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  • Although Pittsburgh is hot, the Broncos have performed well against elite competition the past few weeks.
By Scott Gramling
November 20, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (+3.5)

Sun. 11/25, 4:25 p.m. ET

Four things you need to know before betting on Steelers-Broncos:

1. The Steelers put their seven-game win streak on the line against a Denver squad that has made significant strides the past few weeks. The Broncos have gone 4-1 against the spread over their past five games. The recent stretch, which includes ATS wins as an underdog against three of the NFL’s top teams, started with the Broncos keeping it close against the Rams in a 23-20 loss as a seven-point underdog in Week 7. After a 45-10 Thursday night thrashing of the Cardinals four days later, the Broncos handed the Chiefs their first ATS loss of the season in a 30-23 defeat in Arrowhead Stadium in Week 9. Denver then came off a bye this past Sunday and scored a 23-22 victory as a seven-point underdog against a Chargers squad that had lost only to the Chiefs and Rams, both within the season’s first three weeks. Denver’s lone ATS loss in its last five games was a two-point defeat as a one-point favorite against a Houston team that enters Week 12 on a seven-game win streak.

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2. While Pittsburgh has not lost a game since September, the team has yet to win a game on the road this season by more than one score. After opening the season with a tie in Cleveland against a Browns team that sits at 3-6-1 through 10 games, the Steelers narrowly escaped Tampa Bay in Week 3 with a three-point victory over a Buccaneers squad whose lone win since then is an overtime victory at home over Cleveland. Pittsburgh comes into this one off a 20-16 victory over a Jacksonville team that the Steelers trailed 16-0 late in the third quarter last week before coming back to win. With Jacksonville also sitting at 3-7 through 10 games, that's two narrow wins and a tie versus teams with a combined record of 9-20-1 this season. One of the primary factors in the Steelers failing to dominate weaker opponents on the road this season has been Pittsburgh's offense turning the ball over twice as many times on the road (10) as at Heinz Field (five) in the same number of games (five) this season.

3. While the Broncos rushed for 108 yards on only 19 carries in their win over the Chargers this past Sunday, the team will likely opt to run the ball more frequently against a Pittsburgh defense that was shredded by the Jaguars for 179 yards on the ground. The Steelers, meanwhile, are coming off a season-low 26 rushing yards on 11 carries (2.4 per rush) and have to face a Denver run defense that has held opponents to 77.8 rushing yards per game on 3.2 yards per carry over the past four games.

4. The Steelers have not fared well in the high altitude recently, dropping four of their last five games in Denver. In the last three visits (all since 2012), Pittsburgh has averaged less than 20 points per game and lost each of the three meetings by more than five points. The Broncos have also stepped up as a home underdog in the past four seasons, going 7-3 against the spread when getting points at Broncos Stadium. The only one of those seven wins that was not also a straight-up victory was the three-point defeat on Oct. 14 to a Rams team that boasts the NFL’s best record through the season’s first 11 weeks.

Pick: Denver +3.5

Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

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