The first game of the Monday night doubleheader in Week 1 of the 2020 season features Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger taking his first game snaps in nearly a calendar year as the Steelers visit the New York Giants. Pittsburgh is a 4-point favorite on the NFL odds but is just 1-8 against the spread in its past nine road openers.
Big Ben suffered a season-ending injury early in Week 2 last year and Pittsburgh never fully recovered in missing the playoffs for a second straight season. It's only the second time this century the Steelers have gone back-to-back years without extra football, and if it happens again in 2020, Coach Mike Tomlin may not be back.
Roethlisberger is betting co-favorite at William Hill sportsbook for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. In his 13 previous Week 1 starts, the Steelers are 7-5-1 straight up but just 4-9 ATS. The Steelers' most recent Week 1 cover was also a road game at an NFC East foe: 2016 at Washington.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS BETTING PROFILE
2019 record: 8-8 (second, AFC North)
2019 against the spread: 9-7 ATS
2019 ATS margin: -1.3
2019 Over-Under: 4-12 O-U
2020 strength of schedule: Second-easiest; Steelers' opponents combined for a .457 winning percentage last year (117-139).
WILLIAM HILL 2020 PITTSBURGH STEELERS FUTURES ODDS
Win total: 9.0 (Over -120)
To make playoffs: Yes -125, no +105
Division: +380 to win AFC North
Conference: +1200 to win AFC
Super Bowl: +2500 to win SB 55
MVP: QB Ben Roethlisberger +5000, RB James Conner +20000
Defensive POY: LB T.J. Watt +1600, S Minkah Fitzpatrick +4000
Offensive ROY: WR Chase Claypool +5000
Comeback POY: QB Ben Roethlisberger +400
Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin +2500
SportsLine Model projection: 9.0 wins (push)
Week 1 at NY Giants, 8:15 PM ET (Monday): The Steelers are 13-7 SU and 14-6 ATS in their past 20 against the NFC.
Week 2 vs. Denver, 1 PM ET: The Steelers have lost six of the past eight matchups (including two playoff games), going 1-5-2 ATS.
Week 3 vs. Houston, 1 PM ET: The Steelers are 4-1 SU and ATS all-time against the Texans.
Week 4 at Tennessee, 1 PM ET: The Steelers are 3-9 SU (4-8 ATS) in their past 12 visits to Tennessee.
Week 5 vs. Philadelphia, 1 PM ET: The Steelers are 3-6 SU and ATS in the nine meetings dating to 1988.
Week 6 vs. Cleveland, 1 PM ET: The Steelers have won 16 straight at home against Cleveland (10-5-1 ATS).
Week 7 at Baltimore, 1 PM ET: The Steelers are 2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS in the past seven meetings at M&T Bank Stadium.
Week 8 BYE:
Week 9 at Dallas, 4:25 PM ET: The Steelers are 7-3 SU but just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 games following a bye.
Week 10 vs. Cincinnati, 1 PM ET: The Steelers have won six of the past seven (5-2 ATS) at home against the Bengals.
Week 11 at Jacksonville, 1 PM ET: Pittsburgh is 27-36-2 (43 percent) ATS as a road favorite under Tomlin and it certainly should be one here.
Week 12 vs. Baltimore, 8:20 PM ET (Thanksgiving): The Ravens are 4-0-2 ATS (4-2 SU) in the past six at Pittsburgh, including a 30-17 win as a three-point underdog in a 2015 Wild-Card game.
Week 13 vs. Washington, 1 PM ET: The Steelers have won six straight meetings (4-2 ATS), dating to 1997, and the Under is 5-1.
Week 14 at Buffalo, 8:20 PM ET: The Steelers are 10-2 SU and ATS in the past 12 meetings, and the Under is 8-4.
Week 15 at Cincinnati, 8:15 PM ET (Monday): Pittsburgh has won seven straight at Paul Brown Stadium (4-1-2 ATS).
Week 16 vs. Indianapolis, 1 PM ET: Pittsburgh is 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS against the Colts at home since 1985.
Week 17 at Cleveland, 1 PM ET: The Under is 7-1 in the past eight meetings.
EXPERT PICK FROM LEGENDARY ODDSMAKER KENNY WHITE: Over 9 wins (-120)
Big Ben is the reason, but let's talk schedule. The Steelers don't play back-to-back road games until December and in their first 10 games they play at the NY Giants, host Denver, host Cleveland, host Cincinnati, visit Jacksonville and host Washington. They could very easily win all six, leaving them 10 other games to win four!
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