NFL Sunday Night Football Picks: Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, October 2, 2016, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opening Line: Pittsburgh -4 1/2
Current Line: Pittsburgh -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 47 1/2
Current Total: 48
Opening Money Line: Steelers -230 / Chiefs +190
Current Money Line: Steelers -175 / Chiefs +155

The Steelers host the Chiefs Sunday Night in a battle of 2-1 teams.
The Steelers host the Chiefs Sunday Night in a battle of 2-1 teams.

Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-1 as meet Sunday night in Pittsburgh. This is a key early season match-up because both are in divisions with teams that started 3-0.

Pittsburgh leads the series 20-11 against Kansas City. The Chiefs won last year in Kansas City 23-13 to snap a three game losing streak against the Steelers. This is the fifth time in the last six seasons they have played.

Kansas City is coached by Andy Reid. The Chiefs rallied from a 21-3 halftime deficit to defeat the San Diego Chargers 33-27 in overtime at home in week one. Kansas City lost at the Houston Texans 19-12. Kansas City crushed the New York Jets 24-3 last week at home. The Chiefs forced 8 New York turnovers including 6 interceptions from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Chiefs were a three point favorite and the total was 44.5 against the Jets. Kansas City is 1-2 ATS and the total is 1-2 this season.

Pittsburgh is coached by Mike Tomlin. The Steelers beat the Washington Redskins 38-16 on the road in week one and then won at home against the Cincinnati Bengals 24-16. Pittsburgh was destroyed 34-3 at Keystone State rival the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Steelers were 3.5 point favorites against the Eagles and the total was 46.5. Pittsburgh is 2-1 ATS and the total is 1-2 this season.

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Kansas City is scoring 23 points a game and allowing 16. Kansas city is #6 in points allowed. The Chiefs average 332 total yards per game on offense including 241 passing and 91 rushing yards per game. Kansas City allows 348 total yards per game on defense including 225 passing and 123 rushing. The Chiefs are 17/46 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 20/47. Kansas City has forced 3 sacks and allowed 9 sacks this season. The Chiefs are +5 in turnovers.

Quarterback Alex Smith has completed 66.9% of his passes for 786 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception, and has 9 carries for 14 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Jamaal Charles is probable after missing the first three games with a knee injury. Running back Spencer Ware has 41 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown, and also has 10 catches for 185 yards. Charcandrick West has 12 carries for 63 yards, and also has 10 catches for 34 yards. He is out with an ankle injury.

Tight end Travis Kelce has 17 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Jeremy Maclin has 15 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown. Chris Conley has 9 catches for 102 yards.  Six defensive players and three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

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Pittsburgh is being outscored 22-21.7 this season. The Steelers average 354 yards per game on offense including 254 passing and 100 rushing yards Pittsburgh allows 407 total yards per game including 332 passing yards and 75 rushing yards. The Steelers are #4 in rush defense but #31 in pass defense. Pittsburgh is 22/47 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 12/39. The Steelers have forced one sack and allowed six this season. Pittsburgh is -1 in turnovers.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has completed 59.3% of his passes for 816 yards with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He also has 3 carries for 19 yards.

Running back DeAngelo Williams has 66 carries for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns and has 14 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. LeVeon Bell returns from a four game suspension.

Receiver Antonio Brown has 24 catches for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sammie Coates has 7 catches for 203 yards. Eli Rogers has 9 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. He is out with a toe injury. Tight end Jesse James has 10 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Markus Wheaton had one catch last week after missing the first two games with a shoulder injury. Five offensive linemen are listed on the injury report and seven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Kansas City is 5-2 ATS in road games, 9-4 in week four, and after allowing 15 points or less, 3-7 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 2-5 overall, against AFC teams, and on grass, 2-7 against teams with winning home records, 1-5 after a straight up win, 2-7 against teams with winning home records, 1-5 after a straight up win, and 0-4 after a cover. The under is 4-0 in this series recently. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS against the Steelers recently.

Pittsburgh is 2-0-2 ATS after allowing more than 350 total yards, and against AFC teams, 4-1 after failing to cover, 4-1-1 in October 7-2 after a straight up loss, 19-6-2 after allowing more than 30 points, 3-1-2 overall, 3-1-1 on grass, 13-5-2 against teams with winning records, 10-4 against teams with winning road records, 0-4-1 in week four, and 0-3-1 after scoring less than 15 points. The home team is 6-1 ATS in this series recently.

The Steelers still might be the best team in the AFC but last week’s debacle expressed some doubts. It might just be a bad game. Kansas City can’t get into a shootout. I like the Steelers to win a close low scoring game.

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