Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vegas Early Moves: Steel Curtain Has Something For Peterson

By Micah Roberts

The biggest NFL game of the week has the undefeated Vikings (6-0) traveling to Pittsburgh (4-2), where the main storyline beyond all the Brett Favre hoopla, will be Adrian Peterson going against Dick LeBeau’s attacking run defense.

Peterson had a great game last week against a good Baltimore run defense pilling up 143 yards, but the Steelers may be a tougher task this week since Pittsburgh hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 28 straight games.

The bettors obviously feel the same way since the opening line of -4 has been bumped up to -5 ½, with the total also dropping a half to 45.

“We had some varying opinions in the office with that game,” said Las Vegas Sports Consultants CEO Kenny White. “I had the game the highest at -4 and we settled at -3 ½ as our opener. Pittsburgh‘s a tough place to play, they’re physical, the Vikings just came off a game with another physical team in Baltimore, and Minnesota has been very lucky to be undefeated at this point.”

Evidence of White’s theory about the physical nature of playing back-to-back games with Baltimore and Pittsburgh taking their toll lies within the past history of teams playing these two traditionally good defenses. Since 2004, only the 2005 Bengals out of 13 occurences have won back-to-back games in consecutive weeks against the Steelers and Ravens.

Back to Back Games vs Ravens & Steelers Since 2004
Browns 2004 Lost both
Bengals 2004 Lost both
Giants 2004 Lost both
Eagles* 2004 Won vs. BAL, lost @PIT
Vikings 2005 Lost both
Bengals 2005 Won both
Titans 2005 Lost @PIT, won vs. BAL
Browns 2006 Lost both
Chargers 2006 Lost @BAL, won vs. PIT
Cardinals 2007 Lost @BAL, won vs. PIT
Browns 2007 Lost @PIT, won @BAL
Bengals 2008 Lost both
Browns 2008 Lost both
* The Eagles were undefeated coming into their matchup at Pittsburgh. Brad Childress, now the Vikings head coach, was their offensive coordinator.
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