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Steelers vs. Chargers: The best player prop bets for SNF

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

November 20th, 2021

I think I gained a considerable amount of grey hair watching the Steelers tie 16-16 with the Detroit Lions last week. As painful as that game might have been, it incredibly takes Pittsburgh’s unbeaten run to five. After two games at home, a banged-up Ben Roethlisberger will try to return to face the Chargers on primetime.

L.A. themselves are cooling off after a red-hot start, and are now 1-4 since Week 5. Last week saw them lose 27-20 to the Vikings, as they put up just 253 yards of total offense.

This is a fascinating AFC battle with both teams currently in a Wild Card spot, but with the Bengals, Raiders, Colts, Browns and Broncos ready to pounce on any slip-up.

Mon, November 22 2021, 1:20 AM

LA Chargers

Moneyline

-240

Spread

-5.5

Total

O 47.5

PIT Steelers

Moneyline

+195

Spread

+5.5

Total

U 47.5

Najee Harris: Over/Under 82.5 Rushing Yards

Yes, I have pictures of Najee Harris on my desk in the office instead of my wife and kids. I love this rookie, and he is primed for another big game against the Chargers.

L.A. gives up more rushing yards per game to opposing running backs than any other team in the NFL this season – a whopping total of 127.8 per match. There’s no clear running back in Baltimore, but if we look at the other four teams the Chargers have faced in the last five weeks, we can see how much the lead back can feast.

Running Backs vs LA Chargers

Lead Running BackCarriesRushing Yards
Dalvin Cook
24
94
Jordan Howard
17
71
Damien Harris
23
80
Nick Chubb
21
161

Harris himself is getting a serious amount of work in Pittsburgh. After getting slowly introduced into the Steelers setup at the start of the year, Harris has now had at least 22 touches in each of his last five matches. In that time, he’s racked up a total of 461 yards on the ground, at an average of 92.2 yards a game.

Four of those games were against defenses that rank in the bottom 12 in terms of yards conceded per game to running backs, and now Harris gets to feast on the team ranked 32nd.

Only five running backs in the NFL have more yards on the ground this year than Harris, and whether it’s Mason Rudolph or a hobbled Roethlisberger at quarterback, it won’t matter. This should be another good game for Harris.

Pick: Over 82.5 Rushing Yards (-112)

Keenan Allen: Over/Under 72.5 Receiving Yards

They say a rest is as good as a break, right? Keenan Allen had a little dip in production in October, but then came the Week 7 bye, and since then he’s been back to the unreal numbers we have come to expect.

In the last three games, Allen has gone for 77 yards, 104 yards, and 98 yards, and is an absolute target hog in this Chargers offense. He’s had at least 32% of Justin Herbert’s throws in each of those games, and that kind of target share is only going to keep reaping rewards. Only four players in the league have had more targets per game than Allen, who now has 35 in the last three weeks – resulting in 26 catches for 279 yards. 

Allen has had at least 11 targets in each of those last three games, and in 54 career games in which he’s had 10 targets or more, he’s gone for more than 70 receiving yards in 69% of them.

The Steelers have performed slightly better than average against the pass this year, although their recent good box numbers are skewed by the opposition.

Pittsburgh’s last four games have all been against teams ranked 25th or worse in passing offense (Lions, Bears, Seahawks, and Browns), and in those games they gave up an average of 182.5 yards per game. In their opening three games against top eight ranked passing offenses (Bills, Raiders, and Bengals), they gave up an average of 266 yards per game.

The Chargers are a strong passing offense, and Allen is at the heart of it. Back the Over.

Pick: Over 72.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

Diontae Johnson: Over/Under 73.5 Receiving Yards

Another man on the opposite side of the field who is an absolute target hog is Diontae Johnson – the only problem is his quarterback simply isn’t as good.

Since the Week 7 bye, Johnson has gobbled up 28% of the targets going around in Pittsburgh, and he’s had double-digit looks in six of his eight games this season. That’s resulted in an average of 76.6 yards per game, but the quarterback worries are very real - as are the drops.

Ben Roethlisberger is trying to make a comeback from the COVID-19 list and hasn’t been able to practice, while also dealing with numerous injuries, including a pec injury and a dodgy shoulder. If he can’t suit up, then Pittsburgh will turn to Mason Rudolph again. Although he chucked the ball 50 times, his yards per attempt was a lowly 4.84.

The Chargers have given up just 128.2 yards per game to receivers this season – only the Eagles, Panthers, and Bills have allowed their opponents fewer. They’ve got bags of talent in the secondary and off the edge to put huge pressure on whoever suits up under center for the Steelers, and that’s why teams have had far much joy running on them.

Johnson has skills, but this could be one of the more frustrating nights for him.

Pick: Under 73.5 Receiving Yards (-114)

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