NFL Week 13 Betting Preview: Saints at Steelers

At a paltry 4-7, the struggling New Orleans Saints nonetheless inexplicably lead the NFC South.  On the other hand, the 7-4 Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for last place in the AFC North.  The two teams will face off on Sunday in Pittsburgh (1 pm Eastern on FOX) in a battle for division positioning heading into the last quarter of the season.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Antonio_brown_vs_coty_sensabaugh.jpg

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, 52 o/u)

At a paltry 4-7, the struggling New Orleans Saints nonetheless inexplicably lead the NFC South.  On the other hand, the 7-4 Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for last place in the AFC North.  The two teams will face off on Sunday in Pittsburgh (1 pm Eastern on FOX) in a battle for division positioning heading into the last quarter of the season.

The Saints need a victory in the worst way to reestablish some momentum after losing three straight games during their home stand.  Winning in Pittsburgh won’t be an easy task though.

“Obviously, our margin for error is not good enough to win close games,” admitted Saints coach Sean Payton.  “We have to be able to play better and coach better. … And most importantly, we have to make sure we have thick enough skin and be able to have the mental and physical toughness to bounce back and play (at Pittsburgh), because we are playing, obviously, an important game.”

The Steelers also need this game badly, but for them it’s more a matter of keeping apace in their incredibly difficult division.  With that said, head coach Mike Tomlin wants his team to stay in the present.

“All we have to focus on is the stadium that we’re in because we’re in the thick of that,” Tomlin said.  “If we do what we need to do on a week-in and week-out basis in terms of our business in our stadium, then it’s not going to be required that we look around.  We play some significant people moving forward, (with) New Orleans being the most significant because that’s who we play this week.”

The Steelers will likely have corner Ike Taylor and safety Troy Polamalu back from injury.  Linebacker Ryan Shazier could also play Sunday.

Pittsburgh is currently a 3-point favorite.  The over/under is at 52.

(Photo credit: Original: Paula Lively; derivative: Diddykong1130 (Antonio Brown) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)