Depleted Chargers Face Troubled Steelers in Week 13 SNF Betting

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

December 1st, 2018

The Pittsburgh Steelers look to get back on the winning side of things when they host the L.A. Chargers in NFL Week 13 SNF betting showdown that will help us clear the muddy waters of the AFC playoff picture. Pittsburgh entered Denver on a roll, but the Broncos punched the Steelers in the mouth. They face a team in Week 13 that they could have some trouble beating.

The Chargers have gone a scorching 7-1 SU in their last 8. The only loss happened to the Broncos. This team has long run as one of the most underrated teams in the league, and they know full well that they're one of the top teams in the league. The challenge in front of them isn't just about beating Pittsburgh - it's doing so without running back Melvin Gordon, who will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering an incidental knee injury last weekend.

Will Pittsburgh get back on track with a win and cover? Or, will the Chargers continue to turn heads and convince us to lump them in to the playoff conversation?

NFL WEEK 13 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BETTING L.A. Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, December 2nd – Heinz Field – 8:20pm ET Week 13 SNF Betting Line: Steelers -3.5 (51.5)

Chargers Balanced on Both Sides of the Ball

For most of his career, Philip Rivers has had to carry the Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers, who should end up in the hall of fame, has never complained about the pressure on him. He’s always delivered.

He’s delivering this season as well while completing 68% of his passes and throwing only 6 interceptions, but he’s also been able to lean on an excellent defense and a resurgent rushing attack. Their capabilities in this department take a hit with Gordon sidelined, but Austin Eckeler is a capable subsitute. The 5-foot-10, 200 pound Eckeler is a fantastic spell back, but he didn't exactly produce when given first team reps against Tennessee. The backup finished with just 42 rushing yards and 26 receiving yards on 5 catches and failed to find the endzone during a weirdly paced game over the pond in Wembley Stadium.

Fortunately, Eckeler is still a talented diamond int he rough the Chargers scooped off the rookie free-agent scrap heap. The sophomore can deliver, and rookie Justin Jackson looks equally explosive. The pair might not combine to have the overall impact that Gordon is capable of, but they both can certainly steady the output of the offense. It also helps that Pittsburgh's defense has looked pedestrian as of late.

Thankfully, the Chargers boast one of the very best defenses in the NFL, one that ranks 4th in points allowed, and is a definitive reason to back this team in Week 13 SNF betting. The return of defensive end Joey Bosa helped crush the Arizona Cardinals, who gained just 87 yards passing and 62 yards rushing. Bosa is a beast, and his return makes the Chargers a nightmare for Roethlisberger, Conner and the entire offensive line.

Because LAC is balanced in most every phase of the game, the Chargers can hang with and beat any opponent they face, including the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steelers Must Get Offense Out of Quicksand

During a stunning 5-game stretch, the Steelers played like one of the best in the NFL. There was the 52-21 pasting they smacked Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers with, the 33-18 victory over Cleveland, and the subdued but impressive 23-16 win over the rival Baltimore Ravens on the road. Since those performances, the Steelers have appeared to be moving in quicksand and are a troubling take in Week 13 SNF betting because of recent output.

Jacksonville held Pittsburgh in check a couple of Sundays ago. It took a Big Ben rushing touchdown for the Steelers to steal a 20-16 win. Then in Week 12, Pittsburgh bombed against the Broncos, failing to score more than 17 points in an embarrassing loss where Roethlisberger gave up a turnover on the two-yard line that sealed their fate.

Pittsburgh’s biggest issue is that they can’t get anything going. The rushing attack’s been stymied. The usual connection Big Ben has had with Antonio Brown hasn’t worked in the last couple while nothing creative came from the coaching staff. Even worse is that Roethlisbegerger threw a few of his teammates under the bus when attempting to deflect the interception that cost them the game against Denver. All's not well in Pittsburgh.

If the Steelers hope to beat the Charges on Sunday night, they must pull the offense out of the depths it’s fallen into.

Week 13 SNF Betting Betting Analysis and Pick

Despite the absence of Gordon, the action has slightly favored Los Angeles. The line opened Pittsburgh -3.5 and hasn’t moved. One of the reasons might be because most don’t feel the Steelers have shown their best in their last two games.

Neither team has the edge in trends. However, the Steelers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 after a straight up loss. Although that might be the hottest trend for either team, visually Pittsburgh just doesn’t look as solid as the Chargers do right now. I’m going with what I see on the field as opposed to what the trends tell me even though the chances are high the Steelers do get their offense going in this.

Week 13 SNF Betting Betting Free Pick: Chargers +3.5