The honor of playing in the Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. They’ll square off in the first matchup before giving way to the Titans and Broncos in the nightcap. The Steelers are slated as the favorites for the first half of the doubleheader, entering the game as a six-point favorite with an over/under of 46.
Hey Look, Kids, There’s Big Ben
Ben Roethlisberger is back under center for the Steelers after missing the final 14 games of last season due to an elbow injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Seahawks. Pittsburgh struggled to find an offensive identity, using both Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at quarterback, but neither could establish themselves as the clear-cut guy. Subsequently, the Steelers missed the playoffs, finishing 8-8.
The black and gold could find themselves right back in the playoff hunt this year. JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Connor are healthy to start the year. 2019 Defensive Player of the Year candidate Minkah Fitzpatrick will have a full year to patrol the secondary, and a slimmed-down Roethlisberger will try to recapture some 2018 magic, where he led the league in passing yards and passing attempts.
Here Comes the Judge
As the Steelers look to regain that upper-echelon form, the Giants remain in rebuild mode. It’s year three for stud running back Saquon Barkley, year two for quarterback Daniel Jones, and the debut season for new head coach, Joe Judge. The 38-year old spent the previous eight seasons as an assistant in New England, though never as an offensive or defensive coordinator.
The Giants have made the playoffs just once in the last eight seasons and won a combined 12 games over their previous three years. Jones tossed a franchise rookie-record 24 touchdowns last year in replacing Eli Manning, but he also turned the ball over 23 times, including 11 lost fumbles.
Pittsburgh Steelers/New York Giants Free Betting Pick
As mentioned, the 2018 version of Big Ben liked to throw the ball. A LOT. The Giants defense gave up A LOT of passing yards last season. In fact, Big Blue was in the bottom five in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns allowed a year ago. Things should only go up for the Giants and their new defensive coordinator, Pat Graham, but it won’t happen overnight.
Judge wasn’t necessarily a conventional hire, despite his championship pedigree under Bill Belichick. Despite having never led an offense or defense, Giants’ brass is hopeful their sideline skipper can emulate the success of another special-teams-coordinator-turned-head-coach, John Harbaugh.
That seems like a tall task at this point, especially with the defense Judge has inherited. He’ll have his hands full with a reloaded Steelers offense, who should have a field day on Monday night once the jitters wear off for Roethlisberger. Don’t be surprised if rookie receiver Chase Claypool lives up to the preseason hype.
Feel comfortable laying nearly a touchdown on the road in a game that should provide some offensive fireworks throughout the evening.