The Duel

Steelers Open as Surprisingly Small Favorites Against Giants in Week 1

By michael obermuller
Experience beats youth in Week 1, and Mike Tomlin plus Ben Roethlisberger trumps a new head coach and a second-year quarterback every time.
Experience beats youth in Week 1, and Mike Tomlin plus Ben Roethlisberger trumps a new head coach and a second-year quarterback every time. / Will Newton/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were a very satisfying 8-8 in 2019. I say satisfying because their veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was injured in Week 2, and despite some of the worst QB play statistically from his backups after that point, the Steelers were a tough matchup every week.

Their revamped defense was the main reason for their relative success, it was ranked fifth in both points and yards against last season. This unit will make things very hard on a young New York Giants team in Week 1, with a brand new coach and a rebuilt defense of their own.

Steelers vs Giants Spread Week 1

The Steelers are 4-point road favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, which is no small margin, but when you look at the situation that number could be even higher. The G-Men have not had more than five wins since the 2016 campaign, and now they will bring in an entirely new coaching staff.

This could be a positive transition, but the odds are stacked against Joe Judge and his colleagues. The offseason workouts have already been shortened because of the virus and training camp could be next. Players need time to adjust to a new playbook, and time is not on the Giants side this Summer. The Judge hire may end up being a great move, but it's unlikely to be a pretty start.

For Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin, two of the longest tenured employees in the NFL, this is tremendous news. Not much has changed on the Steelers roster from 2019 to 2020 either (other than Big Ben's return), which makes for a business as usual vibe.

Big Blue on the other hand has had tons of turnover. Rookies like Andrew Thomas and Xavier McKinney should start on both sides of the ball, free agents James Bradberry and Blake Martinez replace the previous leaders on D, and Daniel Jones is actually a rare constant in his second year.

New York might improve in 2020, but due to the circumstances it's unlikely to happen in Week 1 against a Pittsburgh team that knows each other extremely well. In the end, the Steelers may easily clear the four points.

Get $5 FREE when you sign up for FanDuel Racing, plus we’ll match your first deposit in site credit up to $50!

Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.