By Bob Duff | | 8 mins
Steelers vs Bills Picks & Week 1 NFL Betting Preview
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the NFL’s best team last season, and then they weren’t. Plenty of sportsbooks are projecting that the Buffalo Bills will be among the NFL’s best again this season.
AFC North champion Pittsburgh’s 11-0 start to the 2020 season was squandered via a 1-5 finish. Meanwhile, Buffalo went 13-3, including a 25-16 win over the Steelers, capturing its first AFC East title since 1995.
As these two 2020 division winners clash in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, betting sites are listing the Bills as 6.5-point favorites. Those same betting apps are establishing Buffalo as 3-1 favorites and setting the total initially at 49 points.
RELATED: Check Out The Latest NFL Week 1 Odds & Betting Lines
Steelers vs Bills Key Matchups
Josh Allen vs Steelers Pass Defense: The Bills behind QB Allen were the NFL’s No. 3 passing offense. Pittsburgh fielded the NFL’s No. 3 pass defense. The Steelers held Allen to 238 yards through the air and a passer rating of 77.1 in last season’s game.
Najee Harris vs The Hype: Traditionally a powerful running team, the Steelers ended up last in the NFL in rushing last season. They spent a first-round pick on Alabama’s Najee Harris to solve the problem. If he can be a presence in the backfield, with Ben Roethlisberger under center and Pittsburgh’s deep crew of receivers, the Steelers offense could be a dominant force.
Winning The Turnover Battle: Pittsburgh was No. 2 in the NFL last season, forcing 27 turnovers. The Bills were right behind them in third, forcing 26 turnovers. In last year’s game, Buffalo turned the ball over three times and Pittsburgh did so twice.
5 Key Steelers vs Bills Stats
- 40: Bills were third in the NFL in passing touchdowns with 40. The Steelers allowed 22 TD passes, fifth-fewest in the league. Something has to give.
- 1,351 Steelers were last in the NFL in rushing yardage with this total. Can Harris bring back the Pittsburgh run game?
- 107.6 Buffalo QB Josh Allen’s passer rating, third-best in the NFL. Pittsburgh held passers to an NFL-low 76.7 passer rating. Allen’s rating was 77.5 in last season’s game against the Steelers.
- 18 Steelers’ INTs last year on defense, tied for best in the NFL. Allen was picked off just 10 times all season.
- 66 Number of plays of at least 20 yards last season for the Bills. They were fourth in NFL in chunk yardage plays.
Steelers vs Bills Player Props To Watch
Josh Allen Over/Under 274.5 Yards Passing
Odds: -114 at FanDuel
Allen is a serious threat to be MVP this season and offers real value at +1200. A big game against Pittsburgh will help. Allen averaged 284 YPG last season. Buffalo’s offensive line and Allen’s mobility should give him enough time to avoid T.J. Watt – most of the time.
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Najee Harris Anytime TD Scorer
Odds: +120 at DraftKings
The Steelers took Harris out of Alabama in the first round. His play was limited in the preseason by design, but he showed enough to earn consideration inside the Red Zone. Look for the rook to score the first points of his pro career on Sunday.
Ben Roethlisberger Over/Under 24.5 Completions
Big Ben averages 21 completions per game in his career. Buffalo’s defense was problematic at times last season, but those issues were allegedly addressed this offseason and during camp. If the Bills get out early, Ben will be putting up a lot of passes but will face unrelenting pressure. That could get ugly fast. A close, low-scoring game suits Pittsburgh, so look for a focus on ball-control.
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Steelers vs Bills Weather Forecast
Even in September, Buffalo’s weather can be unpredictable. Even though the forecast for Sunday, September 12, is for sunny skies, 4 mph wind and a temperature of 77 degrees, there is also a 67% chance of rain.
Steelers vs Bills Moneyline
Buffalo was favored in NFL betting in last year’s game with the Steelers and won 26-15. In 2019, Pittsburgh was favored but the Bills were 17-10 winners.
The Bills were 12-1 straight up as a favorite last season and 7-1 SU as a home favorite. Pittsburgh was 3-2 SU as an underdog in 2020. The Steelers were 2-2 SU as an away dog. Take Buffalo in the moneyline at BetMGM.
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Steelers vs Bills Point Spread
Pittsburgh is 2-5 against the spread over the past seven games. The Steelers are 0-5 ATS in their past five games against AFC East opponents. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 games when facing the Bills.
That being said, Buffalo is 5-1 ATS in the last six home games. Lay the points and take the Bills at FanDuel .
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Steelers vs Bills Totals
In Pittsburgh’s last 20 road games, the total has gone under 14 times. Buffalo shared the NFL lead in going over last season, doing so 12 times (12-6-1). Pittsburgh was 8-7-2 against the total in 2020.
The Steelers showed a 6-3 record when they went over last season and 4-2 when they went under, with two pushes. The Bills were 10-3 in games in which they went over and 2-2 when they went under, with one push. The last six Bills vs. Steelers games have all gone under the total. Go with history when making NFL picks and play the under at Caesars.
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