NFL Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins

Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins
Monday, September 12, 2016, 7:10 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
FedEx Field – Landover, Maryland
Opening Line: Pittsburgh -3
Current Line: Pittsburgh -2 1/2
Opening Total: 50 1/2
Current Total: 50
Opening Money Line: Steelers -155 / Redskins +135
Current Money Line: Steelers -135 / Redskins +115

The Steelers are a road favorite at the Redskins Monday night.
The Steelers are a road favorite at the Redskins Monday night.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins meet Monday night in Landover, Maryland for the 78th time. These two teams have been playing since 1933 when the Redskins were located in Boston. Washington leads the series 42-32-3 but Pittsburgh has won five straight games in the series including 27-12 in 2012 in Pittsburgh.

Both of these teams made the playoffs last season. Pittsburgh, coached by Mike Tomlin was a wild card team but upset the division champion Cincinnati Bengals before falling to eventual champion the Denver Broncos in the divisional playoffs. Washington, coached by Jay Gruden, won the NFC East but the Redskins  were beaten by the Green Bay Packers in the wild card round.

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Pittsburgh outscored opponents 26-20 last year. The Steelers averaged 396 yards per game on offense including 288 passing and 108 rushing. On defense, Pittsburgh allowed 363 yards per game including 272 passing and 91 rushing yards. The Steelers were 79/205 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents were 91/249. Pittsburgh forced 48 sacks and allowed 33 last season. The Steelers were +2 in turnovers.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed four games last year with a knee injury. Still, he almost threw for 4,000 yards completing 68% of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Landry Jones will return as the back-up. Mike Vick was released and has yet to sign with another team. Zach Mettenberger is also on the roster.

Running back Le’Veon Bell is suspended for the first four games of the season. He rushed for 556 yards on 113 carries with 3 touchdowns and also had 24 catches. DeAngelo Williams will start in his place. He had 200 carries for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he also had 40 catches for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns. Fitzgerald Toussaint will also get some carries.

Receiver Antonio Brown is the top wide receiver in the league. He had 136 catches for 1,834 yards with 10 touchdowns last year. Markus Wheaton is out with a shoulder injury. He had 44 catches for 749 yards and 5 interceptions. Receiver Martavis Bryant and tight end Heath Miller are both gone. Bryant was suspended for the year and Miller was released. The duo combined for 110 catches, 1,300 yards and 8 touchdowns last year. Sammie Coates, Darrius Hayward-Bey and Eli Rogers will also get some catches. Jesse James takes over as the new tight end.

Eight defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

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Washington outscored teams 24-23 last year. The Redskins averaged 354 yards per game on offense including 256 passing and 98 rushing yards. On defense, Washington allowed 381 yards per game including 258 passing and 123 rushing yards. The Redskins were 101/228 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents were 89/227. Washington forced 38 sacks and allowed 27 last season. Washington was +5 in turnovers.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 69.9% of his passes for 4,166 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with 5 rushing touchdowns. Colt McCoy will be the back-up again. Robert Griffin III is now with the Cleveland Browns.

Running back Alfred Morris signed with the Dallas Cowboys. He had 202 carries for 751 yards and a touchdown. Matt Jones had 144 carries for 490 yards and 3 touchdowns plus 19 catches for 304 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Chris Thompson is questionable with a shoulder injury. Robert Kelley is the only healthy running back on the roster. Silas Redd, Jr. is suspended indefinitely and Keith Marshall is out for the season with an elbow injury.

Tight end Jordan Reed had 87 catches for 952 yards with 11 touchdowns. Receiver Pierre Garcon had 72 catches for 777 yards and 6 touchdowns. Jamison Crowder and DeSean Jackson will also get plenty of carries. Rookie Josh Doctson is probable with an Achilles’ injury. The Redskins also signed tight end Vernon Davis as a free agent. Eight defensive players are on the injury report along with 3 offensive linemen.

Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in September, 3-1-1 on grass, 7-3-2 in road games and 1-4 in week one. Washington is 4-1 ATS overall and 1-4 in Monday games. The under is 5-0 in this series recently.

Pittsburgh has Brown but someone else is going to have to step up as he will likely see double coverage for most of the game. Williams was good as a replacement for Bell last year. This should be a high scoring game. I like the Steelers to win a close game on the road.

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