The Patriots return to the gridiron Sunday for a Week 2 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and some might be surprised to see New England favored ahead of its second straight road game.
Mac Jones and company, after all, put forth an uninspiring effort in their season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins all while the Steelers earned a win over the reigning AFC champion Bengals in Cincinnati. But it seems the number of bets to come in on the Patriots, coupled by the fact the Steelers were handed a win as the Bengals contributed to their own demise, prompted oddsmakers to move New England from a 1-point underdog to a 2-point favorite.
Here is what bettors should know before placing a Week 2 wager with odds and props courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:
(-2) New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Total: over/under 40.5
When: Sunday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, Penn.
BETTING TRENDS TO KNOW
The Steelers (1-0 ATS) covered their 7-point spread and claimed a win straight up because the Bengals turned the ball over five times with three first-half interceptions. New England (0-1 ATS), however, failed to cover in its season opener as the Patriots fell 20-7 to the Dolphins after going into the contest as a 3.5-point road underdog. It wasn’t an overly memorable offensive display for either team, which is depicted as both teams failed to eclipse their respective Week 1 totals. The Mitchell Trubisky-led Steelers’ offense averaged 4.4 yards per play and managed just 10 points off four turnovers. Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense also failed to impress as New England lost the turnover battle 3-0 with just 271 yards of offense.
While it’s worth acknowledging that the Patriots are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against the Steelers, it’s not exactly the same New England team to have that success. The two teams haven’t shared the field since Tom Brady was behind center and Josh Gordon was catching balls in a Patriots uniform. With that, the reality that the Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last six games and 1-4 ATS in their last five road games probably is a bit more indicative of this group.
PATRIOTS PROP TO CONSIDER
Rhamondre Stevenson Over 1.5 receptions -175: The Patriots’ three-way split in the backfield presented a number of questions pertaining to how the group would look moving forward. But with Ty Montgomery being moved to the injured reserve after the season opener, Damien Harris and Stevenson should see much more of a split backfield. This receptions prop for Stevenson has the juice leaning heavily towards the Over, and for good reason. Stevenson, despite seeing just 25% of offense snaps, which ranked behind both Harris (39%) and Montgomery (37%) in Week 1, still eclipsed this number with two receptions. If you’d rather bet on a prop that would present a better return, Stevenson’s Over 12.5 receiving yards -115 is another very enticing wager.
STEELERS PROP TO CONSIDER
Mitchell Trubisky Under 220.5 passing yards -115: Trubisky threw the ball 38 times against the Bengals in Week 1, got three possessions in overtime and yet still finished with just 192 passing yards. The Steelers have plenty of issues up front, and it feels like a matchup Matthew Judon and the Patriots’ defensive front could take advantage of. Trubisky to finish with Under 20.5 completions — he had 21 completions in Week 1, again, with three overtime possessions — also feels like a worthy bet, though the juice is a bit stronger there at -135.
PICK: Under 40.5 -110
Admittedly, this would be the only way we would bet this game. Both offenses present far too many questions with New England, specifically, having concerns when it comes to play-calling and offensive line play. And while the Steelers do have some talented offensive playmakers, running back Najee Harris seems to be dealing with an injury and the inconsistencies of Trubisky don’t scream 28-point night for the Steelers. Of note, the total has gone Under in five of Pittsburgh’s last six games against New England and four of the Steelers’ last six games in general.