NFL Week 8 Picks: Washington Redskins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, 10/28/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Pittsburgh -4
Current Betting Line:  Pittsburgh -4.5
Opening Total:  47.5
Current Total:  47
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won eight consecutive home games against NFC opponents

Washington was unable to hold onto a late three-point lead in a 27-23 setback to the New York Giants as 6.5-point road underdogs last week, while going UNDER the total for the second time in three games.  The Redskins defense will face quite a challenge inside Heinz Field on Sunday, as the unit ranks 29th overall in the league, while sitting last in defending the pass.  Opponents are throwing for an average of 328.4 yards-per-week against them.  Washington is 2-0 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season, with the UNDER going 12-4 in that situation since 2010.

The Redskins lead the entire NFL in rushing, with Alfred Morris gaining a career-high 120 yards last week, while dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin III chipped in with 89 of his own.  Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner leads the league in completing 70.4 percent of his passes, while his 101.8 passer rating sits just behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.  The defense will need to try and create pressure, as this week’s opposing quarterback has been sacked 13 times in six games.

Pittsburgh has alternated wins and losses over its first six games of the season, coming off a 24-17 setback to the Cincinnati Bengals as one-point road favorites.  The Steelers have won 27 of their past 33 regular-season games versus NFC opponents, including eight consecutive home wins in that situation.  Since Dick Lebeau became defensive coordinator for the team in 2004, the unit has allowed an average of 15.4 points per game when playing at this venue.  Pittsburgh is 9-7 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Steelers have compiled an impressive 16-6 record during the month of October under head coach Mike Tomlin, while improving to 58-28 overall during the regular season.  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,765 yards on the year, which is the second-most passing yards for the former Miami OH start in his first six games of his career.  The team has held five of its last six opponents to under 100 yards rushing, which is a critical statistic in this matchup.

Sports bettors will likely back the Steelers due to their 9-4 ATS mark at home, while the Redskins are 1-5 ATS in Week 8.

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