Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Sports Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Saints vs. Steelers prediction: Bet on low-scoring start in Pittsburgh

Statistics, situation favor a wager on the first-half Under

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett throws a pass during a Week 8 game at Philadelphia. Pickett and the Steelers' offense have scored just 10 touchdowns all season. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett throws a pass during a Week 8 game at Philadelphia. Pickett and the Steelers' offense have scored just 10 touchdowns all season. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Read moreMitchell Leff / Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t defeated the New Orleans Saints since Ben Roethlisberger — who is currently enjoying his first year of retirement following a 16-year career — was a rookie. So making a Saints vs. Steelers prediction should be easy, right?

Not exactly. Because these two formerly dominant franchises that until recently were led by two Hall of Fame quarterbacks are heading downhill faster than an Olympic ski jumper.

Since opening the season with narrow road victories — Pittsburgh 23-20 in overtime at Cincinnati; New Orleans 27-26 at Atlanta — these squads are a combined 3-12 SU and 5-9-1 ATS.

The Saints have lost all three times they’ve left the Big Easy this season (two on the road; one in London), while the Steelers are 1-for-3 at home. And while New Orleans’ porous defense has given up at least 20 points in eight of nine games — including 27 or more in five of its last six — Pittsburgh hasn’t scored more than 20 points since Week 1 in Cincy.

So forgive us for shying away from making a traditional Saints vs. Steelers prediction in what is essentially a pick-em matchup. Instead, our best bet involves a situational play on the first-half total.

Note: Odds updated as of 1:45 p.m. ET on Nov. 11.

Saints vs. Steelers Prediction

  1. Under 20 points, First Half (at Fan Duel)

Saints vs. Steelers Prediction: Analysis

This truly is a clash of opposites — in particular, the Steelers’ anemic offense against the Saints’ olé defense. But plenty of factors suggest the scoreboard operator should be able to nap for much of the first half.

First off, New Orleans is traveling on a short week (having hosted Baltimore on Monday night). So it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Saints’ offense — which scored just 13 points vs. the Ravens — come out sluggish.

» READ MORE: NFL betting trends: Underdogs, Unders continue to pay off

The Steelers, meanwhile, are coming off a bye. But is an extra week of rest really going to ignite an offense led by a struggling rookie quarterback — and offense that has produced 10 touchdowns in eight games? Unlikely. Especially since one of those touchdowns was scored by a wide receiver (Chase Claypool) who ranked second on the team in catches and was within 50 yards of the team lead in receiving yards … until he was traded to Chicago during the bye week.

As for the Saints’ defense, well, we won’t try to put lipstick on this pig. However, we will say that it was just two weeks ago that New Orleans not only blanked the Raiders but didn’t allow the football to cross midfield until three minutes remained in the game.

The Saints’ D also held up decently against the Bucs (20 points allowed) and Panthers (22) — two offenses that comparable to Pittsburgh’s.

In fact, look at the first-half scores in each of those three games: The Saints led Tampa 3-0 and the Las Vegas 17-0 at halftime, and trailed Carolina 13-0. All flew Under the first-half total, as did games against Minnesota (13-7) and Baltimore (14-3).

The first-half scores in Steelers games this season, beginning with Week 1:

17-6 at Cincinnati; 10-3 vs. New England; 14-13 at Cleveland; 10-6 vs. Jets; 31-3 at Buffalo; 10-9 vs. Tampa Bay; 16-10 at Miami; 21-10 at Philadelphia.

Sense a pattern there? All five of Pittsburgh’s road games have soared Over the first-half total; all three home games stayed Under the first-half total.

» READ MORE: How to bet the Eagles, Penn State and Temple games this weekend

On top of that, the Steelers’ offense has delivered just 19 of the 48 first-half points that have been scored in 90 minutes of football this season at Acrisure (formely Heniz) Field.

This one likely will be ugly from start to finish. On what is expected to be chilly, breezy day in Pittsburgh, take the first-half Under at Fan Duel.

Saints vs. Steelers Odds (via Fan Duel):

  1. Full-game point spread: Saints (-1.5) @ Steelers (+1.5)

  2. Full-game moneyline: Saints (-125) @ Steelers (+105)

  3. Full-game total: 40 points

  4. First-half point spread: Saints (-0.5, +100) @ Steelers (+0.5, -120)

  5. First-half moneyline: Saints (-120) @ Steelers (-102)

  6. First-half total: 20 points

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.