Steelers vs Giants Week 1 picks, odds: Point spread, total, player props and betting trends for 2020 opener
Welcome to the 2020 regular season and welcome to Monday Night Football. The New York Giants will be the first team to host the primetime spectacle this year when they welcome in the Pittsburgh Steelers to MetLife Stadium. Both these historic franchises are looking to end playoff droughts this season after the Steelers have failed to reach the postseason the past two years, while the Giants last made it past December back in 2016.
For the Steelers, their playoff hopes rest on the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed essentially all of last season due to an elbow injury. In his absence, Pittsburgh was able to go 8-8 and was sniffing around a playoff berth, but ultimately wasn’t able to get over the hump. With Big Ben back under center, however, that breathes new life into a potentially potent offense and pairs it with a defense that was a top-five unit throughout 2019. As for the Giants, they hired former Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge to be their new head coach and are now looking to see how quarterback Daniel Jones progresses as he enters his second season in the league and is the clear-cut starter.
In this space, we’ll be taking a deep dive into all the betting angles for this game and help you focus in on some of the juicer wagers that can be found here. All odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Monday, September 14 | Time: 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Steelers (-6) at Giants
The line originally opened up at Steelers -3 in early May and held steady much of the offseason at Steelers -3.5 despite positive reports continuing to come out around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It ballooned up to Steelers -6 once the calendar turned to September but has since jockeyed around a bit as the game draws closer. In the later afternoon on Sunday, the line was cut in half to Steelers -3, but has since jumped back up to Steelers -6 as of Monday morning.
The pick: Steelers -6. Pittsburgh’s offense is just too potent and their defense is elite, which is a recipe to win by double digits. New York has been a home underdog 11 times over the last two seasons and is 1-10 ATS, including 0-5 ATS last season. Road favorites also went 6-1 ATS on Monday Night Football last season, which is another reason to lean heavily on Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense to have a strong game in his return to the field.
Over/Under 45 points
This number has seen a noticeable drop since it opened at 48 back in May. It hung at that number throughout the summer months, but there has been considerable movement on game week. Wednesday was the initial drop — rolling down from 48 to 47 — and it ahs continued to trickle down to where we stand on Monday morning at 45.
The pick: Over 45. The Under went 7-1 in Pittsburgh’s road games last season, but it’s really hard to use that as a true barometer due to Big Ben’s injury. This offense will be much improved now that Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges aren’t under center, so I don’t mind taking the Over here, especially if I think that Daniel Jones will be able to put up points with his full complement of weapons now healthy.
First half: Steelers -3, O/U 22.5
The pick: Giants +3. As much as I love the Steelers this season, it wouldn’t shock me if they were a bit clunky out of the gate. Roethlisberger missed the bulk of last season and has had zero preseason games to really shake off some rust. I like them to win this game and blow it open in the second half thanks to New York’s depleted secondary, but I also think the Giants offense is being slept on a bit. I’ll take the Giants and hope Big Ben is a bit sluggish to start.
Saquon Barkley anytime touchdown score (+100): Predicting touchdowns for skill position players isn’t the best way to wager, in my opinion, due to its erratic nature. That said, Barkley is clearly the best weapon in New York’s offense and they’ll use him heavily whenever they get into the red zone. He’s also a home run hitter that has the ability to break one off from anywhere on the field. He’s facing a very tough run defense but should be able to cross the end zone once.
Saquon Barkley rushing yards: Under 70.5 (+105). While I see Barkley scoring in this one, I do have some trepidation about whether or not he’ll be able to put up a ton of yards on the ground. I expect Pittsburgh to eventually blow this game wide open, and if that happens out of the gate, the Giants may be forced to scrap the run game.
James Conner receptions: Over 3.5 (-115). Big Ben returning is a huge factor for Conner’s overall production. The back averaged 4.2 receptions per game when Roethlisberger was fully healthy in 2018 and even averaged 3.4 catches a game last season with unstable quarterback play. He’s a key piece to their passing game.
Ben Roethlisberger passing yards: Over 285.5 (-110). I see Roethlisberger having a strong night through the air against a Giants secondary that doesn’t strike fear into any quarterback’s eyes. He make have to shake some rust off to start, but he has receiving weapons at every turn (backfield, tight end, receivers) and should have no problem eventually letting loose on Monday night.
JuJu Smith-Schuster receiving yards: Over 65.5 (-110). If you think that Roethlisberger is going to light it up through the air, you might as well hit the Over on his No. 1 receiver, who averaged 89.1 receiving yards per game with him in 2018.
Darius Slayton total receptions: Over 3.5 (+140). If Golden Tate (hamstring) is either ruled out or hobbled in this game, that opens up even more opportunity for Slatyon, who had a strong rapport with Daniel Jones during their rookie seasons. In 2019, Slayton went over that 3.5 catch mark six times and it wouldn’t shock me if he comes out of the gate strong in 2020. Taking the Over on his total receiving yards at 40.5 (-110) also intrigues me. He has the talent to get most of that on a single play.
Ben Roethlisberger longest passing completion: Over 37.5 (-105). He has burners all around him in this Pittsburgh offense and is facing a Giants secondary that is asking to be lit up. Could easily find anyone of his pass catchers for a bomb or it wouldn’t even be surprising to see a guy like James Connor take a swing pass the length of the field.