Steelers, Redskins, Rams and Niners — We setup the Week 1 Monday Night Football doubleheader with a look-ahead to Week 2 odds
The Pittsburgh Steelers won 11 games last season including a narrow playoff victory over the Bengals. They did so with with an offense that was seventh in scoring (24 PPG), first in yards per play (6.2) and 13th in the red zone despite missing several key pieces throughout the season. Pittsburgh will start 2016 with its leading running back on the sidelines and one of Ben Roethlisberger’s top targets wishing he could just ‘Say no to Drugs’ a little more often.
NFL odds makers had still slotted the Steelers in as a 3-point favorite to tipoff Monday’s early game but it appears on gameday that Washington is finally getting some respect from bettors. The current line reads Pittsburgh -1 with a total of 49 or 50, depending where you look.
Washington takes the field this year with an average front seven and improved secondary, hopeful they can trim the 24 point per game tally they allowed in 2015. It’s not as bad as it sounds — the Skins only gave up 20 points at home — but nothing on the stats sheet could stop Aaron Rodgers from lighting them up for 35 in Round 1 of the playoffs last season.
Washington did score 25 PPG at home last season and the Steelers’ record when non-divisional opponents score 23 points or more is 19-73-3 ATS. With a big divisional game against Cinci on-deck, look for HC Mike Tomlin’s gameplan to center around defensive football. In game one of the Monday twofer, I’m taking the low road with the highest number available.
Pick: Take the Steelers-Redskins UNDER 50 points
ACT 2: RAMS and NINERS
This divisional game is setting up like a defensive battle but before you go hooking up the “Under” to all your early picks for Week 2, consider this:
Week 1 road teams seeking revenge from a recent meeting are 25-1 to the “Over” in a 10-point teaser since 2011.
The “Over” is also 14-5-1 in Monday Night Football doubleheaders (Week 1) since 2006 with totals between 37-45 going 7-2 O/U.
My numbers say the Rams are going to walk in this game and Jeff Fisher is solid in season openers (13-7 ATS), just make sure you don’t lay more than three.
EARLY WEEK 2 ODDS
The second round of this year’s regular season kicks off in Buffalo where the Bills and Jets will each try and rebound off a Week 1 loss. Buffalo is 47-29-3 ATS at home off a road loss including a 12-1 ATS record since 2012.
The Miami Dolphins are in New England where America’s new sweetheart (Jimmy G) is laying -6.5 points vs. a division rival who almost took down the Seahawks in their own cage. Home faves off road dog win are a 60-percent bet to stay under vs. division rivals off a close game but you’ll want to check the status of Rob Gronkowski before touching this one.
And to prove this article wasn’t paid for by the AFC East, keep an eye on the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. The early line is Packers -2.5 and 44.5 but that is bound to hit -3 once the public does a discount double-check.
Would you believe that when two division rivals meet in Week 2 and each is coming off a road win, the record is 6-0 O/U? Well now you know (thank you SDQL). The six games went over by an average of 16 points and the past nine Packer trips to Minny are 6-3 O/U.