New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, 10/30/11, 4:15 PM EST, TV:Â CBS
Opening Point Spread:Â New England -2.5
Current Betting Line:Â New England -3
Opening Total:Â 51
Current Total:Â 52
New England returns from its bye week and will take its No. 1 offense into the Steel City to face the NFLâ€™s No. 3 defense on Sunday afternoon.Â The Patriots are coming off a 20-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys as 6.5-point home favorites.
Quarterback Tom Brady is on pace to throw for 5,768 yards and 43 touchdowns, coming in with a 6-1 record against Pittsburgh, including four wins in five trips to Heinz Field.Â He has thrown for nine scores and just a single interception in four consecutive wins in this series.
Success during the month of October is definitely a strength of the franchise, posting a 32-5 record in the month since the beginning of the 2003 campaign.Â New England currently has a nine-game win streak in such contests.
Offensively, the Patriots have scored 30 or more points in 13 of their last 14 games, including a 39-26 win against the Steelers as 4.5-point road underdogs on Nov. 14, 2010.Â The team gained 453 total yards in that contest.
Bettors will find that the Patriots are 0-2 ATS when playing off their last two bye weeks, while going 22-16 ATS over the last two-plus seasons.
Pittsburgh comes in off a three-game win streak that includes a 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals last week as four-point road favorites.Â The Steelers have out-gained five of their seven opponents, which matches their 5-2 record coming into this contest.
The team definitely enjoys a home-field advantage, winning 16 of its last 21 games inside Heinz Field, outscoring opponents by a sizable 12.3 points in those wins.
Many around the league feel that the Steelers match up well with the Patriots due to ranking second in pass defense, allowing 171.9 yards per game.Â It certainly wanâ€™t the case in last yearâ€™s meeting when Brady threw for 350 yards.
Pittsburgh signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger is enjoying a solid season, completing 26-of-39 passes for 361 yards, with three touchdowns in Arizona last week.Â His main target has been Mike Wallace, who has caught a pass of 40 yards or more in six consecutive games.
â€śWe are not satisfied with where we are at,â€ť stated Roethlisberger in practice this week.Â â€śWe feel like we can still improve and thatâ€™s good.â€ť
The Steelers definitely have a chance to score points Sunday, facing a stop unit that is giving up 322.2 passing yards per game, which is actually 33.3 more than any other defense in the league.
Bettors will find that the Steelers are 11-9 ATS at home over the last two-plus campaigns, while the â€śoverâ€ť is on a 23-18 run.
The â€śoverâ€ť is 5-0 in the last five meetings between these teams in Pittsburgh.
Pick:Â Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)