Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 5

Pittsburgh has now had two weeks to rest as they return from a bye week to host the Philadelphia Eagles at 1pm ET on FOX. Pittsburgh is favored to win this game by a narrow margin. The spread is 3 points and the over/under is 43.5 points. Philadelphia escaped with a fourth quarter win over the New York Giants last weekend to take their record to 3-1. Pittsburgh will be looking to improve their 1-2 record after they took tough losses from Denver and Oakland in Weeks One and Three.

The Steelers did beat the New York Jets but everyone was surprised to see the Steelers fall to Oakland 34-31 in Week Three. The Steelers were favored to beat the Raiders but fumbles and a scoreless fourth quarter by the Steelers denied them the win. This was eerily reminiscent of Week One when the Steelers played the Broncos tough all game only to fall apart in the fourth quarter and lose the game.

Ben Roethlisberger will need to bring his A-game to beat Philadelphia this week because the Eagles have already tackled two strong opponents this season in Baltimore and New York. Both those games were close and both were won in the fourth quarter by the Eagles. Roethlisberger is currently the second best QB in the league with a rating of 109.2. In three games he has thrown for 8 TDs and has averaged 7.53 yards per attempt with only one interception. Philadelphia’s Michael Vick has 7.39 yards passing per attempt but also has 6 interceptions and 11 sacks on the season.

Philadelphia has kept games close by stacking up the running yards behind LeSean McCoy. McCoy has 384 yards on the season but has fumbled three times and lost the ball twice. However, Pittsburgh has virtually no running game and is last in the league for rushing yards. That will leave Roethlisberger to face Philadelphia’s 7th ranked passing defense which has held opponents to 206.8 yards per game this season. Roethlisberger has managed 284.3 yards per game passing this season. So in a close game against the Eagles Roethlisberger’s ability to mount a final scoring drive to win the game will be critical to success.

That is what this game will come down to, can Roethlisberger close the deal in the fourth quarter or will the Steelers choke for the third time this season. A tight spread makes sense given this season’s history for each of these teams. Pittsburgh to win is questionable even with the extra time to rest and prepare. But then again, that extra time to prepare might be the difference between a good fourth quarter or not.

Philadelphia has allowed an average of 20.8 points a game and scored an average of 16.5 points. The 16.5 is skewed by the Eagles’ loss to Arizona 27-6, but the 20.8 points has been a steady average. Without the Arizona loss the Eagles’ points scored average would be 20 points. Pittsburgh has scored an average of 25.7 points and allowed 25 points per game. Looking at these numbers the score should be within three points with the winner scoring no more than 25 points. Therefore at the lowest end the final total could be forecasted at 43 points (23-20) and at the higher end perhaps 47 points (25-22). Taking the over is a reasonable wager.

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