Steelers vs. 49ers Betting Odds & Picks: Mason Rudolph Has His Hands Full

Steelers vs. 49ers Betting Odds & Picks: Mason Rudolph Has His Hands Full article feature image
Credit:

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo.

Steelers at 49ers Betting Odds

  • Odds: 49ers -6.5
  • Total: 43
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Odds above as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).

The 2019 season has not got off to a hot start for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not only are they 0-2, but they lost Ben Roethlisberger for the season to an elbow injury.

Now the Steelers will look to second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph to lead them out of an early-season hole, but the job won’t be easy this weekend as they opened as 7-point underdogs in San Francisco.

The 49ers have had quite a different start to the campaign, going 2-0 on the back of terrific quarterback play from Jimmy Garoppolo. At the time of publication, San Francisco has attracted 56% of the bets but the line has moved from -7 to -6.5.

Can Rudolph lead the Steelers to their first cover of the season? Our analysts break down this game, complete with a pick.

Steelers-49ers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Both are banged up

The Steelers lost Roethlisberger (elbow) for the season and CB Joe Haden (shoulder) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Haden didn’t practice on Wednesday and Thursday in Week 2 either, but then practiced in full on Friday, so it’s possible the Steelers are following a similar protocol this week.

The 49ers are still lacking depth at receiver with Jalen Hurd (back) and Trent Taylor (foot) still missing practices. Tevin Coleman (ankle) isn’t expected back, and they could be without pass-rusher Dee Ford (quad), who hasn’t practiced this week. Ford has generated four quarterback pressures, one sack and two hurries through two games. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: 49ers -7
  • Projected Total: 45.5

This is a fascinating week from a handicapping perspective as we have multiple future Hall of Fame quarterbacks either out with injury or benched. Big Ben is the only one who has suffered a season-ending injury, so it’ll be Rudolph’s team in Pittsburgh.

It’s a huge loss for the Steelers, whose power rating has taken a big hit.

On the other side of the ball we have a 2-0 49ers team that I still think have one of the most underrated coaches in the NFL in Kyle Shanahan. He’s almost always being dealt a bad hand, yet seems to make the most of it.

The Niners’ luck is starting to turn for the best as they get to face the Steelers for Rudolph’s first start and should absolutely be favored by 6.5 points, which is where the market has settled.  Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Mason Rudolph

We now have a 10-start sample for Garoppolo with the 49ers. The results: 8.6 yards per attempt and an 8-2 record. When Jimmy G has not started under Shanahan, the 49ers are 4-20 and their QBs have averaged 7.4 yards per attempt.

I happen to think Rudolph can be a solid NFL QB and keep this offense on schedule — Big Ben’s accuracy and decision-making had become a concern — but as it stands, Rudolph is in career start No. 1 going against a defense which, despite the negative perception it gained after last year’s dismal showing, ranks No. 2 in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA and No. 3 in Pro Football Focus’ team coverage grades.

If you’re a ‘90s hip hop head, you’ll know what I mean when I say that while Mase may one day be a bad boy, Jimmy G is The Notorious B.I.G right now. — Chris Raybon

Expert Pick

Mike Randle: 49ers -6.5

This is not an easy way for Rudolph to get his feet wet as an NFL starter.

The Oklahoma State product will face a San Francisco defense that has allowed 34 points and tallied seven sacks in its first two games. The Niners rush defense, which ranks seventh in DVOA, should have the edge over Pittsburgh’s suspect ground game, especially if James Conner can’t go.

Establishing the run will be critical to help give Rudolph some breathing room, but that is easier said than done.

Garoppolo should be able to take advantage of the Pittsburgh secondary which ranks 30th in pass defense DVOA.

The Steelers have a chance to pull the upset. They just need Rudolph to play well, Conner’s knee to hold up and their secondary to slow down Shanahan’s offense.

That’s too many question marks.