The Steelers host the Buffalo Bills this Sunday in Pittsburgh. Here’s why experts are so divided on their predictions this week.
The 8-5 Steelers are hosting the 9-4 Bills this weekend in a contest that oddsmakers and NFL experts believe is up in the air. In many ways, these two teams are mirror images of each other, and it’s highly improbable that we see a blowout from either side.
When it came time for NFL experts, analysts, and radio personalities to make their weekly predictions, the prognosis was mainly split down the middle. According to NFL Pick Watch, 57 percent of experts are taking the Steelers to win this weekend while 43 percent believe Buffalo will emerge victorious.
This is the closest margin of expert predictions this week and one of the narrowest margins of predictions since the Raiders hosted the Chargers in Week 10. There is some compelling evidence why this may be the case.
Both teams possess top five defensive units. While the Bills have allowed 16.3 points per game to opponents all season, the Steelers are closing the gap – allowing just 15.7 points per game over their last 10 contests.
Offensively, both teams rely on a solid dose of the run game and lack a true threat in the passing attack. They also have young quarterbacks who have done a good job not turning the ball over this season. Devlin Hodges has 2 interceptions in his first 80 career attempts (though one likely was not his fault), while Bills quarterback Josh Allen remarkably has just 1 interception over his last 8 games.
This could be an incredibly close contest and it’s possible that the winner could be decided by which team wins the turnover battle. While Buffalo has been as good as any team at not giving the ball away, Pittsburgh has been the best in the league at taking it from offenses this season. If the Steelers can’t create a turnover this weekend, they will be forced to rely on their offense to outperform their usual expectations.
In a battle of two great defenses, this is a game that could be decided by as little as two scores. Gaining an early lead could be huge for the Steelers. The winner of this contest will own a head-to-head tiebreaker as these two teams look to fill the wildcard spots in the AFC.