The Vikings (5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS) need a bounce-back performance after a devastating defeat at Detroit to preserve their faint playoff aspirations. It won’t be easy playing the revitalized Steelers (6-5-1, 5-7), who upset Baltimore last Monday and have covered 13 of their past 18 road games.
Minnesota’s past nine games have all been decided by a single possession, and the short line in this match suggests another tight finish is on deck. Pittsburgh has covered 11 of its past 14 as an underdog of 3.5 points or more at Pittsburgh online gambling sites.
The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster for Pittsburgh fans, to say the least. After being embarrassed for 41 points in back-to-back games, the Steelers responded with a huge 20-19 win over Baltimore last Sunday that kept their faint playoff hopes alive.
The hero of the game was unquestionably linebacker T.J. Watt, who recorded three sacks against the Ravens and pressured Lamar Jackson into an incomplete pass on Baltimore‘s two-point conversion attempt in the dying seconds despite not practicing all week due to COVID-19 procedures. Watt has a 14-12 record this season when the Steelers are 6-2 SU. When he doesn’t play, they’re 0-3-1 against the spread.
Even with a 6-5-1 record, the Steelers may be vulnerable for an emotional letdown after their dramatic triumph against Baltimore. Pittsburgh has also been inconsistent in recent weeks under the lights, going 1-5 ATS in its past six prime-time outings.
The Vikings are in danger of falling out of the NFC playoff picture for the second time this season after a 1-3 SU start. Minnesota has dropped two straight and four of its past six games, and last Sunday’s 29-27 defeat at Detroit may have been the most gut-wrenching loss yet.
Minnesota Vikings’ player Adam Thielen left the game early. He hurt his ankle and it is not going to get better in three days. An injury like this can make a team lose. This is good for Justin Jefferson’s fantasy football players though because he has more catches now.
Alexander Mattison had a productive day for fantasy owners, rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown while catching 34 more. Without Dalvin Cook in Minnesota’s three games this year, Mattison has averaged about 30 touches per game, and he’ll likely start again Thursday with Cook most likely still out due to a shoulder problem.
Watt’s return adds an entirely new dynamic to the Steelers’ defense, and his presence can force Cousins into some costly mistakes. Minnesota has only covered one of its last 10 games when favored, and a three-day rest may be difficult following its devastating loss in Detroit.
The Vikings have led by at least six points in each of their games this season, only to allow the opposition back into the game by playing too soft on defense. If Minnesota grows from its blunders last week and maintains the heat on Ben Roethlisberger, they should win comfortably.