Steelers 49ers Betting – Steelers, 49ers Clash Under Monday Night Spotlight
Over the past couple of weeks, Monday Night Football has been host to some of the league’s most miserable teams, from the Jacksonville Jaguars, to the St. Louis Rams, with neither of the past two matchups featuring a team that was holding down a playoff spot at the time. That will change this Monday as the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers travel to the west coast to take on the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers in a battle of division leaders that are fighting for home field advantage and a first-round bye in their respective divisions with the Steelers listed as sports betting underdogs.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ersMonday December 19, 2011 – 8:35 PM ET
Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
NFL Betting Lines: San Francisco – 1.5
While the Steelers have gotten over a slow start as the defending AFC champions, they are still in a fight with the Baltimore Ravens for top spot in their division after dropping both contests to their biggest rival earlier in the year. The 49ers on the other hand are alone at the top of the NFC West after a surprising start, but look to finish strong as they work toward the next goal on their list for this season.
NFL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers
Four straight wins have allowed the Steelers to keep pace with Baltimore, even though they dropped both games against the Ravens already. Pittsburgh will play two of its final three on the road, but this next game will be their biggest challenge as the 49ers are the lone club left on their schedule with a winning record. The Steelers have won games in a variety of different ways this year, but the offense may have to pick up the slack a bit as they will be without linebacker James Harrison. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn’t practice, but he has said that he hopes to play, and the extra day of rest should help him.
NFL Betting Preview: San Francisco 49ers
While injuries aren’t a concern in San Francisco, head coach Jim Harbaugh may have to keep an eye on any possible complacency that could creep in to the picture, as his team has now dropped two of its last three, including a fourth quarter meltdown at Arizona last week. The 49ers allowed John Skelton to throw for 282 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the final frame of a 21-19 loss. Part of the problem has been the struggles of running back Frank Gore, who hasn’t rushed for more than 88 yards in any of his last five games, and will be in tough to hit that mark again when he lines up against one of the best defenses in the NFL.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
For as much as Harbaugh and his team deserve credit for all they have done so far this year, San Francisco did not look good in losses to Arizona and Baltimore over the past three weeks, and those struggles could be highlighted under the MNF spotlight this week. The Steelers come to town in a dogfight with the Ravens, who beat the 49ers 16-6 three weeks ago, and will lay it all out there for the opportunity to at least keep pace with Baltimore at the top of the AFC North even though they are considered underdogs according to the sportsbook line.NFL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers