Favre's renaissance practically Criminal, but Steelers will get the Win


Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh SteelersMinnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, October 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET

BetOnline.com odds: Steelers -4

Brett Favre looks like he's just going to keep rolling, doesn't he? Favre's resurgence has been criminal. No, we're not talking Gambino Family criminal—but the former New York Jet and Green Bay Packer is in the midst of one of his finest seasons. Not only has the veteran quarterback never been 6-0 before, he's on pace to shatter his career-mark for completion percentage while tossing another 30-plus touchdowns. At this point, gambling fans probably shouldn't be surprised by anything Favre does.

Favre's success is largely attributable to scaling back his old gunslinger ways. He hasn't forced the ball and made the same foolish mistakes he has in the past. Favre faces a big challenge this weekend, however, with Troy Polamalu returning to the Steelers lineup. The Pro Bowl safety made an impressive return from a knee injury, picking off a pass against the Browns last weekend. If Favre shows even the slightest sign of poor decision making, Polamalu will take advantage.

Of course, Minny could just try running the ball instead. Adrian Peterson leads the NFL in rushing after pasting the Ravens with 143 last week. That will be a tall order against the Steelers, who are allowing just 74 yards per game and 3.8 yards per pop this season. Peterson has seven rushing touchdowns, but the Steel Curtain has allowed just one this year.

Offensively, Pittsburgh has a pretty healthy balance too. Hines Ward is quietly having an excellent season. He's already passed the 100-yard mark three times and has had fewer than 80 yards receiving just once in six starts. His resurgence has been aided by Ben Roethlisberger, who racked up over 400 yards passing last week.

The dynamic duo will face a Minnesota defense that was torched by Baltimore last weekend. Joe Flacco threw for 385 yards and led the Ravens to three fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Vikings "D" is very middle-of-the-pack right now; it isn't exactly living up to its potential, although it is tied for the league in sacks.

This is a very evenly matched contest. Both teams can throw, both can run, and both have talented defenses. Right now, Pittsburgh's looks better. Its best player just returned to the lineup while the Vikings nearly collapsed and blew the game in Week 6. BetOnline.com favors the Steelers by four, and for good reason—this is by far the best team and most hostile environment the Vikings have faced all season. If you bet on sports, look for Pittsburgh to hit them in the mouth and remind them who the current Super Bowl champs are.


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