The Pittsburgh Steelers host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, in what should be physical, hard-hitting matchup. But before we get into analyzing what Vegas has to offer for this game, let's take a look back at how we did in Week 1.
Week 1 Recap
The Steelers were losers in Week 1, and so were any readers who took my advice from last week's post. As I predicted, the Patriots beat the Steelers, but there was little value in taking the Pats to win at -310 (kudos to those who did).
If you took the Patriots to cover the seven-point spread, you watched in horror as the Steelers pulled off an improbable back-door push. Down 28-14, with a few seconds remaining in the game, Ben Roethlisberger threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown in the corner of the end zone, making the final score 28-21.
The Steelers' continued offensive struggles in the red zone cost bettors who took the over. Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley's group failed to score a touchdown on seven consecutive plays from inside the Patriots' 10-yard line, while kicker Josh Scobee missed field goals of 44 and 46-yards.
The game prop and player prop bets also lost. Scobee connected on a 44-yard attempt later in the game, but Patriots' kicker Stephen Gostkowski did not attempt a field goal. Wide receiver Markus Wheaton caught three passes for 55 yards, falling well short of 100.
The 49ers are coming off a 20-3 home victory over the Minnesota Vikings on ESPN's Monday Night Football. The 49ers offensive line bullied the Vikings' front seven, as Carlos Hyde rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
The Steelers have had 10 days to lick their wounds going into Sunday's game, and will look to turn things around at the friendly confines of Heinz Field. Most of the major betting sites currently have the Steelers as 6-point favorites over the 49ers.
Steelers -245 ($10.00 wins $4.08)
49ers +205 ($10.00 wins $20.50)
When looking at this game, it's important to remember that the 49ers 20-3 Week 1 win came against a Vikings team led by second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater might prove to be a great quarterback some day, but right now he's not close to two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.
Even without All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger has a lot of weapons at his disposal, and should present a lot more problems for the San Francisco defense.
The schedule makers didn't do the 49ers any favors in Week 2. San Francisco travels to Pittsburgh on short rest, following a physical game on Monday night. West Coast teams tend to struggle when they play on the East Coast, especially on short rest in 1 p.m. EST games. Look for the Steelers to take advantage and bounce back in Week 2.
The play :
Steelers -6 (-110) ($10.00 wins $9.09)
49ers +6 (-110) ($10.00 wins $9.09)
The 2015 season is still young, but the Steelers enter this matchup as a desperate group. A loss to the 49ers will put the Steelers in an 0-2 hole, with showdowns against the much-improved St. Louis Rams, and the division-rival Baltimore Ravens looming. This sense of urgency, in addition to ten days of rest and playing at home, will be enough for Pittsburgh to beat San Francisco by at least a touchdown.
*Facts of note:
The 49ers at 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games
The Steelers are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven home games
The play :
45.5 (-110) ($10.00 wins $9.09)
As we saw in Week 1, the 49ers' offense isn't built to score a lot of points. They are a team that will win games by running the ball, winning the time of possession and pounding the opposing defense into submission.
The Steelers' offense continued to struggle in the red zone at New England, converting 464 yards into just 21 points. Those struggles could continue this week without Bell and Bryant in the lineup.
*Facts of Note:
The total has gone under in four of the Steelers last five games
The total has gone under in eight of the 49ers last 11 road games
Steelers win by 11-13 points +1250 ($10.00 wins $125.00)
DeAngelo Williams over 100 rushing yards +300 ($10.00 wins $30.00)
Steelers 24, 49ers 17