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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings: The best Ben Roethlisberger prop bets for TNF

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December 8th, 2021

This is likely Ben Roethlisberger’s final season in the NFL, which means this will be the last time we ever see him on Thursday Night Football. And what a game it’s set to be as the Steelers travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.

The Vikings’ postseason hopes are in serious jeopardy after losing to the Detroit Lions – a team that hadn’t won a game in almost a full year – while Pittsburgh narrowly kept its own playoff hopes alive in a 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens. That game could have gone to overtime had the Ravens not decided to go for a two-point conversion with the last play of the game.

The Vikings have lost seven games, and those seven losses have been by a combined 28 points. In the last road game, the Steelers lost by 31 points to the Bengals. Don’t let anybody tell you the NFL isn’t a wild ride.

Here are the best player prop bets for Big Ben as we strap in for TNF.

Fri, December 10 2021, 1:20 AM

MIN Vikings

Moneyline

-177

Spread

-3.5

Total

O 43.5

PIT Steelers

Moneyline

+143

Spread

+3.5

Total

U 43.5

Over/Under 250.5 Passing Yards

Rumors continue to swirl that this might be Big Ben’s swan song. The 18-year veteran is refusing to comment at this point, but with his stat lines dwindling since undergoing shoulder surgery in 2019, maybe the time is right.

This season, Roethlisberger is averaging 250.7 yards per game, which is just the 18th best mark in the NFL and is his lowest average since 2008. It’s not for a lack of throwing, however, as he's averaging 37.7 attempts per game (sixth in the NFL) and is completing an average of 24.5 passes per game (eighth in the NFL).

The issue is that he simply isn’t throwing many long passes. He averages just 6.6 yards per attempt (26th in the NFL) and just 10.3 yards per completion (27th in the NFL). Those numbers drop even further when you consider Roethlisberger’s road games since his shoulder surgery.

Ben Roethlisberger at home vs. on the road since 2020

CategoryAt HomeOn the Road
Games
14
12
Attempts per Game
39.7
38.9
Yards per Game
266.4
235.9
Yards per Attempt
6.7
6.1
Yards per Completion
10.0
9.6

The Vikings’ pass defense hasn’t set the world on fire this year, giving up 250.5 yards per game (23rd in the NFL). They’ve had some difficult outings as well, and were shredded by the Packers, Cowboys, and Cardinals, who all posted over 340 yards against them through the air.

However, the Vikings pressure the QB 27.6% of the time (fifth most in the NFL) and the Steelers’ offensive line has had problems with that. Big Ben doesn’t have the mobility to get out of the pocket so is throwing quicker, shorter passes rather than risk taking the sack, and that strategy is hindering his total yards.

Roethlisberger has fallen short of this line in three of his previous four matches with the Vikings, and given it’s a short week on the road, I’m happy to take the Under again.

Pick: Under 250.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Over/Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns

There is no doubt you can score on the Vikings. Minnesota have given up 25.4 points per game this season, and in the last three weeks has conceded 29 points in each game. The question for bettors is whether the Steelers can go on the road and put up a score.

Pittsburgh has posted 20 points or less in four of its six games since the Steelers came off the bye, and Roethlisberger has only managed to throw multiple touchdowns in four of his 11 games this year. This is just the fourth season in his long career in which he is throwing multiple TDs in less than 40% of his games.

Ben Roethlisberger Career Games with Multiple Touchdowns

Season
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Games with Multiple TDs
Up ArrowDown Arrow
% of Games with Multiple TDs
Up ArrowDown Arrow
2021
4
36%
2020
12
80%
2018
11
69%
2017
10
66%
2016
8
57%
2015
6
50%
2014
8
50%
2013
7
44%
2012
8
62%
2011
5
33%
2010
5
42%
2009
8
53%
2008
5
31%
2007
9
60%
2006
5
33%
2005
6
50%
2004
6
43%

Roethlisberger has managed to throw multiple touchdowns in just 37% of his 141 career games on the road, and has chucked multiple touchdowns just once in the last six games away from Pittsburgh. The Vikings have given up multiple TDs in half their games this year and there’s no doubt they have some problems in the secondary, but can Big Ben capitalize? I have my doubts...

Pick: Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-106)

To throw the most touchdowns: Kirk Cousins vs. Ben Roethlisberger

Take into account what we’ve spoken about already, and then consider that Kirk Cousins has thrown multiple TDs in 75% of his games this season, including the last five in a row. Cousins has thrown 25 touchdowns to Roethlisberger’s 16 this season, so it’s wild to see Cousins as only a marginal favorite in this prop.

Adam Thielen will miss the game for the Vikings, so Cousins will be down one offensive weapon. However, Justin Jefferson has been electric this year and has already hauled in seven TDs, and K.J. Osborn and Tyler Conklin have three each and will both see an uptick in opportunities.

Minnesota has put at least 26 points on the board in each of its last five games, averaging 29 points per game in that spell. Take Cousins to beat Big Ben in passing touchdowns on TNF.

Pick: Kirk Cousins (-117)

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