NFL Picks: Experts don’t buy into the Steelers post-bye history
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off their bye, and Mike Tomlin’s record in that situation has been discussed thoroughly. In case you don’t know, Tomlin has been tremendous in his career coming out of the off week.
But the Steelers are also a struggling team heading into Week 7. Yes, they are coming off a Week 5 win over the Baltimore Ravens at home, but nothing looks good with the team at the bye. Nothing works well and looks smooth. So, what narrative will win out when it comes to NFL expert picks?
Will it be the Steelers’ struggles continuing? Or will it be Tomlin’s stellar record after the bye week?
Let’s take a look, and what better place to start than with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, who likes the Rams to continue their upward trend and beat the Steelers at home.
“The Steelers are coming off a bye, while the Rams are coming off a home victory over Arizona. The Rams defense played well in that game, which isn’t a good thing for a Steelers offense that has had issues all season long. The Rams can attack the Steelers through the air with Matt Stafford and his receivers, which is why they will win this game.”
Pick: Rams 24, Steelers 20
At the NFL Network, they don’t just have one expert make picks, but five. And of those five, only one expert is believing in the Steelers to beat the Rams. Here is why one expert is picking Los Angeles to hold serve at home.
“Why Brooke is taking the Rams: There’s something special about watching defensive stars work. We get two in this tilt: Aaron Donald and T.J. Watt, the latter of whom is tied for the league lead with eight sacks this season. There’s much more pressure on Watt and this Steelers defense to slow a Rams offense that’s trending up with the return of the always-open Cooper Kupp. Even if Diontae Johnson returns for Kenny Pickett, I’m not convinced that Matt Canada’s unit — averaging 12.6 offensive points per game (30th in the NFL) — can keep up with Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford.”
For the people at The Sporting News, they take a unique spin on picking games. They look at the spread, and also the win probability of each game. In this game, there is a slight advantage to the Rams in this contest.
Rams (-3) vs. Steelers
Win probability: 60.5%, Rams
“The Rams have quietly been one of the NFL’s most complete teams, ranking in the NFL’s top 12 in both points scored and points against. They’ve lost by no more than nine points in a game this season, and are coming off a 17-point win over the Cardinals. Pittsburgh should be well rested before heading out west, but that offense has not seemed to have any answers so far in 2023, even while its defense has been excellent. The model and BetMGM both agree the Rams should be 3-point favorites over Pittsburgh.”
In a similar way, ESPN also takes a look at the spread, total and even who is being favored to win outright. They, like The Sporting News, see a slight edge to the Rams. However, they do give their props to Tomlin’s teams being an underdog.
Money Line: Pittsburgh Steelers (+140) ; Los Angeles Rams (-165)
Total: 44; Opened: 42.5
FPI favorite: Rams by 2.9 (58.4% to win outright)
“Mike Tomlin is 44-40 outright in his head coaching career as an underdog. He is the only head coach in the Super Bowl Era to have a winning record as an underdog among individuals to be an underdog in 50-plus games.”
So, clearly the Steelers are not expected to win this game, but it isn’t in a way where the experts are seeing this being a lop-sided affair. Rather, it should be close, and that gives Tomlin and Kenny Pickett a chance.
What do you think? Let us know your picks 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 Los Angeles Rams in Week 7,