Patriots vs. Steelers Week 2 matchup preview and current betting lines
When the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers meet, it usually is a big deal in the AFC playoff picture. The last 22 meetings between these teams came in seasons where at least one made the playoffs, and 17 times saw both with a winning record that year.
But this season may prove difficult for both teams in divisions where they are no longer the first or second favorite in the odds. But the Steelers are 1-0 after a dramatic win over the Bengals, and the Patriots just lost a fourth-straight matchup with Miami to start 0-1 again.
Bill Belichick has not started 0-2 in New England since the 2001 season when Tom Brady infamously took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe. He is also 12-4 against the Steelers since joining the Patriots in 2000.
The NFL Week 2 odds have the Patriots as a 2-point road favorite in this matchup, but this line probably says more about T.J. Watt’s health than anything about these teams.
Players to watch in the Patriots vs. Steelers game
New England Patriots
Kendrick Bourne: In Miami, Bourne played two snaps and caught a 41-yard pass on one of them. Why didn’t he play more? He was in the doghouse for missing a meeting. With owner Robert Kraft taking notice of the lack of snaps, look for the Patriots to put one of their best receivers on the field more often.
Pat Freiermuth: If Mitch Trubisky isn’t going to find his wide receivers in this offense, then it is time for the Steelers to unleash tight end Pat Freiermuth. He led the team with a career-high 75 yards in Cincinnati. He has the ability to be a top tight end in this league.
Our Best NFL Bets for the Patriots vs. Steelers game
We have two NFL Week 2 predictions we really like for this game as the Steelers look to improve to an improbable 2-0 start.
Patriots vs. Steelers Point Spread Pick: Patriots -2 (-110)
The Patriots vs. Steelers spread opened with the Patriots as a 1.5-point road favorite. It has moved to Patriots -2 or even -2.5 at many sportsbooks
If T.J. Watt (pectoral) was playing in this game, the Steelers might be the favorite. When Mitch Trubisky is the quarterback and first-round rookie Kenny Pickett is the backup, the Steelers might be the only team where a season-ending injury to a defender means more than one to the quarterback.
This is exactly the kind of game that Watt could swing with a strip-sack or tipped ball leading to a turnover. It was a fumble for a touchdown off Mac Jones that hurt the Patriots in Miami. But without Watt, Pittsburgh is going to have to find a way to create turnovers to help the offense, which still looks broken by relying on too many short throws and no room for Najee Harris to run anywhere.
The Patriots did not impress at all on offense in Miami, but that venue has been a difficult place for them for two decades. The defense at least surrendered just 13 points to Miami.
Between Watt’s absence, the Steelers’ broken offense, and the Patriots playing with desperation to avoid 0-2, look for New England to get the cover and win by at least a field goal in the NFL bet of the week.
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Patriots vs. Steelers Total: Under 40.5 (-114)
The Patriots vs. Steelers odds set the total at 40.5 points. New England just played a 20-7 game, and the Steelers came awful close to a 20-20 overtime tie in Cincinnati. Neither offense is sharp right now. When Ben Roethlisberger missed 14 games in the 2019 season, the over was 4-12 in Pittsburgh games. Look for a lot more low-scoring games from Pittsburgh this year by design.
Belichick’s Patriots used to be so reliable to shred the Steelers by spreading their base 3-4 defense out, abandoning the run, and passing all over the field. Those days with Tom Brady are over, and the weapons just aren’t up to snuff for the Patriots. While Mac Jones has completed over 70% of his passes in more than half his starts, it’s just not going to be the same without offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels this year. The duo of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge handling the offense went terribly in Week 1.
Maybe turnovers leading to short fields can drive up the scoring again, but with Trubisky’s accuracy issues and Jones’ back ailing, this feels like a 20-17 game where the under should hit.bet on nfl with fanduel >
Frequently asked questions about the New England vs. Pittsburgh game in week 2
The game is being played at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Mike Tomlin is 3-8 SU and 3-7-1 ATS against Bill Belichick. At home, Tomlin is 2-3 SU and 2-3 ATS against Belichick’s Patriots.
No, Watt is expected to forego surgery and could return in six weeks.
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