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Monday Night NFL Picks — Pittsburgh Steelers Host Chicago Bears

Pittsburgh Steelers Football

Steelers Won’t Greet Justin Fields Warmly

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that perhaps no one has been thinking of in the AFC North, but as they compile their Monday night NFL picks,  BetAnySports customers can’t lose sight of the fact that they were the division champions last season.

Now they get a chance to deal out some punishment to a rookie quarterback as they line up against the Chicago Bears in the Monday night game that is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

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Monday Night NFL Picks — Where do we stand right now in the division races?

The Baltimore Ravens currently lead the AFC North with a 7 – 2 record, but Pittsburgh, which came back from a bye week to beat the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, can remain within one game of the Ravens with a victory. However, this is a highly competitive division, because of the emergence of the Cincinnati Bengals, so it’s likely to go down to the wire, with at least a couple of these teams ranking as wild-card contenders.

The Bears are liable to find things a lot tougher. Even with the loss of Green Bay on Sunday, they are 3.5 games behind the Packers in the NFC North, although with an extended playoff format, theoretically they are not likely to be out of contention for a wild-card berth for quite some time.

Monday Night NFL Picks — Big Ben and the re-shifting of the Pittsburgh offense

Ben Roethlisberger has been dealing with a shoulder ailment, and the general consensus is that he doesn’t quite have the range he used to. But he’s still very cagey, and so the Steelers have more or less repurposed their offensive attack to take some of the burden off him.

Matt Canada is the first-year offensive coordinator, as he was elevated from quarterback coach to replace Randy Fichtner. He wants the Steelers to become a run-first squad, and they may wind up having the right guy for that  approach with Najee Harris, a talented running back out of Alabama who was taken in the first round.

Harris has 475 rushing yards on the season, and during the month of October he was fifth best in the NFL with 356 — good enough to win honors as AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month. Over their last three games, Pittsburgh has run the ball 48% of the time, and perhaps it’s no coincidence but they have won all three games.

Roethlisberger has averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt, and in terms of his average intended air yards, which represents the distance his throws go beyond the line of scrimmage, he’s pretty far down the list as far as the starting NFL quarterbacks are concerned (30th, in fact). For the most part, they’re looking for him to get rid of the ball quickly, and he has done that. Giving up only 14 sacks over seven games, the Pittsburgh staff considers that a positive.

For big plays, the best possibility is Chase Claypool, who has averaged 15.5 yards per reception. And the Steelers would love to have better field position; only one NFL team has averaged a worse starting point per offensive drive than Pittsburgh has..

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Monday Night NFL Picks — Here are the numbers……

In the odds that have been posted at BetAnySports on this game, the Steelers are the favorites:
Pittsburgh Steelers – 7 (-105)
Chicago Bears + 7  (-115)

Over 39 points -110
Under 39 points -110 

Monday Night NFL Picks — How can Fields help the Bears win?

Fields it’s definitely not a guy who is threatening opponents down the field. He possesses an average of 6.3 yards per attempt, and the Bears are dead last in the NFL in yards per play at 4.4. They are also last in third-down conversions, at 34.7%. Our point is that if Pittsburgh got some people the stack the box and stop Chicago’s run game, they might not wind up in bad shape if they challenge the rookie to take their measure on longer passing routes, which could create better third down situations for the Steelers’ D, and soon.

So that might make it an uphill battle for Chicago to run the ball. They like what they’ve seen of six round draft choice Khalil Herbert, who has a 4.3 yard average. And David Montgomery, who came on like a freight train in the latter part of the 2020 season, has been dealing with knee injuries but is expected to return.

Between receivers like Darnell Mooney, Allen Robinson and tight end Cole Kmet, there is nothing particularly scary, so this might be a pretty good defensive matchup for the Steelers.

Monday Night NFL Picks — What’s our conclusion?

Chicago’s defense is not dominating things like it used to. In recent years, at least we could say that despite sputtering offense, the stop unit could keep them right in the middle of things, but if you look at drive stats, they have allowed more yards per opponent’s possession than all the five teams. Yes, they have managed to get some pressure on the passer, and in fact rank second in the league in sacks percentage, they’ll be missing Khalil Mack, the monster linebacker who is out with a foot injury.

Pittsburgh is no offensive machine, but they will stop Chicago on third downs. And that’s a big key. This is a game where they will grind out drives, and as long as Roethlisberger stays within himself, they should be able to put together a decisive margin. So in a measured recommendation, we are laying the points.

Don’t forget that at BetAnySports, you can make your Monday night NFL picks on dozens and dozens and dozens of propositions through their Prop Builder. And if you like to get a little more value before the game, take advantage of reduced juice and get a better price……. If you haven’t open up an account yet, it’s easy; just use your credit card, and if you’ve got Bitcoin, that transaction is done within minutes, and without a fee!

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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