Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans NFL Football Odds: Texans -4 O/U 45 Sunday, October 2, 2011 1 PM CBS By: Mike Cooper CALL NOW 1-888-730-2667 Both the Texas and the Steelers are at 2-1 and in first place in their respective divisions. The Texans have had a great offense for the last few seasons, but this season under new defensive head coordinator Wade Phillips Houston is starting to play some defense. Their pass defense ranks 11 th in the league, which is a vast improvement over last season even though they gave up 354 passing yards in last week’s loss. Pittsburgh’s passing offense is playing well, but their rushing offense only ranks 23rd in the league. Last week the Steelers beat the Indianapolis Colts 23-20 while the Texans lost a 40-33 barnburner to the New Orleans Saints. The Steelers are 1-2 ATS with an Over/Under record of 2-1 and the Texans are at 2-1 ATS with an Over/Under record of 1-2. The Texans rushing offense, which ranks 5th in the league, has played well with rookie Ben Tate have 2 100+ yard rushing games in the 3 games this season. The run attack may be even better this Sunday with last season’s rushing leader Adrian Foster back after missing most of the first 3 games with a hamstring injury. The Steelers need to get back to stuffing the run. Matt Schaub is having another good season and he has, perhaps, the best WR in the game in Andre Johnson (21 rec 316 yards 2 TD). If the Steelers can pressure Schaub up front and if their top-ranked passing offense can contain Johnson they will be in good shape, as the next leading receiver is FB James Casey with only 8 catches. While the Steelers rank #1 in opponents passing yards per game they have faced the Seahawks and a Peyton Manning-less Colts’ team last week. Ben Roethlisberger (942 yards) leads the Steelers and their 8 th ranked passing offense, but he has more INT (4) than TD (3). Mike Wallace (21 rec 377 yards 2 TD) is his main target, but the key for the Steelers passing offense is the play of their offensive line, which is dealing with injuries and must keep Mario Williams (2 sacks) and Antonio Smith (3 sacks) off Big Ben in the backfield. RB Rashard Mendenhall (148 yards 1 TD) has not been running the ball well and he is only averaging a weak 3 yards per carry this season. He will be facing a Texans’ run defense that ranks 17th in the league.
In some betting trends for this AFC match up the Steelers are e 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss, and has an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 road games. The Texans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite and they have an Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite. Get NFL Picks against the spread all season long absolutely free.