When the Bills (9-4) travel to the Steelers Championship (8-5) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 pm ET) in the NFL Week 15 penultimate game, it will be a matchup of both teams for wild-card play-offs for 2019.
Buffalo and Pittsburgh look like they are making the tournament some way behind New England and Baltimore in their respective divisions. But while the winner can almost guarantee a point, the loser will sweat a lot more in the last two weeks of the regular season.
Here’s how we see the crucial game of the conference possibly playing in the championship:
MORE: Get the latest NFL odds on Sports Insider
‘Fifth Autumn’ betting odds
- Hearsay: Select them
- Total points: 37
- Chance: Bills -105, Steelers -115
The Steelers opened as a two-point favorite per Sports Insider, and the line fell four and a half times to make this game a complete one. The bills were sprinting as a light way to close the gap, despite the game being played at Heinz Field.
Bills against Steelers of all time
The Steelers are 16-9 in opposition, winning six straight games back in 2001. They have also won 10 of their last 11 meetings. When the Bills played their last Steelers game in 2016, they lost 27-20 at home. Accounts have never been won at Heinz Field.
Three trends we need to know
– Sixty-one percent of successor bets such as accounts. Sixty-two percent of moneyline bets like accounts.
– 54% of players like the game to pass the whole low point. Only 3 of the 13 account games have passed. Only 3 of the 13 Steelers games have passed.
– Bills are 8-4-1 against spread. The Steelers are 7-4-2 against the spread. Something he will need to give here.
MORE: NFL Playoff Picture: Updated AFC, NFC Standings for Week 15
Three things to look out for
James Conner is coming back
The Steelers have really missed their second year back, which is finally good to go back from a shoulder injury. He has to split the job as they try not to get over it, but struggle to find consistency with the backfield, both with the power of Benny Snell and the reception of Jaylen Samuels. If he looks strong against any of the vulnerable forces running the bills, he could end up pushing 20 touchdowns as Pittsburgh looks to get out of the game.
Josh Allen against the Steelers’ pass defense
Allen had one of his worst home games this season against the Ravens last week. The degree of difficulty put here against a more tough Steelers defense this week. Rushing can cause him many problems and their deep secondary hunting against limited receivers. Allen has to dig deep, make some hard shots and get good points to run to help the accounts win.
The kick game
The Bills and Steelers are required to play a low-scoring game with the offenses fighting for two very good defenses. This game could easily trigger a long field goal, a big field goal gap, a monster return or a turnover in transition. The team that is more stable in the third phase will probably win the game.
MORE: What is Bills vs. Steelers;
Stat that matters
Steelers undrafted quarterback Devlin Hodges has gone 3-0 in his first three career starts. “Duck” has avoided turnovers. He has completed 71.3 percent of his passes with four touchdowns in just two interceptions. He has averaged a healthy 8.5 yards per attempt with a score of 103.2. He has done exactly what coach Mike Tomlin wanted as a third string: great games when needed without major mistakes.
Provision of accounts against the Steelers
The defenses of the Bill and Steelers will be reinforced by the emotions and consequences of the game. Players should be careful with the ball and take advantage of limited scoring opportunities. As Pittsburgh’s game recedes without JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald again, he will lean on Conner and run to supplement the defense long enough to pull it out.
Steelers 20, Bills 17