Week 6 NFL Free Pick - Steelers at Chiefs
NFL Free Pick: Steelers +4.5 at Chiefs (Covers 54.2%)Before you revert to hyperventilating over the Steelers 30-9 loss to the Jaguars, know that 27 of Jacksonville's 30 points came off five turnovers, Blake Bortles was held to 8-14 passing for 95 yards with an interception and Leonard Fournette had rushed 27 times for 91 yards (3.4 YPR) prior to his 90-yard run in garbage time. Jacksonville has scored 74 points off turnovers this season. The Steelers are not bad; Ben Roethlisberger and the offense had a bad game.
Pittsburgh's defense remains among the best in the league. They've allowed just 4.5 YPP (3rd) and are first against the pass (140 PYAPG) with 17 sacks (3rd) and eight takeaways. Opposing teams are converting just 35.9% of their third downs against the Steelers – seventh-lowest rate in the league.
Are the Chiefs due for a nail biter? If their defensive metrics are any indication, the answer may be yes. Kansas City has allowed 5.8 yards per play this season – 27th in the NFL - and 6.0 YPP (351 YPG) over their past three games – ranked 29th. Their pass defense allows 248 yards per game, but opposing quarterbacks are only completing 51.4 percent of their attempts – lowest in the NFL. Perhaps, the Steelers will find a way to get Le'Veon Bell – who only had 15 carries vs. JAX - more involved in the rush game as the Chiefs allow 118 rush yards per game and 4.6 yards per rushing attempt.
Kansas City may be without tight end Travis Kelce who is in concussion protocol. He's accounted for 25% of the Chiefs' receiving yards thus far. With Kelce tagged questionable, we simulated half of the Steelers vs. Chiefs games with him active and half inactive. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt is averaging 6.3 YPR this season, but has watched that dip to 4.8 in Week 4 and 3.7 in Week 5.
According to 50,000 games played by our simulation engine at PredictionMachine.com, Kansas City wins over Pittsburgh 57.2% of the time by an average winning score of 24.8 to 21.9. As a 4.5-point underdog losing by an average of just 2.9 points, Pittsburgh covers the spread 54.2% which would justify a $19 wager for an average $50 bettor.