Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3)
The Lions went 9-7 and made the post-season last season and are 3-3 so far this season, but 9 of their 12 wins over the past 2 seasons have come by a touchdown or less and they’ve had trouble beating top level teams. They didn’t defeat a single playoff team in 2016, in a season that culminated with a 26-6 loss in Seattle in the first round of the playoffs, and the 3 teams they’ve defeated so far this season are not that impressive, as they’ve defeated the Cardinals, Giants, and the Case Keenum led Vikings. A year after ranking just 28th in first down rate differential, they rank just 27th this season and they are arguably worse overall this season, as they are without talented left tackle Taylor Decker.
The Steelers are the type of top level team the Lions typically struggle with, but the good news for the Lions is that the Steelers come in banged up, missing right tackle Marcus Gilbert and defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who are among the best players on the team, as well as Vance McDonald, their starting tight end. As a result, I think we’re getting a little bit of line value with the Lions, as I have these two teams about 5 points apart in my roster rankings this week. That suggests that the Steelers should be -2. That’s not a ton of line value and I’m not that confident in the Lions, but grabbing the field goal with the home team is the smarter move for pick ‘em purposes this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers 26 Detroit Lions 24
Pick against the spread: Detroit +3