There are two Monday night games in Week 1 as usual this season and the opener is a good matchup between playoffs teams from last year: the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins. The Skins went from worst-to- first in the NFC East but don’t seem likely to win that division again. Pittsburgh is a popular Super Bowl pick and is a rare Week 1 road favorite in online NFL betting.
Take a Closer Look at the Pittsburgh at Washington Week 1 Betting Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 7, 2016
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
The Steelers enter the 2016 season after concluding 2015 with a 10-6 record and a second-place finish in the AFC North.
The Steelers could have the NFL’s best offense this season, although they are without top running back Le’Veon Bell for the first three games due to suspension. QB Ben Roethlisberger holds career franchise regular-season records in numerous passing categories, including passing touchdowns (251), passing yards (39,057), passer rating (93.9), completions (3,157), pass attempts (4,954), completion percentage (63.7), yards per attempt (7.9), 300-yard passing games (37) and 3,000-yard passing seasons (9). Roethlisberger played in 12 games last season, completing 319 passes on 469 attempts for 3,938 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Antonio Brown is the NFL’s best receiver. Last year, he set single-season franchise records in receptions (136) and receiving yards (1,834) and added 10 receiving touchdowns. His 136 receptions are tied for the second-most in NFL history in any single season (Julio Jones, 2015). Brown recorded at least 125 receptions for the second straight season, a new franchise record, and he became the first player in NFL history with at least 125 receptions in two straight seasons. He set the NFL record by registering 262 receptions in any two consecutive seasons.
With Bell out, DeAngelo Williams will start at running back. In his first season with Pittsburgh in 2015, Williams added 200 carries for 907 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, leading the team in all three categories.
Pittsburgh has 43 wins on Monday Night Football, the third-most in NFL history.
Why Bet on Washington?
Monday’s game presents many intriguing matchups. None is bigger than Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, the league’s highest-paid player at his position, and Pittsburgh’s Brown. Norman, 28, who has proclaimed himself the best cornerback on Earth, represented the Redskins’ biggest offseason acquisition. With Norman paired with third-year player Bashaud Breeland, the cornerback corps should be a strength of a Redskins defense that struggled last season.
The Skins could use a three-tight end set at times this year with Vernon Davis and Niles Paul lining up with starter Jordan Reed on occasion to give defenses a look they rarely see. Redskins coach Jay Gruden likes the look because it can, as he says, regulate a defense. If they bring in another linebacker and remove a corner, the Redskins could audible to spread out the tight ends and create a mismatch in the pass game.
Shawn Lauvao will start at left guard for the season opener. Lauvao had been rotating with Spencer Long at left guard throughout training camp as he returned from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final 14 games last season, including the playoffs.
The Redskins are seeking back-to- back division titles for the first time since securing three consecutive titles from 1982-84. A second straight division title would buck recent trends in the NFC East, a division that has not seen a team win consecutive titles since the 2001-04 seasons (Philadelphia). Washington didn’t beat a single playoff team last season en route to nine wins.
Monday’s game will mark the 11th time the Redskins have opened a season on Monday Night Football since the introduction of the broadcast package in 1970. A win would be the Redskins’ first season- opening Monday night win since defeating the Cowboys, 35-16, in Week 1 of 1993.
The Redskins will attempt to end a five-game losing streak against the Steelers that dates back to 1997. However, despite the recent skid, the Redskins still hold a 42-32- 3 advantage in the all-time series.
My Free Pick
Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
Steelers are 7-3- 2 ATS in their last 12 road games.
Redskins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Monday games.
Give the points in NFL betting and go over the total.