The Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2) travel to the Bay Area this weekend to take on the San Francisco 49ers (2-0). Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM EST on September 22nd at Levi’s Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the 49ers listed as 7-point home favorites. That line has hasn’t changed at all after early betting, as San Francisco is currently available at -7. The total for this matchup is 43.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 3 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
49ers vs Steelers Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Steelers are still searching for their first win of the regular season after losing 28-26 on the road in Seattle in Week 2. Pittsburgh led 10-7 at halftime but fell apart in the third quarter, getting outscored by the Seahawks 14-3. QB Ben Roethlisberger was forced to leave the game after suffering a season-ending elbow injury, which means Mason Rudolph is now the starting quarterback for the rest of the year. Rudolph was actually half-decent off the bench, going 12/19 for 112 yards and two touchdowns while also getting picked off once. James Conner continued to struggle on the ground, rushing 11 times for 33 yards and one touchdown. Surprisingly, TE Vance McDonald made the only two touchdown receptions of the game for the Steelers after catching seven passes for 38 yards and two scores.
The Steelers defense continued to struggle in Week 2, giving up over 450 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. Pittsburgh really had a tough time trying to slow down QB Russell Wilson, as he was 29/35 for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco improved to 2-0 overall after Week 2, crushing the Bengals 41-17 on the road. The Niners badly outclassed Cincinnati on both sides of the ball, jumping out to a 24-10 lead in the first half and never looking back. QB Jimmy Garappolo looked great, going 17/25 for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert put on a show as well, combining for over 200 rushing yards on the ground. Rookie Deebo Samuel led the team in receiving yards, making five catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, the 49ers gained more than 550 total yards of offense and scored five touchdowns against a poor Cincinnati defense.
The 49ers defense was also quite solid in Week 2, holding the Bengals to under 350 yards of total offense and giving up just two touchdowns. They also came up with an interception and held Joe Mixon to only 17 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: 49ers -7
It should be very interesting to see how Mason Rudolph performs in his first full start after the Steelers lost Roethlisberger for the season in Week 2. While he was able to make some tough throws against Seattle after entering the game in the second half, I think taking a wait and see approach is probably the optimal strategy here in Week 3. San Francisco has been extremely impressive on both sides of the ball to start the year, and I’m certainly wary of siding with a backup quarterback against a defense that has given up just 34 points in two games. Throw in the fact that Pittsburgh has now given up over 60 points in their first two games of the season and I think the 49ers should be able to grind out a cover in this particular spot.
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The Steelers are now just 2-6 against the spread over their last eight games overall. San Francisco has really fared well against the spread as of late, going 4-2 ATS in their last six games. The 49ers have also had a lot of success against AFC opponents recently, as they are 5-1 against the spread in their last six matchups. Ultimately, the Pittsburgh offense was having a hard enough time putting points on the board with Big Ben at quarterback, so I’m not very confident that they are suddenly going to turn things around now on the road with Rudolph under center. I’ll lay the touchdown and take the home favorite – give me San Francisco!