The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to get back in the playoffs after their sub-par 2018 campaign left them on the outside looking in come playoff time a year ago. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to improve in a big way in their first year under widely-respected head coach Bruce Arians. Now, let’s find out where the best betting value lies in this Week 1 NFL preseason matchup.
Buccaneers vs Steelers 2019 NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds, Prediction & Pick
- When: Friday August 9, 2019, 7:30 PM (EDT)
- Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
- TV: NFL Network
- Radio: Tampa Bay / Pittsburgh
- Live Stream: NFL Network
- NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds: Pittsburgh -2.5 / Total: 37
- Sunny: 25°C/77°F
- Humidity: 43%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Wind: 9 mph NW
- Cloud Cover: 3%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why Bet On Tampa Bay at +2.5?
The Buccaneers will be looking to get their new era started off on the right foot while changing their culture completely under Bruce Arians. However, the Bucs’ success this coming season largely depends on whether 2015 top draft pick Jameis Winston can get his act together after four wildly inconsistent seasons in Tampa Bay. The Bucs are coming off a horrible 5-11 campaign in 2018 that saw them finish 12th in scoring (24.8 ppg) and a dismal 31st in points allowed (29.0 ppg).
The good news for Tampa Bay is that they still have some excellent talent, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, in the talented, but enigmatic Winston, perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans and young tight ends O.J. Howard and Cam Brate. However, on the defensive side of the ball, Arians has a lot of question marks to answer and probably too many to solve in just one year, although Tampa Bay probably hit a home run with former LSU superstar linebacker Devin White, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft.
- Average Score For: 24.75
- Total Yards: 415.62
- Pass Yards: 320.31
- Rush Yards: 95.31
- Average Score Against: 29
- Total Yards: 383.32
- Pass Yards: 259.38
- Rush Yards: 123.94
Why Bet On Pittsburgh at -2.5?
The Steelers will be going all-out from Day 1 to get back in the postseason after going an uninspiring 9-6-1 a year ago. The Steelers managed to rank a stellar sixth in scoring (26.8 ppg), but they’ll no longer have the services of superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown or star running back Le’Veon Bell, even though Bell sat out last season. In addition to looking to decide who will be their No. 2 wide receiver to go with JuJu Smith-Schuster, head coach Mike Tomlin will also look to shore up a defense that was far less than its usual self, particularly up front on the defensive line and at linebacker, although they did nab Michigan star Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick.
- Average Score For: 26.75
- Total Yards: 403.31
- Pass Yards: 313
- Rush Yards: 90.31
- Average Score Against: 22.50
- Total Yards: 327.37
- Pass Yards: 231.25
- Rush Yards: 96.12
Buccaneers vs Steelers NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting Trends
- Buccaneers are 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 games
- Buccaneers are 2-8 SU in the last 10 games
- The total went UNDER in 5 of the Buccaneers’ last 6 games
- Steelers are 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games
- Steelers are 8-4 SU in the last 12 games
- The total went UNDER in 5 of the Steelers’ last 7 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction for Buccaneers vs Steelers
Not only has Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin gone an encouraging 28-22 in the preseason in his career, but Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians is a far more modest 9-12 in the scrimmage season in his career. I know Tampa Bay has gone 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall, but I’m going with the Steelers because of their pair of talented, if untested, backup quarterbacks, Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph over Tampa Bay’s completely mediocre duo of Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin.
I think the smart money here is on Pittsburgh to take care of business at home, seeing as how they have the far better backup QB situation and a head coach that is looking to set the tone from the outset, starting with this preseason contest.
Pick: Pittsburgh -2.5