New Orleans Saints vs Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup Preview - November 13th, 2022

Editor

Sunday the New Orleans Saints (3-6) will battle the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6). Oddsmakers peg the Steelers as the slight favorite with an implied win probablity of 51%, leaving the Saints with a 49% chance to record a win. The current spread is the Steelers -1.0 with a Game Total of 39.5.

Pittsburgh's primary disadvantage this season has been their offense, which has ranked #27 in football with a low 299 yards per game. They've been so ineffective on offense in large part because of their ground attack, clocking in at #30 in the league with just 3.58 yards per carry. The most important component of a strong ground game is a good offensive line. If the line isn't opening up holes and creating space, it doesn't matter how good a team's running backs are. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, their line ranks #8-worst in the league in run blocking. Perhaps because they routinely failt to successfully establish the run, Pittsburgh has also lacked effectiveness through the air. They've scraped together a measly 6.45 yards per target, ranking the bottom 10 in football. When it comes to their defense, the Steelers check in at #29 in football when it comes to total yards allowed per game. Opposing air attacks have notched 285 yards per game against Pittsburgh this year (#30 in football). Opposing ball-carriers have ranked #12 against them with 4.48 yards per ground attempt. This Steelers defense hits their peak effectiveness when it comes to defending opposing running backs, allowing them to complete just 73.3% of their passes (#7-lowest in the league). Pittsburgh's defensive effectiveness bottoms out when it comes to defending opposing wide receivers, who have scorched them for 203 yards per game (#2-worst in the league).

New Orleans's biggest strength has been their defense, ranking #7 in the league while allowing just 326 yards per game. Much of their success has been in locking down the pass game, holding opposing QBs to the #5-least yards per game: 202. The Saints have done the best job shutting down opposing tight ends, holding them to 26 yards per game (#1-best). New Orleans's best position group in coverage has been their linebackers, which rank #3 in the league in locking down route-runners. New Orleans's pass rush has been strong this year, led by their linebackers, which check in as the #4-best unit in terms of getting to the passer. This represents a particular advantage for New Orleans given that the Steelers have struggled so much with their pass game this year, managing just 6.45 yards per target (#6-worst in the league). In terms of their offense, the Saints have ranked #20 in the league in total yards per game. They've passed for 242 yards per game (#14 in football). On the ground they've ranked #25 with 3.97 yards per carry.

New Orleans Saints Insights

  • Andy Dalton has thrown for significantly more yards per game (212.0) this year than he did last year (183.0).

  • The Sharp Model projects Taysom Hill to run for 0.21 touchdowns in this week's contest, on average, putting him in the 100th percentile among wide receivers and tight ends.

Pittsburgh Steelers Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects Kenny Pickett to be a more important option in his team's rushing attack this week (18.4% projected Carry Share) than he has been this year (5.0% in games he has played).

  • Pat Freiermuth has totaled far more air yards this year (54.0 per game) than he did last year (28.0 per game).

  • The New Orleans Saints pass defense has struggled when opposing running backs have gotten into space, allowing an average of 8.54 yards-after-the-catch this year: the 9th-most in the league.

Betting Trends

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have hit the 1H Game Total Under in their last 6 games at home (+6.00 Units / 92% ROI)

  • The New Orleans Saints have hit the 1H Game Total Under in 11 of their last 18 games (+4.00 Units / 19% ROI)

  • Mitchell Trubisky has hit the Rushing Yards Under in his last 4 games (+4.00 Units / 77% ROI)