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Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Point Spread - Pick

Green Bay Packers (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, November 26, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: GB +14/PIT -14
Over/Under Total: 41.5

The Green Bay Packers come to Heinz Field for a week 12 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers last played on Thursday night, beating the Titans, 40-17, for their fifth straight win. At 8-2, they look to set up a deep playoff run with a strong final push beginning with the Packers. On Sunday, the Packers were blanked at home, 23-0, by the Baltimore Ravens. At 5-5, they now seem to have less hope than teams with even worse won-loss records. Following a semi-promising road win against Chicago the previous week, Sunday's loss to a 4-5 Baltimore bunch was a bit of a reality sandwich for a team that appears to be highly-dysfunctional in the absence of Rodgers. Can they possibly come up with the right formula and be competitive in this spot?

The Steelers took a while to hit their highest gears this season, but they appear to be in a groove with five straight wins, which includes four covers. Their win over the Titans on Thursday was a comprehensive win that suggests the Steelers are as good as they've been this season thus far. For weeks, their offense labored, as it was the defense that was doing most of the heavy lifting in their wins. After scoring more than 20 points just twice in their last 7 games, the 40 points they put up shows the offense could be getting in a groove. Now nice and dug-in at home, they look to keep it going against Green Bay this week.

Ben Roethlisberger was really good last week against the Titans on 30-for-45 passing with 299 yards and 4 touchdowns with no picks. Le'Veon Bell wasn't that dominant on the ground, but all told, his 46 rushing yards and nine receptions were useful. Big Ben connected massively with Antonio Brown, who had 10 catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Jesse James caught the other score. Roethlisberger worked well with JuJu Smith-Schuster, with Martavis Bryant getting back into the fold with a few catches. One game does not undo all the concerns, but with this defense, a Pittsburgh offense that is at least somewhat on-point could really pay off.

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Thursday showed a Pittsburgh defense that is excelling. They have been very stout and are giving up an average of just 16.5 points a game. Their secondary has been rigid, while also making a lot of big plays, though losing Joe Haden for the time being could hurt. On Thursday, they picked Mariota off four times and he had never even thrown three picks in a game before. Robert Golden, Cody Sensabaugh, Mike Hilton, and Sean Davis each had interceptions on the night. The line has been very disruptive and on Thursday, Casey Heyward had two sacks, with Stephon Tuitt adding a lot of pressure. TJ Watt and Ryan Shazier are major impact-guys, with LB Vince Williams really stepping up this season. For as much hype as people put on the offense, it looks like the "D" might be the shining light of the team.

The Packers are 1-4 in their last five and haven't covered the spread in any of those losses. Other than a win over a so-so Chicago bunch, they haven't been terribly-competitive. On Sunday, five turnovers were costly. The defense tried to hang in there, but with the Packers turning over the ball and not sustaining drives, they could only do so much. And holding Baltimore to 23 in those conditions actually wasn't altogether bad. And again, not all is a lost cause at 5-5, but if looking for teams around the ,500 mark to close the season on a big run, Green Bay is toward the bottom of the list of candidates.

To put it bluntly, the Packers are going to have to get better play at quarterback. With three picks, that was Brett Hundley's second three-interception game of the season. And he's not getting the touchdowns to go along with it, with only two in five starts. He hasn't been connecting at all with Jordy Nelson, even if Davante Adams is getting some good production with 126 yards on Sunday. They are depending on Jamaal Williams for a run-game and the results are mixed at best. And with an offensive line that is missing key people, the source for optimism on this side of the ball is hard to locate.

The Green Bay defense hasn't been terribly solid this season. To call them average would be charitable. Still, in the last two games, they haven't been bad. The effort has been there. With Clay Matthews getting a sack on Sunday, with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepting a pass, they are starting to see some of their big names start to live up to the billing. Matthews, however, left the gme with a groin injury and we'll check his status as the week progresses. At their best, they have the tools to be a halfway-stout, pass-rushing, and big play making group. And it might be less of a surprise than what some might think if they turn up in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football and perform capably.

This game casts two teams in completely-opposite roles. On one hand, you have the streaking Steelers, winners of five straight. Then you have the depleted Packers, without their top guy and floundering as a result. They're coming off a shutout loss at home to a team that isn't making a lot of headlines. It could establish a storyline that is too extreme in favor of Pittsburgh. Make no mistake—this is a highly-problematic spot in which to expect Green Bay to thrive. I just see them hanging in there a little bit and covering the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Green Bay Packers plus 14 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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