NFL Preseason Week 1 Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants
Saturday, 8/9/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: New York -1
Current Betting Line: New York -2.5
Opening Total: 37.5
Current Total: 37
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Pittsburgh went 0-4 in preseason play a year ago, which marked just the third time it had gone winless in that situation since 1970—something to consider when making your NFL betting predictions Saturday night. The Steelers are eager to get on the field at MetLife Stadium, but head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t placing a greater emphasis on winning in exhibition play. Rookie No. 1 pick Ryan Shazier isn’t expected to play due to nursing an injury, but third-round selection Dri Archer will see his first action as a professional.
The Steelers plan to go no-huddle offense early and often in the 2014 campaign, as they weren’t able to utilize that approach a year ago due to losing center Maurkice Pouncey on the first offensive series last season, while also not having halfback Le’Veon Bell and tight end Heath Miller available. Bell is the perfect back for this type of attack, as he’s big and can run inside and outside, but is also a threat catching the ball out of the backfield.
New York is already off and running after picking up a 17-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills as three-point underdogs in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NFL betting lines. The Giants first-team offense only looked effective in that affair when running the ball, but the main focus since the start of camp is getting the ball out of quarterback Eli Manning’s hands quicker. Head coach Tom Coughlin was encouraged by the play of backup signal-caller Ryan Nassib, who completed 7-of-12 passes for 139 yards.
The Giants are a bit of a mess in the backfield with the retirement of David Wilson and fellow running back Peyton Hillis being out for awhile. On the other side of the ball, New York is still looking at who will ultimately create a pass rush, as the team tallied just 33 sacks last year and will begin life without veteran Justin Tuck. Keep a close eye on ends Damontre Moore and Jason Pierre-Paul when on the field.
Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is on a 17-11-1 run in Steelers’ games under Tomlin.
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