The battle of Pennsylvania is here. The Eagles (1-2-1 overall, 1-3 against the spread) have made the trip to Western PA to take on the Steelers (3-0 overall, 2-1 ATS).
For the first time this season the Eagles will play a game in front of fans, albeit about 5,500 spectators waving their Terrible Towels. The Eagles have not won in Pittsburgh since 2000, albeit they’ve only played in the Steel City twice since that victory.
Keep in mind the Steelers are coming into this game fresh after having their Week 4 game versus Tennessee postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the Titans.
Although Pittsburgh is unbeaten on the season, it’s worth noting the combined record of their 3 opponents (Giants, Broncos and Texans) is 1-11.
Currently, the Eagles are 7-point underdogs after the line opened at 7.5 with our partner, PointsBet.
If that line remains it will be the largest point spread between the two franchises dating back to 1978. The biggest spread occurred back in 1994 when the Eagles lost in the Steel City 14-3 as 6-point underdogs.
When it comes to these two cross-state rivals squaring off, the Eagles have the upper hand. The Birds are 7-3 both overall and ATS against the Steelers. Recently, the Eagles have covered 5 of the last 6 meetings ATS. The road team has only won twice in the series straight up with the Eagles earning both of those victories. The Steelers are 7-2 straight up in their last 9 games versus NFC East teams at home but just 5-4 ATS.
For the second straight week the Eagles will be facing one of the top defenses in the NFL. Pittsburgh is 2nd in total defense while number one against the run. The 49ers entered this past Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles with the NFL’s 3rd best defense.
Carson Wentz’s passing yards have decreased in each of the first 4 games of the 2020 schedule. He’s averaging just 232.5 passing yards as he prepares to play against a Steelers defense giving up 236 yards in the air. PointsBet has set Wentz’s passing yards over/under on Sunday at 234.5.
Meanwhile Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s O/U is listed at 267.5. Big Ben is throwing for 259 yards per game this season. He’ll be facing an Eagles defense that has been allowing 243.5 passing yards per game.
It will be a homecoming for Pittsburgh native and Eagles running back Miles Sanders as he makes his hometown NFL debut. Sanders is averaging under 79 rushing yards per game. The second-year back, along with the Eagles offensive line, will have the tall task of breaking through the Steelers rush defense that’s allowing only 54 yards per game on the ground.
Sanders’ over/under is at 55.5 which he’s surpassed in two of the three games he’s played this season. That 55.5 is a big drop from the 65.5 mark that was on PointsBet several days ago.
Coming off rest and having the better defense statistically, the Steelers seem to have the advantage in this intrastate battle. However, for some reason Pittsburgh is just 1-5 ATS after a bye week in their last 6 games.
I guess that’s why they play the game on the field and not base the results off numbers.