The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1, 2-3 away) clash with the Minnesota Vikings (5-7, 3-2 home) in a Thursday Night Football matchup between interleague opponents.
Pittsburgh comes into the short week after a 20-19 victory over Baltimore on Sunday, and the Vikings are reeling after dropping their second contest in a row to the winless Detriot Lions.
Thursday’s kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. EST inside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, M.N. Minnesota is a 3-point favorite over the Steelers, and the over-under total is at 43.5 points.
What to Know – Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh snapped a two-game skid with Sunday’s one-point victory over the Ravens and maintain an outside shot at a playoff bid. The Steelers are just a game in half outside of the lead in the AFC North.
The Steelers churn out 20.3 points per game behind an offense that generates 336.9 yards of offense. Pittsburgh’s defense surrenders 23.8 points per game and allows opponents to average 382.9 yards of offense.
Baltimore scored late and went for the win in Sunday’s matchup, but a throw off the hands of tight end Mark Andrews secured a pivotal victory for the Steelers to keep them in the playoff hunt. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was sacked seven times.
Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of touchdown passes, and rookie running back Najee Harris carried the ball 21 times for 71 yards and added five receptions for 36 yards. Diontae Johnson hauled in eight passes for 105 yards, including both touchdown throws from Big Ben.
Pittsburgh is 5-7 against the spread this year with a 2-5 mark away from home. The Steelers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games against NFC opponents.
What to Know – Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota took one on the chest last week in a last-second loss to a Detroit Lions team squad that hadn’t won a game this season. Now two games below .500, the Vikings’ playoff chances are plummeting with each passing week.
Offensively, the Vikings score 25.7 points per contest on 395.6 yards from scrimmage. The Vikings’ defense allows 25.4 points per game and gives up 402.8 yards of offense to opponents.
Jared Goff fired a pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown in the end zone as time expired to hand the Vikings their second loss in as many weeks and a blow to their playoff hopes. Minnesota controlled the time of possession and won the turnover battle but could not make the plays it needed late to win the game.
Kirk Cousins dropped back 40 times and threw for 340 yards with a pair of touchdown throws. Alexander Mattison, filling in for the injured Dalvin Cook, rushed 22 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a day, catching 11 passes for 182 yards and a score.
Minnesota is 6-6 ATS with a 2-3 record inside U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings are 0-5 ATS in their last five games played in December.
The Pick is In
After Sunday’s loss, Minnesota was dealt another blow with wide receiver Adam Thielen ruled out for Thursday’s contest with an ankle injury. Add a questionable tag to running back Dalvin Cook, and the Vikings could be without two of their top offensive pieces.
Pittsburgh continues to fight for postseason big in what appears to be Roestlisberger’s last season under center. The Steelers can win this, but we will gladly take the points against a banged-up Vikings team.
Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +3