Betting Splits and NFL Sharp Money Picks for Thursday Night Football: Patriots at Steelers


Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 15-minute podcast posted at 7 a.m. ET highlighting the top games and biggest line moves of the day. For a full breakdown of Tuesday’s betting action be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast at 3 p.m. ET.


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In the meantime, let’s examine where smart money is leaning for Thursday Night Football.


8:15 p.m. ET: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6, 30)

The Patriots (2-10) have lost five straight and just fell to the Chargers 6-0, failing to cover as 4.5-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Steelers (7-5) have dropped two of their last three games and just fell to the Cardinals 24-10, losing outright as 6.5-point home favorites. 

This line opened with the Steelers listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public is happy to fade the Patriots and currently 60% of bets are laying the points with the Steelers at home. However, despite receiving a majority of bets the Steelers haven’t budged off -6. Normally, if a team is receiving nearly two-thirds of bets you would see them move from -6 to -6.5 or -7. The fact this line hasn’t moved signals somewhat of a sharp line freeze on New England, with oddsmakers reluctant to move the spread for fear of giving out a better number to contrarian Patriots bettors.

New England is receiving 40% of bets but 50% of money, a notable sharp contrarian bet split. Several books are juicing up the Patriots +6 to -115, signaling a possible drop down to +5.5. New England also has correlative betting value as a dog in a super low total game, with the fewer amount of expected points scored making it harder for the favorite to cover.

The Steelers are likely a popular teaser play (-6 to a pick’em). Mike Tomlin is 4-0 ATS off a loss this season and 55-39 ATS (59%) off a loss in his career. Favorites are 101-87 ATS (54%) this season overall. Thursday Night home favorites are 89-74 ATS (55%) since 2005. 

Sharps have also hammered the under, dropping the total from as high as 35 all the way down to 30. The under is receiving 83% of bets and 86% of money, indicating heavy under support from both sharp and the betting public. Unders are 110-82 (57%) this season. Primetime unders are 29-12 (71%). Pittsburgh is an NFL-best 10-2 to the under while the Patriots are 9-3 to the under. 

These are two of the worst offenses in the NFL, with the Steelers averaging 16 PPG (28th) and the Patriots averaging 12 PPG (32nd). Conversely, both teams rank in the top half in scoring defense, with the Steelers allowing 19 PPG (6th) and the Patriots 21 PPG (15th). Both teams also rank in the bottom half in pace of play (Steelers 28th and Patriots 21st). 

Weather shouldn’t be an issue, as the forecast calls for high 30s with partly cloudy skies and mild 5 MPH winds.