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Steelers To Continue Rich Vein Of Form

October 28, 2017

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to continue their recent run of good form against the Detroit Lions. The Steelers had an inconsistent start to the year, but since their loss at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars they’ve bounced back with successive victories.

Mike Tomlin’s men have taken control of the AFC North and hold court at the top of the AFC due to their impressive win over the Kansas City Chiefs. However, given the competitive nature of the Conference this term, Pittsburgh need to keep winning to put themselves in a strong position for later in the term.

Ben Roethlisberger managed to overcome his poor outing against the Jaguars. The 35-year-old threw five interceptions in one of the worst performances of his career two weeks ago. Since then, with the aid of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, he has rediscovered his touch in the pocket.

The Lions come into the contest fresh off their bye week. Jim Caldwell’s side were hammered in their last outing by the New Orleans Saints, conceding 52 points at the Superdome. Detroit started the season brightly, winning three out of their opening four matches.

Matt Stafford and his offense have been decent in the first half of the campaign, but consistency early in matches has been an issue. Their defense was carved open with ease by the Saints and cannot afford to get in another hole against Pittsburgh on home soil.

Defeat is not an option for either side, while the Lions will be desperate to capitalise on the woes of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. We’ll now look back at both sides’ start to the season and look at the best value betting odds for the contest.

Detroit Lions

Slay needs a strong performance

The Lions are positioned at 3-3 in their campaign, but have a huge opportunity on their hands given Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending injury. Caldwell’s men and the Minnesota Vikings will be desperate to claim the NFC North crown. The Vikings boast the stronger record at the moment, but Detroit’s road win over Minnesota could be crucial come the end of the term.

However, their head-to-head record against the Vikings for nothing if Detroit cannot stop their slide. Their defense had a nightmare against the Saints, allowing Drew Brees to put points on the board with ease. The defensive unit has talent with Darius Slay, Ezekiel Ansah and Jarrad Davis, but are not playing to their ability.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has been touted for head-coaching positions. He will need to display all of his coaching skill to get his players on track to limit Bell and Brown on Sunday. It will not be an easy task, but Slay is capable of handling Brown with help over the top, taking Roethlisberger’s primary weapon away from him.

The Lions’ offense has been guilty of being slow-starters. They come to life late in contests, which has been good enough to yield victories. However, they have come up short against the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers this term.

Stafford’s receivers have not been firing on all cylinders. Tight end Eric Ebron is in danger of losing his place in the team due to a number of drops. Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay have talent, but need to become consistent options for their quarterback in the passing game.

The Steelers’ defense is one of the most improved units in the NFL this season. As a result, Detroit will be tested in their bid to find rhythm. It’s a game that Caldwell and his team can ill afford to drop.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Brown & Bell need to continue to dominate

The Steelers were staring into an uncertain future after Roethlisberger’s horror show against the Jaguars. He even confessed that he might not have “it” anymore after his five-interception display. However, he has bounced with a couple of steady outings to help guide his side to victories over the Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals.

The 34-year-old has found his rhythm, although the offense has relied on the talent of Brown and Bell for a spark. Bell has recorded back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, although his outing against the Chiefs was a stronger display as he picked up yards on the ground with ease.

The Bengals made life harder on the running back and the coaching staff may have to monitor his usage to preserve him for the challenges ahead. Brown leads the NFL in receiving yards, maintaining his status as one of the leading wideouts in the NFL. Martavis Bryant’s actions have seen him made inactive for the contest, which will put greater demands on the 29-year-old.

Tomlin must be careful not to overload the demands on Brown ahead of a potential surge late into January. Roethlisberger has talent to use with Juju Smith-Schuster finding his feet, which should see him spread the ball around amongst his receiving corps.

Pittsburgh’s defense has depth and quality among the front seven. TJ Watt is a rising star, having made an excellent start to his NFL career.

Vince Williams and Ryan Shazier are establishing themselves as elite linebackers. Bud Dupree, Javon Hargrave and Cameron Heyward are providing a solid pass-rush. As a result, there could be enough ability on the defensive side of the ball to atone for their inconsistencies on offense.

Betting Options

The Steelers are close to finding their full rhythm on both sides of the ball. The Baltimore Ravens’ win on Thursday has put slight pressure on them to keeping winning to maintain control of the AFC North.

Roethlisberger will want a strong performance on his return to Ford Field – the site of his first Super Bowl triumph in the 2005 campaign. Brown and Bell should be able to cause the Lions’ defense enough problems to close out a tight win.

Therefore back the Steelers at odds of

7/10  with 888Sport to secure the victory on the road. Detroit always manage to keep matches close so taking the points of +3 for Caldwell’s men at odds of 10/11  with Betway is a solid punt.

Smith-Schuster notched his third touchdown of the term last week.

Back him to score his fourth anytime at Ford Field at 2/1  with Bet365 as Brown will draw the coverage. Pittsburgh have been improving every week on defense – so back them to hold the Lions under 21.5 points at 19/20  with Betway.

Tips Summary

Pittsburgh Steelers To Beat Detroit Lions
Sunday 29th October 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 30th October 01:30 GMT)
Odds: 7/10

Take +3 Points Detroit Lions
Sunday 29th October 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 30th October 01:30 GMT)
Odds: 10/11

Juju Smith-Schuster To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 29th October 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 30th October 01:30 GMT)
Odds: 2/1

Detroit Lions To Score Under 21.5 Points
Sunday 29th October 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 30th October 01:30 GMT)
Odds: 19/20

  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Detroit Lions
  • Matt Stafford
  • NFL
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.