Betting the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) @ New York Giants (+5.5)
The New York Giants will kick off their 2020 regular season on Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are the first of a double header on ESPN; the second game will feature the Tennessee Titans on the road against the Denver Broncos.
The New York Giants have dealt with a lot of turnover since we have last saw them on the field. They are entering this season with a new coaching staff led by first time head coach, Joe Judge. They will be going up against a Pittsburgh organization that has experienced excellence and dominance for some time in the NFL. Both teams are coming into this season with something to prove.
The Giants, more importantly, head coach Joe Judge is ready to show he belongs as one of thirty-two head coaches in this league. He has to prove that he can make it in this league and has to show management that he has this New York Giants franchise trending in the right direction. The Steelers are coming into this season seeking vengeance. Last year, a week 2 injury that caused quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to miss the rest of the season significantly hurt their chances of making the playoffs. But, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin displayed his unbelievable coaching skills in having his team finish at .500 (8-8) and almost making the playoffs.
Many are predicting the Steelers to win this game. None, if few, are anticipating a Giants victory. While the Steelers will present a lot of challenges to this young Giants team, I am expecting a physical game in the trenches. Rumors out of Giants camp all offseason long have been about Coach Judge wanting to impose his physicality on the team.
There is no doubt the Steelers are the better team in this matchup. They have the better offensive and defensive line, they have the better wide receiver group, they have the better linebacker group and have the better secondary. The Giants are superior at tight end and running back. But, the one element that can never be underestimated in a week one matchup is rust.
Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger has not played a single snap, has not felt physical football contact in nearly a year. Although he is a super bowl veteran with tremendous amount of experience, I see him being rusty in this matchup.
Who to Bet on and Why
According to Draft Kings, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the favorite in this matchup. They are favored by -5.5, which pretty much means they need to win by at least a touchdown (7 points) in order for you to cover the spread if you choose to bet on them.
In order for the Giants to win this bet (+5.5) if you choose to go that route, they need to either outright win the game or lose by a field goal.
Most of America will bet on the Steelers covering the -5.5 spread as many are anticipating their defense being too much for this young Giants offense.
While I do see the Steelers defensive line causing havoc, I think the Giants are the more motivated team. Coming into this matchup, the Giants have more to prove. They have a brand-new coach, which means that throughout all of training camp, the atmosphere has felt different as there has been a different message being sent each and every day.
The Giants have also heard all the noise about their new coach and how many are speculating he isn’t good enough to make it in this league.
Take my word, the Giants are not the better team, but they are going to come out with more to play for and will play this game with more heart than the Pittsburgh Steelers. They will bring the physicality to this game.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants win this game but I have the Steelers winning in a close one, 24-21.
JLuppy’s Pick: Giants (+5.5)