Steelers vs. Packers Odds, Predictions, Picks, Spread: How To Back the Pack In Week 4 NFL Matchup
Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Roethlisberger (left) and Aaron Rodgers.
- Aaron Rodgers is 31-22-2 as a home favorite of at least -6.5 -- but that's now how we're finding a betting edge on the Packers.
- Our analyst breaks down Sunday's showdown between the Packers and Steelers, including how to still find value on Green Bay.
- Find Packers vs. Steelers odds, including the spread and over/under, in his betting preview of this Week 4 NFL matchup below.
|Moneyline||+230 / -290|
|Time||4:25 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
The Pittsburgh Steelers look to snap a two-game losing streak when they head to Lambeau Field for a rare matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Pittsburgh has had all kinds of problems this season with an offense that can’t seem to get going. The offensive line was viewed as a significant weakness coming into the season and after three games, it hasn’t shown much improvement. That’s especially problematic when you have an aging quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger, who is also struggling to throw the ball down the field.
The current forecast suggests we could see some inclement weather with rain and wind speeds up to 8.6 mph. That won’t make things any easier for Pittsburgh’s offense if it has to operate in less than optimal conditions.
Steelers’ Offensive Woes Start On O-Line
If not for its special teams, Pittsburgh would still be searching for its first win of the season.
In Week 1, the Steelers upset the Bills 23-16 after trailing 10-0 at halftime. The difference in the game was a blocked punt in the fourth quarter, which the Steelers recovered for a touchdown. That game was the only time this season that Pittsburgh scored more than 20 points.
Overall, the Steelers rank 28th with an average of 16.7 points per game. They’re also 26th with 4.9 yards per play. That number for Pittsburgh is even worse when you consider that they’re operating at a deficit with a -0.9 net yards per play margin.
The offensive line has partly been at fault, and that’s never an easy fix during the season. Per the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Roethlisberger is getting only 2.35 seconds to throw the football, which is last in the league. That likely contributed to a 34.7 mark in ESPN’s Total QBR, which is ranked 29th.
Big Ben has also endured the fifth-most hits and pressures of any quarterback in the NFL.
Pittsburgh’s defense was thought to be a strength of the team coming into the season, but the numbers show that opponents have successfully moved the ball up and down the field against it.
In Week 2 of an awful spot for Las Vegas on short rest, the Raiders put up 425 yards of offense against the Steelers. The following week, the Steelers allowed almost 100 yards on the ground to the Bengals in a 24-10 loss — we’ll find out if that loss was more about the Bengals or the key Steelers players who were inactive due to injuries.
This week, Pittsburgh should be closer to full strength with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith returning to practice. However, DT Carlos Davis will still be out with a knee injury.
On offense, wide receiver Diontae Johnson should be available to play after being a full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. Johnson could see more targets with Chase Claypool (hamstring) out.
The offensive line’s struggles, meanwhile, could continue with Chukwuma Okorafor (concussion) and Rashaad Coward (ankle) already ruled out.
Green Bay Packers
After three games, I’m still not sure what to think of the Green Bay Packers.
They began the season poorly with a 38-3 loss to the Saints but rebounded with a double-digit victory over the Lions. Next up was a come-from-behind win with 37 seconds remaining in the game against the 49ers.
The Packers rely heavily on All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps that’s why it’s so difficult to fully buy into them when he isn’t firing on all cylinders just yet.
Last year, Rodgers won the MVP award and led all quarterbacks with a 79.8 Total QBR. So far this season, that number has dipped to 61.3. The good news is that it’s gone up each game from 16.2 to 77.5, and then 78.5 in Week 3.
Despite their 2-1 record, the Packers’ season numbers aren’t that impressive. They rank 18th in points per game (22.7), 29th in yards per carry (3.4) and 18th in yards per pass attempt (7.5). However, the Packers have a 0.4 yards per play advantage on offense,
Defensively, the Packers are allowing 5.3 yards per play, which isn’t great but it’s still better than that of the Steelers. Green Bay’s net yards-per-play margin (0.9) is also almost a full yard better than Pittsburgh’s — the best way to think about this metric is that every time the Packers snap the ball, they gain a half yard while, at the same time, the Steelers lose a half yard.
Perhaps where these two teams differ the most is in the red zone. The Packers convert 63.64% of their opportunities into touchdowns, whereas the Steelers are below average at 42.86%.
The weather on Sunday could play a decisive role in this handicap. I suspect that’s the last thing a team struggling offensively like the Steelers would want to see. Keep in mind that in Week 2, the Packers trailed the Lions 17-14 after two quarters. It began to rain at the start of the third quarter, and Detroit was not only held scoreless in the second half but also turned the ball over twice.
I’m skeptical of what we can expect out of both teams defensively. Neither is ranked in the top half in the top half of Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA metric. The team that can handle the elements better should have a better chance to come with the victory.
Green Bay doesn’t have as many injuries as Pittsburgh coming in, but the Packers’ injuries are all in critical positions. Left tackle Elgton Jenkins (ankle) and cornerback Kevin King (concussion) are doubtful after not practicing all week, while wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
I can’t say that I’m all that enamored with Green Bay’s defense. However, Pittsburgh has yet to show signs of any competence on offense. Moreover, if you’re a Steelers fan, you can’t be happy with the recent comments from offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
On Thursday, Canada said there are no plans to make any changes to the offense. That’s a pretty damning statement because it almost sounds like this offense, as it’s currently constituted, is the best they have to offer.
Rodgers has typically performed well when he’s at least a 6.5-point home favorite. However, the total has come down to 45.5 after opening at 48. It’s often more difficult for teams to win by margin if fewer points are available in a game.
As a result, instead of laying almost a touchdown, I’m going to use a standard two-team, six-point teaser to bring Green Bay down to a half-point and pair that with the Buccaneers at -1 on Sunday night.
Pick: Pair Packers -0.5 with Bucs -1 in two-team, six-point teaser