Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals Betting Preview
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the stories of the year in the NFL, as they lost a majority of their starting lineup on the offensive side of the ball.
Date: Sunday, December 8th, 2019
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook – Sign up for a $200 free bet
Ben Roethlisberger went down early in the season, James Conner has missed games left and right, and Juju Smith-Schuster has been out for a few weeks now.
Despite all that, the Steelers are 7-5 and are currently sitting in the final AFC Wild Card spot for the playoffs.
Pittsburgh will be headed west Sunday to take on the Arizona Cardinals, who are reeling at this point in the season. Let’s break down the matchup between these two teams.
Hodges Is All The Rage
Mason Rudolph had been starting in place of Roethlisberger all season long. Rudolph had been serviceable for most of the season but had been absolutely abhorrent the last two weeks of the season.
In comes Devlin Hodges, who is commonly referred to as Duck. Duck Hodges has been winning games, and Pittsburgh fans adore the kid.
He has made a difference for the Steelers, but their defense has been what has carried them. Both Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt have been electric in their pass rush and have really changed the way they can play.
The Steelers also most famously traded a first-round pick to Miami for Minkah Fitzpatrick, who has transformed the Steelers secondary to make them one of the best in the entire NFL.
There’s a lot to love with the Steelers defense, as they have forced 29 turnovers through the 12 games they have played this season.
Hodges might not be the long-term answer for this team, but he can go out and manage the game and limit his mistakes, letting the defense do its work.
Arizona Is Nothing More Than A Tweener
When the year started, fans were excited to see the first overall selection of the 2019 NFL Draft, Kyler Murray, with the Arizona Cardinals.
Murray was ready to be the savior for the franchise, which has struggled in the latter part of the decade. The Cardinals have not put together a winning season in a few years.
Murray got off to a rough start but then put together a three-game winning streak early on in the season. Things were looking up, but since then, the Cardinals have imploded and now sit at a record of 3-8-1.
It will take more than a miracle to break this five-game losing streak, as the Cardinals had only 81 yards of offense through three quarters in their latest loss.
The Cardinals have a situation at running back, where they just have too many players. They opened the year with David Johnson and added in Chase Edmonds after a Johnson injury.
About halfway through the season, they traded with the Dolphins for Kenyan Drake. With these three backs, there is no clear No. 1. Figuring this out will help the Cardinals to establish their rhythm for the rest of this season and future seasons.
Even with all of the Steelers’ problems this season, they still find themselves being the favorite in this contest. Pittsburgh is a 2.5-point favorite over the Cardinals.
Hodges may not be the truth, but with the Steelers defense behind him, he will be able to manage the game for the Steelers to win.
I think the Cardinals are struggling too much, and going against an elite defense is not the answer to put them ahead. I’m going with the Steelers in this matchup, as I think their defense will score to help put them ahead.
Make sure you lock in your bets before kickoff!
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