NFL

New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Updated odds before Week 1

The Steelers are slight favorites over the New York Giants on the road in Week 1. Here’s why this game won’t be a walk in the park for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers are prepped and ready to go for their Week 1 road matchup against the New York Giants. While Pittsburgh’s roster may look good on paper, they aren’t exactly known for their explosive starts out of the gate under the direction of Mike Tomlin.

Last year, Tomlin’s team was trampled by 30 points against the New England Patriots in their road season opener, and in 2018, the Steelers tied the Cleveland Browns in overtime – a game that would have ended in a loss if not for a timely T.J. Watt blocked field goal.

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This year, Pittsburgh is favored in Week 1, but not by a landslide. They currently sit at 3.5 point favorites over the New York Giants, courtesy of The Action Network.

Why we shouldn’t expect a Steelers blowout

Pittsburgh’s roster is infinitely more impressive than New York’s. The Steelers have a top-flight defense with three current first-team All-Pro players in addition to a handful of above-average starters with players like Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, and Stephon Tuitt.

Offensively, the Steelers are getting back their franchise quarterback, and no team’s passing game should be as improved as Pittsburgh’s this year. They also have one of the deepest groups of pass-catchers they’ve had in years and they are essentially five-deep with players like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Chase Claypool, and Eric Ebron.

F-1 : Grand Prix of Tuscany Qualifying

On the flip side, the Giants are lacking elite talent. While Saquan Barkley is rightfully concerning for opposing defenses to match up against, their skill players as a whole are modest at best and quarterback Daniel Jones still has a lot to prove. On defense, they have some mammoths upfront but their linebackers and secondary could prove to be among the weakest in the league.

Despite the talent discrepancy, the Giants will likely find a way to keep this one close. The Steelers rarely have a lethal offense from day one, and their defense has been caught napping in recent season openers.

At the end of the day, it’s fair to assume that the Steelers are the favorites in this road opener, but it’s unwise to expect them to blow out the Giants in this contest. This line shouldn’t shift much between now and the start of the game on Monday night, and we could be looking at a contest that is decided by four points or less.

Of course, there’s always the chance that Pittsburgh surprises me with a blowout win, but it may take some time for Ben Roethlisberger to get his sea legs back. Let’s hope the Steelers take care of business in week one – even if it’s just by a few points.

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