NFL Week 14 Picks: San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, 12/9/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Pittsburgh -7
Current Betting Line:  Pittsburgh -8
Opening Total:  42
Current Total:  39.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Steelers Panthers NFL Preview
The Pittsburgh Steelers have owned the San Diego Chargers at home during the regular season

San Diego has fallen flat in losing its last four games, including a 20-13 setback to the Cincinnati Bengals as one-point home underdogs last week, while going UNDER the total for the second straight game.  The Chargers have had trouble protecting quarterback Philip Rivers during the 2012 NFL campaign, as he’s been sacked 14 times in the last three contests.  “If we go in there with three new starting offensive linemen, it will be a challenge,” commented Chargers coach Norv Turner this week.  San Diego is 1-4 ATS versus AFC North foes since 2010, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL picks against the spread in Week 14.

The Chargers will need to be balanced on the offensive end in hopes of pulling off an upset, as they prepare to face the top ranked defense in the league.  San Diego has averaged just 63.3 rushing yards over its last three games, which will make it hard for the team to break a two-game streak of failing to score 20 or more points in back-to-back games.

Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak in picking up a physical 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens as eight-point road underdogs, while going OVER the total for a second consecutive week.  The Steelers have won nine of their last 11 games in the month of December and expect starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to return to action after missing the last three games with a shoulder and rib injury.  The franchise has never lost to Sunday’s opponent at home during the regular season, which is a dominating statistic to keep in mind when looking over the pro football odds page.

The Steelers have compiled a dominating 62-30 record during the regular season under head coach Mike Tomlin, while he’s going 3-0 versus the Chargers, which includes the postseason.  Pittsburgh owns the best home record in the NFL with a 238-90-1 mark since 1970, which includes a 69-23-1 record inside Heinz Field since its opening in 2001.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the OVER is 36-15-4 in the Chargers last 55 road games.

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