Pittsburgh at Washington Week 1 Expert Pick & Lines Analysis
A lot of the Week 1 matchups are just so-so in the NFL. But the game between Pittsburgh and Washington matches playoff teams from last season. Many think the Steelers will win the AFC now that the Patriots will be without Tom Brady for the first four games — that could help Pittsburgh get the top seed. The Steelers are road favorites at Washington on NFL lines in the first of two Monday night game to kickoff the season.
Take a Closer Look at the Steelers at Redskins Week Expert Pick, Lines Analysis & TV Info
When: Monday, Sept. 12, 7:10 PM ET
Where: FedEx Field, Landover
Radio: Pittsburgh / Washington
Opening NFL Lines: Steelers -3 (50.5)
Pittsburgh vs Washington Historical Betting Trends
Teams last met in 2012. Pittsburgh won 27-12 at home. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 222 yards and three scores. Jonathan Dwyer added 107 yards rushing and Heath Miller caught four passes for 46 yards and a TD. Big Ben is of course still around. The Washington QB that day was a rookie named Robert Griffin III. Griffin completed just 16-of- 34 passes for 177 yards and a score while managing 8 yards rushing.
Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
Steelers are 7-3- 2 ATS in their last 12 road games.
Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1.
Redskins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Redskins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Monday games.
Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
Because the Steelers might have the NFL’s best offense and they do have the league’s best receiver in Antonio Brown. He has recorded at least one reception in 84 consecutive regular-season games in which he has played (90, including the postseason), dating back to October 3, 2010. Last year, Brown set single-season franchise records in receptions (136) and receiving yards (1,834). He added 10 receiving touchdowns. Browns’ 136 receptions are tied for the second-most in NFL history in any single season (Julio Jones, 2015). He 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.
Brown set the franchise record for most 100-yard games in a single season (9) and became the first player in NFL history to record four games with at least 180 receiving yards in any single regular season. He is the only player in franchise history to record at least 1,600 yards in back-to- back seasons and is the second player in NFL history to record at least 1,600 yards in back-to- back seasons (Calvin Johnson). Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. hadn't given up a touchdown pass in over a calendar year, and when faced off against Brown last year — he got torched for touchdowns twice.
Pittsburgh also has one of the NFL’s best all-around running backs in Le’Veon Bell. He’s one of the league’s most dangerous and versatile players. It was only two years ago when Bell shattered the Steelers’ record for catches by a running back while finishing second in the NFL in rushing. There’s plenty of incentive for Bell to show he’s not injury prone as that has been a problem the past two years.
Why Bet on Washington?
The Redskins actually have one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks now to deal with Brown in Josh Norman. How will the All-Pro help in Washington? The Redskins allowed opponents to complete 47.0 percent of passes at least 15 yards downfield last season, 26th in the NFL. Norman had a career-high four interceptions, 16 passes defensed and 56 tackles last season for the NFC champion Panthers.
Expect Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry to play Norman as that outside a third of the time in three-deep zone coverage, mixing in some man schemes and opportunities for him to patrol the flat. High-risk, high-reward guys like Norman need to be given the freedom to make plays, and Barry will do that by putting him in a position where he can impact the point of attack. Pro Football Focus ranks Washington’s secondary at No. 8 overall in the NFL. The projected starters are Norman, cornerback Quinton Dunbar, slot cornerback Bashaud Breeland, safety DeAngelo Hall and safety David Bruton, Jr. Hall’s heading into his first full season as Washington’s starting free safety, having moved to the safety postiion midway through the 2015 campaign. Hall loves the move from cornerback to safety, saying it’s “rejuvenated” him and his career.
Will Washington QB Kirk Cousins continue his hot play? Cousins saw a positive spike in his numbers through Weeks 7-17 last season that led to a league-leading completion percentage (72 percent) and TD-INT rate (23-3).
My Expert Pick
Washington was overrated last year as was Cousins. Take Steelers on NFL betting lines and go over.