Sunday Night Football features the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3-1, 2-1 away) on the West Coast battling the Los Angeles Chargers (4-5, 2-3 home) in a pivotal AFC matchup for both franchises. These two teams hadn’t played since 2019, when the Steelers won here, 24-17. The Steelers lead the all-time series, 24-10.
Sunday’s kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. EST inside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. The Chargers are 5.5-point favorites in the AFC showdown, and the over-under total is at 47.5 points.
What to Know – Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh is expected to get veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back under center for Sunday’s contest. Roethlisberger missed last week’s game against the Lions due to COVD-19 protocols. The Steelers are in a logjam in the AFC North, with all four teams within two games of each other.
Pittsburgh’s offense has been underwhelming in 2021, averaging only 19.7 points per game behind 342.2 yards of total offense. The defense is improved, holding opponents to 20.6 points and 367.3 yards of offense.
The Steelers ended last week’s game in a rare tie against the Detriot Lions. In Roethlisberger’s absence, Mason Rudolph got the start, completing 30-of-50 passes for 242 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Rookie running back Najee Harris continues to make a claim for AFC Rookie of the Year, totaling 133 yards from scrimmage.
The Steelers are 3-6 against the spread this season and 2-1 ATS on the road. The total has gone under in six of Pittsburgh’s last nine contests.
What to Know – Los Angeles Chargers
The status of many players on the Chargers’ roster was also up in the air heading into the weekend due to COVID. Key defender Joey Bosa was on that list but was taken off Saturday after five days of negative tests. Los Angeles needs this win after dropping three of their last four.
Los Angeles scores 24.3 points and produces 383.0 yards of offense per contest. On defense, the Chargers are surrendering 25.3 points and 374.3 yards of offensive production.
In last week’s 27-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, quarterback Justin Herbert completed 20-of-34 passes for 195 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. All-purpose running back Austin Ekeler was contained to 44 yards on the ground and 15 yards through the air but did score his ninth touchdown of the season.
Los Angeles is 5-4 ATS this year and 2-3 ATS on their home turf. The total has gone under in six of the Chargers’ last eight home games.
The Pick is In
The AFC is filled with teams with similar records as we begin to hit the latter part of the season, making every contest important. Pittsburgh is missing some critical pieces of defense, and it’ll be up to Herbert and the Chargers’ offense to capitalize.
Roethlisberger hasn’t looked great this year, and it is hard to project him playing well after limited practice this week. There will be some rust to shake off, and we think both these teams produce a low-scoring contest in prime-time Sunday night.
Betting Pick: Steelers/Chargers UNDER 47.5