The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) will host the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:15 EST at Raymond James Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 3 NFL odds, the books opened the Steelers as a 3-point road favorite but as of right now Pittsburgh is a anywhere from a 1-point to a 2-point favorite. The total for this matchup is at 53.5 at most books, though some are as high as 54.5.
Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds: Steelers vs Buccaneers
Pittsburgh comes into this one off a 37-42 home loss to the Chiefs as a 4-point favorite. The Steelers were able to tie the game at 21-21 after falling behind 21-0 early, but Kansas City’s offense proved to be too much to overcome. Patrick Mahomes carved up Pittsburgh’s secondary, throwing for 326 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Chiefs also had 127 yards on 25 rush attempts. Not only are the Steelers off to a disappointing start, but there’s been a lot of drama in the locker room from Le’Veon Bell’s holdout and Antonio Brown’s meltdown.
While Pittsburgh hasn’t lived up to their potential, no one thought the Bucs would be sitting at 2-0. Not only did Tampa Bay have to open up with a road game agains the Saints and host the defending Super Bowl champs, but starting quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for the first 3 games. Ryan Fitzpatrick has put this team on his back. Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and 4 TDs in the Bucs 48-40 win at New Orleans in Week 1 and followed that up with another 402 yards and 4 scores in their 27-21 win over the Eagles in Week 2.
NFL Betting Predictions & Free Pick: OVER 53.5
I just don’t see a ton of value here with the spread. Tampa Bay’s not a team I want to bet against at home with how well they are playing and I also don’t want to go against the Steelers in what feels like a must-win game for Pittsburgh. If I had to lean one way or the other, I would probably take my chances with Pittsburgh, but I feel the best play in this one is the OVER 53.5.
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I just don’t think the total is high enough with the talent these two teams have on the offensive side of the ball and how bad they are on the defensive side of the ball. I look for both teams to score early and often and there figures to be a lot of explosive plays from both sides that lead to some quick scores.
Pittsburgh’s defense just hasn’t been the same since Ryan Shazier went down last season. They held the Browns to 21-points, but Cleveland’s offense was anemic with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. We saw just how much better the Browns offense was when Baker Mayfield took over for him in Thursday’s win over the Jets. After watching Mahomes and the Chiefs do whatever they wanted against the Steelers in Week 2, I don’t know how they are going to contain this Tampa Bay offense.
Chances are Fitzpatrick won’t be able to sustain this ridiculous play the entire season, but right now he’s playing at an elite level and you have to just assume with the weapons he has that it’s going to last at least a few more weeks.
What often gets overlooked when a team is putting up big numbers and winning game, is the play of the defense and Tampa Bay is lucky the offense has been clicking. They gave up almost 500 yards to the Saints in Week 1 and over 400 yards to an Eagles offense that had look atrocious with Foles at quarterback this season. Roethlisberger and that Steelers offense is going to have their way in this one.
Adding to all of this is a great system in play. The OVER is 28-8 going all the way back to 1983 when you have a home team with a line of +3 to -3 that has allowed 99 or fewer rushing yards in 2 straight games against an opponent that had 50 or fewer rushing yards in their last game. That’s a 78% system in favor of the OVER.