Ah, yes. As if America needed another reason to hate the New England Patriots, it received the news late yesterday afternoon that Antonio Brown had signed with the Evil Empire. If I could’ve bet on that outcome, it would have been my play of the year. But that’s for another time. Let’s get into our Steelers-Patriots betting preview.
Of course, the Patriots will open their Super Bowl defense against Brown’s former team — the other one, you know, the one that he actually played for — at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night. This spicy subplot is just part of what will be a night of high drama between these two longtime AFC rivals.
Still, that’s just part of the intrigue as this game marks the first opportunity for those within in PA’s state limits to legally wager on a regular season Steelers game.
Can Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers deliver a Week 1 upset and cover the spread against football’s biggest heel and its most nauseating team? Let’s get to it.
How to Bet on Steelers-Patriots
There are plenty of legal online sportsbooks from which to choose with new entrants into the fray popping up at a rapid pace –and that’s great news for those looking to get in on the action with PA online sports betting.
How to Watch
It will be another dose of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michelle Tofoya as the NBC prime-time crew does its second game of kickoff weekend.
- Date: Sunday, September
- Time: 8:20 p.m.
- Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, MA)
- Network: NBC
Here are the current Steelers-Patriots odds at the top legal online sportsbooks:
|Steelers||+6 (-110)||+215||49 (-110)|
|Patriots||-6 (-110)||-275||49 (-110)|
Here is a look at the sportsbook moneyline probability in relation to FiveThirtyEight’s ELO projections.
FiveThirtyEight’s ELO point spread projection says the Patriots should be a 5-point favorite and gives them a 68% chance of winning the game. By this measure, with the Pats currently a 5.5-point favorite at most sportsbooks, there is 1/2 point of value to be had by betting on the Steelers at +5.5.
Meanwhile, the implied win probability of the Patriots -250 moneyline odds at FanDuel is 71.4%. In relation to the ELO projection of 68%, the Patriots are slightly more expensive on the moneyline than they should be.
As for the Steelers, the implied probability of their +215 moneyline odds is 31.7%, which is almost right in line with their 32% ELO probability.
Antonio Brown won’t suit up in this game, but he’s all anybody can talk about leading up to this game, and he will likely be the a focal point on tonight’s broadcast.
Brown racked up 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns over nine seasons in Pittsburgh, and most Steelers fans probably now can’t stand the guy. Can’t imagine why:
Despite a 17-10 win late last season that ended the Patriots’ five-game winning streak between these two teams, the Patriots have certainly gotten the better of what has been a frequent matchup over the last decade-plus. Since 2004, the Patriots are 9-4 overall against the Steelers, including a 4-1 record at home. Their lone loss came in a 33-10 blowout in 2008. At quarterback that day for the Patriots was Matt Cassel, so…
Why Backing the Steelers is a Good Bet
Roethlisberger is a Quality Underdog Quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger quarterbacked teams are 9-8 ATS as prime-time underdog, which in and of itself isn’t overwhelmingly impressive, but he’s 5-3 ATS when an underdog of 5-8 points and 4-2 ATS when an underdog of 5-7 points.
Pittsburgh is 9-5 ATS as an underdog in road prime-time games under Tomlin.
Why Backing the Patriots is a Good Bet
It’s all about Tom Brady
Here’s a newsflash: Tom Brady is good. A revelation, I know. Some Brady-specific trends you need to know:
- Brady is 16-11-1 ATS on Sunday Night Football.
- Brady is 36-10-4 ATS all-time when favored between 5-7 points. He’s also 19-3-3 ATS all-time at home and 6-2-1 ATS when a favorite between 5-7 points in prime-time game.
- Brady is 12-0-1 ATS when favored between exactly 5-6 points.
Is that good? Yes?
Including the postseason, the Patriots have won 16 straight home games, which is an incredible feat.
Tomlin Has Struggled in Week 1 Games
The Steelers are only 5-7 ATS in Week 1 games under Mike Tomlin.
And He Hasn’t Been Great Against New England
Tomlin’s Steelers teams are only 4-6 ATS and 3-7 straight up against the Patriots.
Here are the betting splits of all reporting legal sportsbooks as of 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening:
Only 40% of point spread bets back the Steelers, yet 67% of the point spread money at reporting markets is backing them.
Prediction: I want to pick the Steelers in this game. My gut tells me that 5.5 points is way too much for the Patriots to be laying sans Gronkowski (and a weakened offensive line with the departure of Trent Brown via free agency), particularly against what should be an improved Steelers defense. I’m well aware that trend data isn’t everything, but Brady has been so good against Pittsburgh and absolutely outstanding in this spread range — especially in prime-time games. Betting against New England is a bold strategy, but…I’m going to do it anyway. Screw it.
Patriots 27, Steelers 23