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NFL Experts like the Steelers over the Texans, but not in a blowout

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Houston Texans in Week 4, and it is time to take a look at what the people who deem themselves “experts” think about this AFC North vs. AFC South matchup.

There are two types of experts, as it pertains to NFL picks. The experts who just pick games, and those who put more thought, and explanation, into their picks. In this article we’ll focus on the latter of these two types of experts.

Let’s get to the picks…

One of the more trusted names in the pick ’em game is Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. Prisco, like many experts, likes the Steelers to win back-to-back games on the road, and their third in a row, on Sunday in Houston.

“The Steelers seemed to find their offense in the victory over the Raiders last week, while the Texans blew out the Jaguars to get their first victory. C.J. Stroud played well in that game, but this Steelers front will pose a big problem for his offensive line. They get after him as the defense wins it for the Steelers with a little offense on top.”

Pick: Steelers 24, Texans 17

As for the experts at the Sporting News, they see this game being closer, especially as they use their own computer modeling to figure out who will win this AFC grudge match.

Steelers (-1) vs. Texans
Win probability: 53.8%, Steelers

“Don’t look now, but things are starting to look up quickly in Houston. C.J. Stroud is off to a historic start to his NFL career, and recently led the Texans to a win over the Jaguars. But even with the game in Houston, the model sees the Steelers as the better team, even with the offense still struggling to find its footing.”

For a more extensive breakdown, look at the folks at ESPN for the answer. Here is their breakdown, and predictions, for the game:

Storyline to watch: The Steelers’ defense is tied for fifth in interceptions (four), but Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud has yet to throw an interception in his NFL career. A potential issue for the Texans is they have injuries all over the offensive line as LT Laremy Tunsil, RT Tytus Howard, C Juice Scruggs, LG Kenyon Green and backup LT Josh Jones are injured. Tunsil and Jones aren’t on injured reserve like Howard, Green and Scruggs, but they might not play on Sunday. — DJ Bien-Aime

Bold prediction: Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt will tie his single-game career-high with four sacks. Because Stroud excelled at getting the ball out quickly against the Jaguars’ blitz, the Texans didn’t surrender a sack a week ago — but gave up 11 in the previous two weeks. Watt had multiple sacks in two of three games this season, plus older brother J.J. Watt will be inducted into the Texans’ Ring of Honor this weekend. Count on a friendly yet fierce sibling rivalry to get a little extra juice. — Brooke Pryor

Stat to know: Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin’s 23-4 record against rookie quarterbacks is the best record of any coach vs. first-year QBs since at least 1950 with a minimum of 15 games coached.

Matchup X factor: Texans wide receiver Tank Dell. The rookie third-round pick ranks second in yards per route run against man coverage among wide receivers with at least 50 routes and looks like an emerging star. — Walder

Moody’s pick: Steelers 27, Texans 17
Walder’s pick: Texans 19, Steelers 16
FPI prediction: PIT, 58.7% (by an average of 3.1 points)

How do you see this game playing out? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the road trip to Houston to play the Texans in Week 4.


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