The New England Patriots will begin the defense of their Super Bowl title this weekend as they kick off their 2019 season on Sunday Night Football by playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers as 6-point favorites on the NFL betting odds.
Winners of five straight to close out last season, New England will be aiming to extend a 16-game straight-up home win streak in Sunday night’s matchup at Gillette Stadium.
In addition to being virtually unbeatable on the scoreboard when playing on home turf, New England has also been a reliable bet in home contests in recent years, going 13-4 ATS in 17 home dates since October 2017. Low-scoring affairs have also been the norm when the Patriots play at home, with the UNDER paying out in totals betting in eight of their past 12 outings.
Not surprisingly, the Patriots once again sit atop the Super Bowl odds as they prepare for their Week 1 clash with the rival Steelers, sporting +700 odds of raising the hardware for the fourth time in six seasons.
The Patriots will once again be led by Tom Brady, who returns for a 19th season as the team’s starting quarterback. The 42-year-old continued to defy Father Time last season, throwing for 4,355 yards and 29 touchdowns, and looks toward the new NFL football campaign pegged as a +2000 bet on the NFL odds to claim NFL MVP honors for the fourth time in his career.
Overall, the Patriots sported the NFL’s fourth-ranked offense last season, averaging 27.3 points per game while marching to an 11-5 record and a 10th straight AFC East title. More of the same is expected out of New England this season, with the Patriots pegged as -500 favorites to once again finish atop the AFC East standings, and a short -350 wager in NFL betting to rack up OVER 10 regular-season wins.
Steelers Seeking Return to Playoffs This Season
While the Patriots return to action basking in the glory of last winter’s Super Bowl triumph, the Steelers open their 2019 schedule with a lot to prove after closing out 2018 with a middling 9-6-1 record, and out of the NFL playoff picture for the first time in five years.
Last year’s Steelers were plagued by locker room controversy highlighted by star running back Le’Veon Bell’s season-long holdout and off-field distractions courtesy of Antonio Brown that reached a head when the star receiver demanded a trade at the end of the season.
Question marks also swirled around both head coach Mike Tomlin and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s future with the team. But while both Bell and Brown have moved on, both Tomlin and Big Ben return to a Steelers squad that enters Week 1 pegged as a +185 second favorite on the NFL lines to return to the top of the AFC North standings for the third time in four years.
However, the Steelers must first overcome a dismal finish to the 2018 season that saw them go 2-4 SU and ATS over their final six contests including outright losses in three road games. Offense emerged as a huge issue for Pittsburgh during its season-ending slide, with the team scoring 21 or fewer points in five of their final seven contests, fueling a 5-2 run for the UNDER in NFL football totals betting.
The Steelers proved to be road warriors prior to last year’s late-season collapse, going 17-2-1 in 20 road dates dating back to November 2016. Pittsburgh also eked out a 17-10 win over the Patriots as 2.5-point home underdogs on the NFL spread in Week 15.
However, victories in New England have been rare for the Steelers, who have gone 2-6 SU and 2-5-1 ATS in eight road meetings since January 1997, capped by a lopsided 36-17 loss as 6-point underdogs in their last trip to Gillette Stadium for the 2017 AFC Championship Game.
*Odds as of September 5, 2019