Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-4)
One of my favorite things to do as a bettor is go against significant week-to-week line movements, as they tend to be overreactions to a single week of play. This game has one, as the Steelers were 4.5 point road favorites on the early line last week, but are now favored by 8. It makes some sense why the line would move significantly, as the Dolphins lost at home to the Titans last week, while the Steelers got their second straight big victory, beating the Jets 31-13. However, the line movement is still way too much and we’re getting a lot of line value with the Dolphins at 8 as a result. Despite that, the public is still all over the Steelers. I also love going against the public when it makes sense, as they always lose money in the long run.
The Steelers’ last two wins came by large margins, but both were at home. Now they’re on the road, where it’s much tougher to come away with big wins. The Steelers especially have had trouble on the road against seemingly inferior opponents in the Mike Tomlin era, as they are just 9-21 ATS as non-divisional road favorites since Tomlin arrived in 2007. In their last road game, they lost 34-3 in Philadelphia as 4 point road favorites. The Dolphins are not nearly as good as the Eagles, but they’re still good enough to keep it close against a Pittsburgh team that could overlook them, especially with a huge game against the Patriots next week. That game could easily be a major distraction.
The Steelers also come into this game pretty banged up, more banged up than most realize. They’ll be without defensive end Cameron Heyward, arguably their best defensive player, for the first time this season, while right tackle Marcus Gilbert and middle linebacker Ryan Shazier remain out with injuries. Also out is wide receiver Markus Wheaton, while fellow wide receiver is questionable with a hand laceration and could be limited even if he goes. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are getting healthier, as their top-3 offensive lineman (Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, and Mike Pouncey) are all healthy at the same time for the first time all year. Having their entire offensive line back should help this offense immensely and gives them a good chance to have a bounce back offensive performance, especially with Pittsburgh missing Heyward. I like the Dolphins a lot this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers 24 Miami Dolphins 20
Pick against the spread: Miami +8