NFL Week 3 Sunday Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears

Pittsburgh at Chicago
Time: NOON (CT), CBS
Spread: PIT -7.5
Total: 44

Odds c/o

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has been dominant this season, allowing just 13.5 points per game. Pittsburgh will take that defense to a struggling Chicago Bears offense this week at Soldier Field in Chicago at Noon (Central) on CBS. The Steelers enter as 7.5-point favorites, with the betting total set at 44 points by NFL oddsmakers at bookmaker Bovada.

Last week, Pittsburgh got nasty on the Minnesota Vikings. Its defense surrendered just 146 passing yards and 91 on the ground, as the Vikings were without starting quarterback Sam Bradford in the game. His backup Case Keenum threw 20 of 37 for 167 yards, averaging just 4.5 yards per completion and while getting sacked twice for a lossage of 21 total yards.

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Dalvin Cook was the only Viking to have any modicum of success, but he did not reach the end zone on any of his 12 carries (64 total yards). Meanwhile, Ben Roethisberger kept things moving for the Steelers in throwing 23 of 35 for 243 yards and a pair of TDs, while LeVeon Bell rushed for 87 yards.

Rookie James Conner had nine yards on one touch. Wide receivers Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown and 91 and 62 yards, respectively, and Bryant caught one of the two Steelers receiving TDs. The Steelers are a good offensive team, but an outstanding defensive one, and Mike Hilton led the way with nine total tackles, while Sean Davis and Ryan Shazier each had eight. The Steelers had 5.5 tackles for loss, and eight QB hits in the game, as it kept the pressure on Minnesota. Doing similar to Mike Glennon this week in Chicago could result in a heady victory. Glennon has already been sacked five times for total lossage of 48 yards, and he has thrown as many interceptions (2) as touchdowns.

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Glennon is averaging 233 yards per game, but the Bears have been anything but good. Chicago is averaging just 72.5 rushing yards per game, and though Tarik Cohen had 66 yards in Week 1, he was good for only 13 yards on seven attempts in Week 2. The diminutive 5-foot-6 back will have to use his speed again against the Steelers DTs, but it could be another tough week for the rookie from North Carolina A&T. Jordan Howard has been largely ineffective with a 2.7 yard-per-carry average and only four first downs through two games. Cohen has fared better as a receiver where he leads the team in receptions (16) while ranking No. 2 yardage (102). Kendall Wright has been a good longer-target with 103 yards on only 10 catches (10.3 per).

But only Cohen and Deonte Thompson have reception TDs this year. Chicago really may have trouble generating yardage this week, and we expect Pittsburgh to cover the spread, perhaps winning by double-digits. Glennon had a big Week 2 with 301 passing yards, but the two costly interceptions are worrying the Bears, and it has to be wondered how long the Bears will keep Mitchell Trubisky on the bench in a season not expected to produce many victories anyway. There is the element of pleasing the tough Chicago fanbase, but Trubisky has to be thought of as the future, with Glennon having done little to justify his position, save perhaps five years of experience in the NFL.

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  • Steelers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
  • Steelers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.
  • Steelers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
  • Steelers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
  • Steelers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
  • Steelers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
  • Steelers are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
  • Steelers are 6-20 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Bears are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
  • Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Bears are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games in September.
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