Steelers vs. Giants Odds & Pick: Your Complete Monday Night Football Week 1 Betting Preview
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images. Pictured: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
- The Steelers are nearly a touchdown favorite over the Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 1.
- Pittsburgh has taken heavy action throughout the week and even earlier.
- Get Chris Raybon's full breakdown and Giants vs. Steelers picks -- one moneyline, one point spread -- below.
Steelers vs. Giants Odds
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The Steelers are 16-2 straight up on Monday Night Football under head coach Mike Tomlin. Do the Giants have what it takes to pull off the upset in new head coach Joe Judge’s first ever game? Let’s take a look.
When you think of a team that went 8-8 — including 8-6 without its starting quarterback — you wouldn’t expect that team to finish second-to-last in schedule-adjusted offensive efficiency. Alas, the Steelers did just that after Ben Roethlisberger went down in Week 2. Pittsburgh was forced to overcome putrid showings from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges that left the Steelers with an 18-to-19 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 30th-place ranking in Football Outsiders’ passing DVOA.
Not only that, but with James Conner able to suit up for only 10 games, the Steelers’ rushing attack was just as anemic in 2019, registering only 3.7 yards per carry and seven touchdowns all season en route to a 30th-place finish in rushing DVOA.
Well now Roethlisberger is back, Conner is healthy and the Steelers are in a get-right spot against a Giants defense that finished 28th in DVOA while letting up 28.2 points per game last season, the third-most in the NFL.
Roethlisberger has been shaky in his last three appearances — all of which happen to be without former go-to wideout Antonio Brown — and the long-term effects of Roethlisberger’s offseason elbow surgery remain to be seen. But his surgically-repaired throwing arm will be as fresh as it will be all season. He also faces a Giants defense whose major offseason upgrades were cornerback James Bradberry (68th graded corner out of 115 by Pro Football Focus), linebacker Blake Martinez (53rd of 90 linebackers) and rookie safety Xavier McKinney, who is now on Injured Reserve with a fractured left foot.
Even without Brown, Big Ben has weapons for days who should make his life easier.
In addition to JuJu Smith-Schuster — who struggled without Roethlisberger but has averaged 5.7 receptions, 77.7 yards and 0.43 TDs per game with Big Ben — the Steelers have Diontae Johnson, who led all rookie wide receivers in catches (59). They also added red-zone threats Eric Ebron and Chase Claypool, the latter of whom is a 6-foot-5, 242-pound rookie wide receiver with 4.4 speed.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones had a promising rookie season that included three games with four-plus TD passes, but those games came against the generous defenses of the Lions, Jets and Washington Football Team.
Pittsburgh is not one of those defenses.
How does a team with bottom-three offensive efficiency rebound to go 8-6 without its starting quarterback? By posting top-three efficiency vs. both the run and pass while holding opponents to 18.9 points per game, the fifth-best in the NFL.
All the key pieces of that defense remain intact, from front-seven stalwarts Cam Heyward, T.J. Watt, Stephon Tuitt, Bud Dupree and Vince Williams to back-end playmakers Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden, Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton. Watt (first), Heyward (second), Nelson (sixth), Tuitt (seventh), and Fitzpatrick (ninth) each earned top-10 PFF grades at their position; Williams was 12th.
Turnovers tend to regress, so the Steelers may eventually take a step back from their league-leading 38 forced turnovers on defense, but this may not be the week: Jones threw 13 picks and lost 10 fumbles in 12 starts last season.
Saquon Barkley may have trouble taking the pressure off Jones, too. According to the RotoViz Game Splits App, Barkley is averaging only 55.7 rushing yards and 0.44 rushing TDs per game in nine career games vs. top-10 run defenses as opposed to 90.5 rushing yards and 0.65 rushing TDs per game in all other matchups.
Monday Night Football Pick
The Steelers have a sizable advantage on both sides of the ball. They’re also no stranger to the bright lights, as Mike Tomlin is 16-2 straight up all-time on Monday Night Football.
PICKS: Steelers up to -6; Steelers ML up to -260