Steelers vs Vikings Thursday Night Football Bet Preview and Picks

Steelers vs Vikings Thursday Night Football Bet Preview and Picks

Ryan Knuppel
1 year ago
3 min read
Steelers vs Vikings Thursday Night Football Bet Preview and Picks

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings share a common bond this season, as they are the only two teams to play the Detroit Lions this season and not emerge with a win.

This week, the Steelers and Vikings kick off Week 14 of the NFL season against one another on Thursday Night Football. And while the Vikings come into this game as three-point favorites, both teams have proven that they are capable of anything this season, good or bad.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers snapped a two-game losing streak and got their biggest win of the season. That win came against the Baltimore Ravens, who the Steelers beat 20-19 thanks to some late heroics from their passing attack.

Ben Roethlisberger found Dionte Johnson for two touchdowns through the air in the fourth quarter, and the Steelers stopped a two-point conversion attempt by the Ravens at the very end of the game to secure the victory.

This week, the Steelers may not be able to afford to wait until the fourth quarter to get their offense into gear. Minnesota, for all of their faults, does have an effective passing offense that could put the Steelers into a hole.

Pittsburgh will need to come out and play sharp offensive football from the start to avoid a situation where they could be trailing late in another important game to their playoff hopes.

Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings suffered the ultimate embarrassment last week, falling to the previously winless Detroit Lions in Week 13. Minnesota fell behind 20-6 in the first half of that game but fought back to take a 27-23 fourth-quarter lead with less than two minutes to go.

But the Vikings allowed the Lions to move the ball the length of the field in the final two minutes and to score a touchdown on the game’s final play to secure their first win of the season.

If they want to avoid dropping to 5-8 on the season this week, the Vikings have to avoid a slow start of their own. Just like the Steelers, Minnesota was anemic offensively for the first half of their game last week, even against the lowly Lions, scoring just six points in the first 30 minutes of action.

While the Steelers have had their struggles on offense this year, another slow start from the Vikings could be costly given the big play ability of receivers like Diontae Johnson on the other side.

Keys to the Game

Pittsburgh’s top key to winning as an underdog against the Vikings will be slowing down the running game of Minnesota. Dalvin Cook is questionable for this game for the Vikings, but Alexander Mattison is a solid replacement if Cook cannot go.

Pittsburgh will need to stop the run on early downs and force Kirk Cousins to beat them, as that is the best path to victory for any team against Minnesota.

On Minnesota’s side, the biggest key to this game is simply shaking off the embarrassment of last week’s loss to the Lions. A loss like that could really stick with a team, whether they are favored or not in their next game.

Minnesota will need to move on and give their best effort against a Steelers team that has the potential to be dangerous, or the Vikings’ season could start spiraling downward.

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