NFL preseason games are so hard to predict.
Some teams don’t play any of their starters during the exhibition season. When the first stringers do see the field, they are usually back on the sidelines by the start of second quarter.
Much of the outcome depends on how teams split up playing time with their quarterbacks and who has the most depth at what is arguably the most important position in all of sports.
With that in mind, let’s dive into a betting preview of Saturday night’s preseason game between the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field with odds, picks and predictions.
Current lines for Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Detroit Lions +6 (-110), Pittsburgh Steelers -6 (-110)
Moneyline: Lions (+205), Steelers (-255)
Over/Under: 37 (O -110), (U -110)
Lions-Steelers Betting Prediction
Ben Roethlisberger is going to get his first – and likely only – playing time of the preseason when he starts at quarterback for the Steelers. Coach Mike Tomlin has historically held Roethlisberger out of the preseason, but Big Ben wants to get some reps to get acclimated to the offense under new coordinator Matt Canada.
Of more interest might be the battle to be Roethlisberger’s primary backup. Dwayne Haskins has been getting reps with the second team in training camp lately ahead of Mason Rudolph. Both will play Saturday as will fourth-stringer Josh Dobbs.
The Lions’ quarterback situation for this game is less settled as Jared Goff might not play after starting Detroit’s preseason opener last week.
With backup David Blough dealing a sore shoulder, recently signed Jordan Ta’amu could wind up with a lot of playing time.
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The Lions-Steelers Bets We Love
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 (-110 – DraftKings)
As mentioned above, quarterbacking is so vital in preseason games and the Steelers have the clear edge in this one.
For openers, Roethlisberger is going to play, which gives an advantage to the Steelers. Then come Haskins and Rudolph, who are motivated to prove they should be QB2. And Dobbs is in a desperate situation as the Steelers are almost certain to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster, which makes him the odd man out unless he comes up big against the Lions.
All four have experience playing in NFL regular-season games. Conversely, Ta’amu has never taken a snap in a real snap in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers to score first (-145 – MGM Grand)
Once again, the quarterback comes into play and the Steelers look like a good bet to score early with Roethlisberger and the first-team offense starting the game.
The Lions have a new head coach in Dan Campbell, who says he wants his team to bite the opponents’ kneecaps. However, that can’t mask the fact Detroit finished last among the 32 NFL teams in points and total yards allowed last season.
Steelers Betting Prediction
Steelers 20, Lions 10