The Pittsburgh Steelers begin their season Sunday and it is easy to wonder if this will be Ben Roethlisberger’s final year in black and gold. Sports bettors can find upsets in the early season before teams hit their stride, and there are plenty of Steelers bets to like.
The Steelers visit the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. It will feature a matchup of the 39-year-old Roethlisberger and his younger clone, Bills QB Josh Allen.
Even beginning his 17th season, Roethlisberger can still extend plays and make something out of seemingly nothing. Allen has shown the same ability during his first three seasons and broke through last season when he passed for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns in leading the Bills to the AFC Championship Game.
Steelers Betting Lines, Odds and Preview:
So, let’s preview the Steelers-Bills game, featuring Big Ben and Big Ben Jr., with odds, picks, and a prediction.
Current lines for Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 (-115), Buffalo Bills -6.5 (-105)
Moneyline: Steelers +240, Bills -305
Over/Under: 48.5 (O -110), U (-110)
Steelers-Bills Betting Prediction
Roethlisberger and Allen played sparingly during the preseason, both appearing in only one game.
Against the woeful Detroit Lions, Roethlisberger completed 8 of 10 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Allen faced the Green Bay Packers and threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns while completing 20 of 26 attempts and not getting picked.
Allen did not have a great game when the Bills beat the Steelers 26-15 last season in Week 13 at home. However, he outshined Roethlisberger by going 24 of 43 for 238 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Roethlisberger was 21 of 37 for 187 yards and had two TDs and two INTs.
The Steelers couldn’t handle wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who had 10 receptions for 130 yards while going on to lead the league in both categories. However, the Steelers were also without top cornerback Joe Haden, who missed the game with a concussion.
The Steelers managed just 47 rushing yards on 17 carries. The Steelers, though, hope to rectify that situation with first-round draft pick Najee Harris, who is making his NFL debut against a run defense that was 17th in the league last year.
The Steelers-Bills Bets We Love
Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 (-115 – Draft Kings)
The Steelers ended last season with a thud, losing five of their final six games despite winning the AFC North title. There is also concern about a rebuilt offensive line in which three former Pro Bowlers departed as tackle Alejandro Villanueva left in free agency, guard David DeCastro was released and center Maurkice Pouncey retired.
Yet the addition of a top-flight rushing threat like Harris should spark the offense and take some of the load off Roethlisberger and his receivers. It is also safe to assume Diggs will not run wild through the Steelers’ secondary this time around with Haden in the lineup.
Najee Harris to Score First TD (+900 – MGM Grand)
Look for the Steelers to get Harris involved in the offense quickly. That would serve a two-fold purpose – help him get over first-game jitters and give the Steelers much-needed balance in their attack.
Harris doesn’t need GPS to find the end zone. He rushed for 26 touchdowns in 13 games last season while helping Alabama win the national championship.
Get your Sunday jollies at FanDuel, including the $200 win for a $5 bet, here:
The Bills have won their last eight regular-season games against the spread and four of their last five home games. However, look for the revamped Steelers’ offense to keep things close if not win outright.
Bills 27, Steelers 24