Brady Quinn will not be starting for the Kansas City Chiefs this Monday night. Maybe now the Chiefs can find a way into the end zone against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even once might be enough to eclipse that 42-point total.


Are you ready for some incredibly ugly football? There’s something mesmerizing about watching two NFL teams try to navigate their way through inclement conditions, like Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott racing to reach the South Pole. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, it looks like they’ll be playing the role of Scott on Monday Night Football.

Rain Dogs 

Steelers vs. ChiefsAt least they can put away the dogsleds for now. Monday’s weather will be a little more tropical; the forecast calls for a 25-percent chance of rain with temperatures in the mid-50s at game time. Light winds are also expected, but any bit of wind at Heinz Field can be problematic, especially for the kickers.

Nothing like lousy weather to make people bet the UNDER. NFL odds makers had opened Monday night’s matchup with a total of 43, and after the sharps did their usual business betting the OVER, the rest of the world started pounding the UNDER hard enough to drive the total to 42.5 points, and now to 42 at books like Diamond and BetCRIS.

To read all of my thoughts on the opening lines for this game, please do check out my "Monday Night Football Picks: Chiefs vs. Steelers" article.

Heinz 42

I remember when I was just a young shaver in this business and I was told not to fear betting the UNDER with a low total on the board. It’s true. But there has to be a very good reason – actually, several good reasons – considering the OVER went 23-15 (60.5 percent) in six NFL seasons’ worth of games with a total of 42. 

Let’s start counting. We’ve got the Chiefs, who bring the least efficient offense in the league to Heinz Field. Kansas City has scored 16.6 points per game, ahead of just two other teams (Arizona and Jacksonville). And this offense will be playing in less-than-comfortable conditions at Heinz Field against the Steel Curtain defense. Is that enough?

Steel Wool

Not for me. First of all, the OVER is 5-3 for the Chiefs this year, and that’s because they also have the No. 27-ranked defense in the league. Kansas City has given up 30 points per game this year, more than everyone besides Buffalo and Tennessee.

Second of all, that vaunted Pittsburgh defense hasn’t been quite as steely as usual. Injuries have limited the Steelers to No. 19 in defensive efficiency through Week 9; SS Troy Polamalu (calf) will not play this week and is quite possibly being held out for a playoff run. 

Matt CasselDespite the inefficiency, Pittsburgh has allowed 20.5 points per game (No. 9 overall), low enough to make the UNDER 5-3 this year, including each of the last three games. That’s partly because Pittsburgh hasn’t faced the league’s top offenses – especially at home, where the Steelers have beaten the Jets, Eagles and Redskins, all in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency. All three of those games went UNDER.

The Magic Cassel 

Why would this week be any different? Because of the awful Chiefs defense, far worse than any of those other Heinz Field victims, and because 42 is the lowest total the Steelers have seen all season. The OVER is 3-1 for Kansas City on the road this year, by the way.

Plus, my good buddy Matt Cassel is starting again for the Chiefs. If it were Quinn (concussion), I might change my mind, but Cassel has been just good enough to make the OVER 4-1 in his five complete games, compared to 1-2 anytime Quinn sees action.

This could still turn into another low-scoring slopfest, but Pittsburgh’s No. 10-ranked offense has enough firepower to cut deep into those 42 points. The best value for your NFL picks lies with this value bet.

My NFL Pick: OVER 42