive line by starting John Leglue for the first time in his career.

I’m projecting the Vikings closer to -4.5, but I would only bet them at -3 (still available at several books) considering betting them at -3.5 would expose me to a loss in the most likely outcome of this game: The Vikings winning by three. You can read my entire breakdown of this matchup here.


Lean Steelers +3.5

Brandon Anderson: Mike Zimmer can probably thank the short week for still having a job. Most coaches don’t make it until noon the next day after losing to an 0-10-1 team, after all.

Zimmer still might be a dead man walking, though, and it’s impossible to know whether this Vikings team will come out fighting or just fold up shop after the most embarrassing loss yet in a season chock-full of them.

Sunday was the seventh Minnesota game this season that ended on the final play. That’s seven of 12 games! Ten Vikings games were up for grabs in the final minute, and 11 ended as one-score affairs. Minnesota is zero for eight defensively against game-tying or -winning drives at the end of a game. The Vikings have also allowed 72 points over the final two minutes of the first half, an incredible 6.0 points per game. It’s been ugly.

The Steelers have played in eight one-score games of their own, and Mike Tomlin continues to thrive as an underdog. Tomlin is now 43-21-2 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog, covering 67% of the time, and that includes a 5-2 ATS mark this season. Pittsburgh has won four of those five covers outright, and Ben Roethlisberger has played his best ball of the season over the past month.

Additionally, it’s been profitable to fade Kirk Cousins and Zimmer in these toss-up spots, with opponents 13-6 ATS (68%) when the spread is within a field goal.

T.J. Watt and that outstanding pass rush could also be a big problem for this struggling Minnesota offensive line that might be missing Christian Darrisaw. The Vikings also could be without three of their top four playmakers with Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr. are out, while Dalvin Cook remains listed as questionable.

We don’t know how Minnesota will respond emotionally after the loss in Detroit, but we do know how Pittsburgh shows up in these road dog spots. As long as this line is over a field goal, it’s just too hard to trust the Vikings the way every game of theirs has come down to the wire.


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