The Pittsburgh Steelers will be tasked with a decent challenge to open the season, hosting the San Francisco 49ers powerhouse at Acrisure Stadium. The Steelers and 49ers alike have a plethora of offensive weapons and equally robust defenses, so this game might be tricky to bet. However, we’ve dug into the numbers and identified some player props that look juicy to wager on in Week 1.
All odds come courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Brock Purdy UNDER 30.5 pass attempts (+110)
49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is making his regular season debut following his season-ending elbow injury. Though all indications are that he’s healthy following his Tommy John surgery back in March, he has seen his throwing reps managed in training camp and through the preseason.
Purdy has started eight games throughout his career, only exceeding 30 pass attempts in one of those starts. That one instance where he threw 35 attempts against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17. Those attempts came in an uncharacteristic shootout for the Niners, where this defense allowed 34 points to the Raiders — the second highest point total allowed to an opponent all season. This forced the 49ers to throw more than they wanted to — a situation they aren’t likely to find themselves in for this week in what’s projected to be a lower scoring affair.
George Pickens longest reception OVER 19.5 receiving yards (-115)
Pickett had a 119.5 passer rating when targeting Pickens in the 2022 season per Next Gen Stats, the third-highest passer rating among QB-WR duos (min. 50 targets). Expect at least a few shots to Pickens deep down the field against this Niners defense, which ranked 20th in the league last year with 222.9 pass yards allowed per game, including 167.5 receiving yards to wide receivers specifically — sixth most among NFL defenses.
Pickens led the Steelers last season with a 15.6-yard average depth of target, which was fruitful for long receptions even if they didn’t gain many yards after the catch, having had a reception of 20+ yards in 11 of 17 games last year. In fact, Pickens tied for the 11th most receptions of 20+ yards in the league last year, alongside some pretty respectable company in Stefon Diggs, D.J. Moore, and Week 1 opponent, Brandon Aiyuk. Smash the over.
T.J. Watt over 0.75 sacks +110
This game is going to be filled with pressure from both the 49ers and Steelers, and T.J. Watt is obviously a key contributor there for Pittsburgh. Between Watt, Cam Heyward, and Alex Highsmith, Pittsburgh should have an edge over the Niners offensive line.
Brock Purdy has taken two or more sacks in six of his eight career starts to date, while Watt himself has had notched a sack in all but two of season openers throughout his career. If Watt’s not your style, presuming he could see some double teams to open things up for others to take the sack, Alex Highsmith has his odds for a sack at +130, having totaled 11 sacks in 10 games played with Watt last season.