NFL Football Betting: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

NFL Football Betting:  Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

This game had the makings of a compelling opening night contest when everyone assumed that Tom Brady would be suspended for his role in ‘deflate-gate’. Now, following a judge’s ruling against the NFL’s suspension, it has more of the makings of a rout. The New England Patriots begin their defense of the Super Bowl championship at home in the league’s traditional Thursday opening game. This is one of the biggest events of the season but, alas, Roger Goodell has decided to take the low road and not attend the contest. That does nothing to change the dynamic of this game but does show that the commissioner can be a very petty person.

Pittsburgh is still a good team but in our view are decidedly weaker than their opponent in this contest. This is especially true due to some very significant injuries in the Steelers’ offense–most significantly the ankle injury to center Maurkice Pouncey who’ll be out until Week 12 at the earliest. Depending on how things go, he could be out until the playoffs or even for the year. A more short term issue is also manifest in this game due to the suspensions of starting running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Before the Brady ruling, this looked like a manageable issue but now makes this look like the Steelers are ‘taking a knife to a gun fight’.

The New England Patriots have a chip on their shoulder due to enduring one of the most ridiculous ‘investigations’ in NFL history during the off-season. They never imagined that things would work out the way it did and this has the earmarks of a spot where head coach Bill Belichick and starting quarterback Tom Brady will make a statement. They’ve got a good matchup to do just that. The last time these teams played Brady eviscerated the Steelers’ defense, throwing for 432 yards and four touchdowns. New England ended up winning 55-31 and the 55 points allowed represented the most given up by a Steelers’ defense in franchise history.

Pittsburgh will give a decent account of themselves and with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown healthy are always a threat to score. But they’ll likely find themselves in a ‘shootout’ against a team that is more adept at winning this type of game.