I scan the NFL odds board weekly for a couple of “locks” I can write about. These best bets are hard to come by, but finding them can prove to be highly valuable.
Heading into Week 13, I only found one game I am confident to add to this list: The Arizona Cardinals on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The two-win Cardinals are just +5½ point underdogs on the road despite having nothing going for them and facing a strong Steelers team. Let’s talk about it.
Steelers Just Make Sense
There are several reasons I think the NFL Las Vegas odds for the Cardinals vs Steelers game on Sunday in Pittsburgh. The highlights are that the 7-4 Steelers are up against a 2-10 NFC team, Pittsburgh’s offense looks better and the Steelers are playing at home in Week 13.
The only thing holding the Steelers back is their 28th-ranked scoring offense and one of the most tepid passing attacks in the NFL. While that might sound like enough to avoid making a bet online for Pittsburgh, its cons pale compared to what’s wrong with the Cardinals.
As for how the Steelers managed to go 7-4 with such a weak offense, they have the fifth-ranked scoring defense in the NFL, allowing just 18.6 points and 1.7 touchdowns per game.
5 Stats to Know following Week 12 in the NFL from @FantasyPtsData
1. Kenny Pickett had a season high 72.7% accurate throw rate in Week 12 without Matt Canada
That is the 5th highest mark for a QB in a single week this season
His previous high was 47.8% in Week 4 pic.twitter.com/CLspCXPzT2
— Chris Wecht (@ChrisWechtFF) November 29, 2023
Regarding the NFL betting results, the Steelers are regularly profitable with a 7-4 ATS record and a return on investment (ROI) of 22.73%. It’s the same story at home at 4-2 against the spread with a 26.82% ROI. While the Cardinals are a decent 6-6 ATS, the team is just 2-4 on the road, with a -36.36% ROI away from home.
The deciding factor for me was the performance that the Steelers’ offense put on last week when they beat the Cincinnati Bengals 16-10. While the final score wasn’t that high, the Steelers posted a season-high 421 yards on offense. This just days after firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The roster move appears to have been a bit of addition by subtraction, and QB Kenny Pickett responded with 278 yards passing.
If the Steelers can maintain that momentum, and the rag-tag coaching staff can keep calling the right plays, watch out for this team in the playoffs. As for now, they should have no trouble handling the lowly Cardinals, with or without Kyler Murray. The return of their starting QB is a big deal, but the Cardinals are 1-2 when he starts and haven’t won a road game all season.
ARI vs PIT Best Bet: Steelers -5½ ( -110)
Questions Of The Day
Which NFL team is the best bet to cover the spread this week?
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who are -5½-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals, are the best bet to cover an NFL spread this week.
Which NFL prop bet is a lock to bet this week?
Dak Prescott will go over 277+ yards (-109) against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.