Pittsburgh will be looking to buck the trends when it faces Los Angeles in the primetime game
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be trying to put the brakes on a five-game straight-up losing steak on the road when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers this weekend on Sunday Night Football as 7-point road underdogs on the NFL betting odds.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 26-23 overtime loss to the division-rival Baltimore Ravens as a 3-point home underdog last weekend, dumping the squad’s record to 1-4 SU going into Sunday night’s matchup at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Last Sunday’s loss marked the fourth time this season that Pittsburgh has surrendered 24 or more points. However, the Steelers defense continued to show signs of improvement against Baltimore, limiting the high-powered Ravens to just 277 total yards, and has now allowed just 226 total yards per game over their past two outings.
And despite enduring their worst start since opening the 2013 NFL football season on a 1-4 SU run, the Steelers have also emerged as a steady bet over the past three weeks, going 2-0-1 against the spread over their past three contests. That run includes an ATS win in their most recent road contest, a 24-20 loss in San Francisco as 6-point underdogs in Week 3.
Pittsburgh has failed to rise to the occasion in recent appearances on Sunday Night Football, as the Steelers have posted SU losses in each of their past three appearances. That run includes a 33-30 loss to the Chargers on home turf in Week 13 of last season, followed by an embarrassing 33-3 loss to the New England Patriots as 5.5-point road underdogs on the NFL lines to open their 2019 schedule.
However, the Steelers have otherwise enjoyed success when playing on the road in prime time, going 8-2 in 10 appearances since 2014, and have held opponents to 16 or fewer points in three of their past six. Pittsburgh has also produced steady results in recent dates with the Chargers, picking up the win in 14 of 19 overall meetings since 1989, including a 4-2 SU record in six road dates during that stretch.
Chargers Fell as Betting Chalk in Week 5 Contest
The Chargers make their first Sunday Night Football appearance of the season in search of answers after falling 20-13 to the visiting Denver Broncos as 4.5-point home chalk on the NFL betting lines on Sunday. With the loss, Los Angeles has now come up short in two straight home dates, and has tumbled to third in the AFC West standings with a 2-3 record.
The slow start has devastated Los Angeles on the NFL odds, with the team tumbling to a distant +4500 bet to win the Super Bowl, well back of their peak at +1200 following a 30-24 win over Indianapolis in Week 1.
With their fans often getting outnumbered by visiting team supporters, the Chargers have struggled at times on home turf since relocating to Dignity Health Sports Park for the 2017 season. Los Angeles sports a middling 3-4 SU record in its past seven home dates, and has regularly disappointed bettors by going 2-7-1 ATS in 10 home contests since the start of last season.
The Chargers have also been an NFL betting disappointment when favored by a touchdown or more on home turf. While the team has earned the SU win in 12 of 13 home contests while favored by seven or more points, they have covered the NFL spread just once in their past six. Not surprisingly, point production has also been an issue at times when the Chargers play at home, with the team scoring 20 or fewer points in three of their past four.
Also of concern is the recent performance of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. The 37-year-old generated just 211 passing yards in last weekend’s loss while failing to find the end zone, and has now thrown for more than one TD just twice in his past five home dates.
*Odds as of October 10, 2019