Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview

Week 14 of the NFL season begins tonight with a Thursday night clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings.

Both teams are currently on the outside of the playoff picture in their respective conferences and need a win to jumpstart a playoff push down the stretch. At home, the Vikings are listed as three-point favorites, with the over/under set at 43.5 points.

The Vikings might consider themselves to be at rock bottom after last week’s loss to the Lions. On top of that, Minnesota has lost four of six overall, dropping them to 5-7 on the season. However, the Vikings remain one of five teams in the NFC that are within one game of a playoff spot.

Likewise, the Steelers are just a game out of the final playoff spot in the AFC after last week’s win over the Ravens. Pittsburgh got a stop on a two-point conversion at the end of that game to snap a three-game winless streak. As a result, the Steelers are still within striking distance of the Ravens at the top of the division but have a tough schedule down the stretch.


Despite last week’s win, the Steelers have scored 20 or fewer or points in four of their last six games, as their offense continues to be limited. Diontae Johnson has emerged as a top-flight wide receiver, while Chase Claypool has occasionally been a worthy no. 2 receiver. However, the Steelers still have one of the worst rushing attacks in the league, while Ben Roethlisberger is still limited throwing the ball downfield, averaging just 6.6 yards per pass.

On the other side of the ball, the jury is still out on the Pittsburgh defense after giving up 41 points to both the Chargers and Bengals in recent weeks. T.J. Watt returned to the lineup last week and saved the day with 3.5 of the team’s seven sacks. But there are still concerns on that side of the ball, especially with the defensive line banged up.

Missing Ingredients

Outside of the embarrassment of losing to the Lions, injuries might be Minnesota’s biggest issue this week. Running back Dalvin Cook missed last week’s game and is questionable for Thursday’s game while Adam Thielen will be unavailable. The silver lining is that Alexander Mattison is a suitable backup for Cook while Kirk Cousins has managed to play consistently and largely mistake-free football this year.

Defensively, there are also injuries, most notably Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. Those two have combined for 11 of the team’s 36 sacks this season, so without them, there are concerns about how the Minnesota defense will pressure Roethlisberger without having to blitz. It doesn’t help that the Vikings have given up 29.6 points per game over their last five games.

Sail Away

While the Vikings have defensive shortcomings, the Steelers may not have the firepower to take advantage of them. Despite some missing pieces on offense, the Vikings might be able to force the Steelers into a shootout, which is the last thing that Pittsburgh wants.

Bet on the Vikings to bounce back from last week’s embarrassing loss and cover against the Steelers.

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