Week 14 of the 2021 NFL season is here and most of the league is battling to secure a playoff spot. Two teams looking to get back into the postseason race will square off in this week’s Thursday Night Football matchup when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to face the Minnesota Vikings. . Only one of these teams can leave victorious from this collision, but time will tell which squad that will be.
Read on for statistics, betting odds (BetOnline) and analysis as to what you can expect in tonight’s Steelers vs Vikings Thursday Night Football matchup.
Steelers vs Vikings General Information and Statistics
Tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota — where the Vikings are currently 3-2. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. EST and the game can be viewed on FOX and the NFL Network, as well as multiple streaming platforms.
The Steelers are averaging 20.3 points per game this season, which is the 12th-worst average so far this season. Meanwhile, the Vikings average 25.7 PPG — 11th-best in the NFL. Defensively, Pittsburgh is surrendering 23.8 PPG (21st) while Minnesota has been giving up an average of 25.4 PPG (25th).
Thursday Night Football: Steelers vs Vikings Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, December 9
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1) vs Minnesota Vikings (5-6)
- Moneyline: Steelers (+145) vs Vikings (-165)
- Spread: Steelers +3.0 (+102) vs Vikings -3.0 (-122)
- Total: 44.0 — Over (-113), Under (-107)
- Head-to-Head: Steelers are 4-2 against the Vikings in their last six games.
The complete odds list and prop bets are available at BetOnline.ag.
Finding Offense is Key for Steelers
After winning four games in a row earlier in the season, the Steelers are a disappointing 1-2-1 over their last four games heading into Thursday Night Football. One of the biggest issues over this last stretch — much like it has been for the whole year — is Pittsburgh’s offense. The team has scored 20 or fewer points in three of their last four games and in 58.3% of games so far this season. That’s just not good enough to win games on a consistent basis.
One way that the Steelers can get the ball rolling is through Najee Harris. The rookie running back has played 84% of his team’s offensive snaps this season, leading to 1,166 total yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns on 274 touches. Fortunately for him, the Vikings are surrendering 131.5 rushing yards per game — fourth-highest in the NFL. He only has one TD in his last four games, so maybe it’s time to get the ball rolling again.
Another thing that would help is that if Ben Roethlisberger keeps on connecting with Diontae Johnson. The third-year wideout has seen double-digit targets in all but two games this season and has 24 receptions for 301 yards and three TDs in his last three games. ‘Big Ben’ may not have the elite arm that he once did, however, he clearly has chemistry with Johnson, which should come in handy against a Minnesota team giving up the 10th-most passing yards and seventh-most touchdowns per game.
Vikings Dealing with Injuries Heading into Thursday Night Football
While the Vikings are the -165 favorite heading into Thursday Night Football, they are dealing with their fair share of injuries. They’ll be without one of their top pass-catching options in Adam Thielen, who’s been ruled out with a high-ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 13.
There’s also the potential that leading rusher Dalvin Cook could miss his second game in a row with a shoulder injury. He’s listed as questionable, however, the latest reports showed that he wants to play tonight and that he’ll get first-team reps to see how he looks. Considering how it hasn’t even been two weeks since he dislocated his shoulder, it’s hard to imagine him getting the full workload. Expect Alexander Mattison to stay involved somehow.
The Vikings will also be looking to rebound following a disappointing Week 13 loss to the Detroit Lions, which ended up being the victors’ first win of the season. That loss ended up being Minnesota’s fourth in its last six games and something has to change if the team still wants to make the playoffs.
Overall, the Vikings are favored for a reason and that’s likely because their offense has looked a lot better than Pittsburgh’s. They’ve scored at least 26 points in five straight games and if that trend can continue tonight, there’s no reason why Minnesota can’t be one game closer to .500 when all is said and done.