- The Pittsburgh Steelers and LA Chargers square off on Sunday Night Football (8:20pm ET, Oct. 13)
- The 2-3 Chargers are 6.5-point home favorites, and four of their five games have gone under the total
- Get the odds, our pick, and all the info you need to bet the game below
The Pittsburgh Steelers and LA Chargers clash on Sunday Night Football (8:20pm ET, Oct. 13) in what feels like a must-win game for both teams. The Steelers have won just once in their first five contests, while the Chargers have dropped two straight.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs LA Chargers Odds
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+245||+6.5 (-109)||Over 41.5 (-109)|
|LA Chargers||-290||-6.5 (-109)||Under 41.5 (-109)|
*All odds taken 10/13/19
Our Steelers vs Chargers odds show that the opening line of LA -6.5 has held steady all week, while the total has climbed half a point. The Steelers have covered in each of their last three games, while the Chargers are 1-4 against the number. Both teams have failed to live up to lofty offensive expectations which has resulted in three of Pittsburgh’s five games going under the total, and four of LA’s five.
Who is Devlin Hodges?
The biggest reason for the Steelers offensive struggles has been the loss of Ben Roethlisberger. The future Hall of Famer has been out since the second game of the season, and now backup Mason Rudolph is as well paving the way for Devlin Hodges’ first career start.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 9, 2019
The undrafted rookie out of Samford threw for over 4,000 yards in college last season en route to winning the Walter Payton award for the FCS’ top player. He completed 7-of-9 attempts in relief against the Ravens in Week 5 and now faces a Chargers D that has allowed the ninth fewest points in the NFL..
— NFL (@NFL) October 6, 2019
Many believe that the drop off from Rudolph to Hodges isn’t that severe, but it should be noted that the Pittsburgh offense hasn’t exactly been flourishing. For Hodges to be successful, he’ll need the Steelers running game to take some pressure off his shoulders, but that might be a lot to ask. They’re averaging just 67 rushing yards per game, and James Conner hasn’t exceeded 55 yards on the ground all season. Pittsburgh is averaging just 19.8 points per game this season, and they’ll be hard pressed to reach that total Sunday night.
The Steel Curtain
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers defense is going to make life miserable for Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Pittsburgh ranks third in sacks and QB hits and has held opposing pivots to an average of just 203 yards over their last three outings.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 6, 2019
They’re limiting enemy running backs to 3.95 yards per carry and lead the league in tackles for loss. Since acquiring Minka Fitzpatrick prior to Week 3, they’ve forced 8 turnovers and have held opposing offenses to under 18 points per game. Rather than force the ball to Melvin Gordon, like they did last week, LA would be better suited to get Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen in favorable matchups.
The Steelers struggle with pass catching running backs and slot receivers, as they’ve allowed the sixth most RB receptions and a 72% catch rate on slot targets. Unfortunately it’s no guarantee that the Chargers will expose these mismatches which is another reason why the under is squarely in play.
Expect a Low Scoring Affair
The difference between these two teams is likely less than 6.5 points but it’s hard to back Pittsburgh without seeing more of Hodges first. For that reason the total is much more enticing and if we expect both offenses to struggle, under 41.5 is the best bet on the board.