Patriots vs. Steelers Picks: Our 4 Favorite Bets for SNF

Patriots vs. Steelers Picks: Our 4 Favorite Bets for SNF article feature image
Credit:

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers at Patriots Betting Odds, Picks

  • Odds: Patriots -5.5
  • Total: 49
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC

All odds above are as of early Sunday and via PointsBet.

We get Tom Brady and Bill Belichick vs. Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin in the first Sunday Night Football game of the season.

The Patriots, of course, are favored to win in Foxborough. But the Steelers did pull off the rare win over New England last season (albeit at Heinz Field). Do they have a shot in this season opener on the road — even to cover?

Our experts break down their favorite bets for this AFC showdown, including spread and total picks as well as two prop bets.

Chris Raybon: Under 49

Big Ben and the Steelers escaped with a 17-10 win in Week 15 last season, but sans Antonio Brown, they have their work cut out for the against a Patriots defense that did a great job shutting down top wide receivers last season:

  • Adam Thielen: 10-5-28-1 (season average: 9.6-7.1-86-0.6)
  • Stefon Diggs: 5-5-49-0 (9.9-6.8-68-0.6)
  • Antonio Brown: 7-4-49-1 (11.2-6.9-87-1.0)
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster: 10-4-40-0 (10.4-6.9-89-0.4)
  • Tyreek Hill: 3-1-42-0 (8.5-5.3-89-0.7)
  • Travis Kelce: 5-3-23-1 (9.2-6.3-82-0.6)

Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty and JC Jackson ranked No. 1, 8 and 32 respectively in Pro Football Focus’ corner cover grades, but the real mismatch is Belichick’s brain vs. that of any other human being on the planet.

The Pats held a Steelers team that ranked fourth with 26.8 points per game to just third-lowest point total of the season, and with the Steelers defense also improving, I’m expecting a lower-scoring game than you might expect given the big names at QB.

Matt LaMarca: Patriots -5.5

I get all the reasons why people are taking the Steelers here — Stuckey made a case for them in our betting guide — but I can’t help but side with the Pats.

Betting the Patriots has basically been a license to print money during the regular season. They’ve posted a 153-95-8 record against the spread since 2003, good for a 61.3% win rate. A $100 bettor would be up nearly $5,400 if they only blindly bet the Patriots every single week over that span.

That’s absolutely insane, especially considering they’re typically a public team.

The 2019 version of the Pats has the potential to be better than 2018. They did lose Rob Gronkowski to retirement, but Josh Gordon should help negate his absence. Gordon has played only 11 games with the Patriots, but his impact on the offense cannot be understated. Brady has averaged a higher yards per attempt when targeting Gordon than anyone he’s ever played with.

The Pats should also have the edge in the coaching department. Belichick has historically posted a 9-6-1 record ATS with at least 13 days to prepare during the regular season, while Tomlin has gone just 5-7 ATS in the same situation.

Scott T. Miller: James Washington Under 3.5 Receptions (-125)

Here’s a fun fact: Washington played 14 games as a rookie last season and didn’t eclipse 3.5 catches once. Yes, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are gone from Pittsburgh, but Washington likely won’t see enough snaps/targets to go over this total more than 40% of the time.

At the time of writing, this prop has a 10-out-of-10 rating in our FantasyLabs props tool, which compares Sean Koerner’s industry-leading projections to odds around the market. Last season, when the tool gave an under on a receptions prop with a 10-out-of-10 bet quality, it hit 72.6% of the time (37-14 overall).

James Washington-Best Ball-Fantasy
Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Washington

With Koerner projecting Washington for almost a full catch less than the market (2.7), this is worth a wager at anything less than -150 juice.

Mike Randle: James White Under 42.5 Receiving Yards (-114)

In the last three regular-season games against Pittsburgh, White has averaged five targets, three receptions and just 21.6 receiving yards. His receiving totals in those three games have been 32 yards, eight yards and 25 yards.

In 2018, the Steelers allowed the third-fewest receptions (67) and fifth-fewest receiving yards (515) to opposing running backs.

This prop rates 9-out-of-10 in our props tool with our model projecting 17% fewer than the implied total of 43.8 receiving yards.