New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers Preview (9/18/22): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

The New England Patriots (0-1) meet the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) for the first time since 2019. This matchup no longer features a duel between Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, but Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin are quite familiar with each other. 

Can New England avenge their pitiful Week 1 loss by snatching a win in Acrisure Stadium? Their odds are found below, as well as picks, predictions, injuries, and depth charts.

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds

The Patriots are shockingly slightly favored despite their inept offensive performance and Mac Jones slightly limited due to a back injury. It’s also a road game for New England, which only aids the Steelers. However, the over under currently sits at a reasonable 40.5 total points, which is tied with Jets Browns for the lowest mark among all Week 2 contests.

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction

Best Bet: Steelers Moneyline (-105 DK)

Considering the odds, Pittsburgh’s moneyline is highly desirable and headlines the best bets for this game. Their imposing defense forced five Bengals turnovers and held elite running back Joe Mixon to an underwhelming 82 yards on 27 carries (3.03 yards per rush). PFF graded Pittsburgh’s versatile defense 1st in run defense, 8th in pass rush, and 4th in pass coverage. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Cameron Sutton form a stingy secondary that covered Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd as well as any team can. They now face a lackluster Patriots wide receiver room that doesn’t even feature a player as talented as Boyd. New England will also field an injured Mac Jones at quarterback, so their passing offense is extremely suspect regardless of the defense they face. 

The Patriots own a solid rushing attack and TJ Watt is a substantial loss, but Pittsburgh’s defensive line excels at holding its ground and closing any holes. Their linebackers and secondary also wrap up and tackle well, so New England likely struggles to run the ball. Look for the Steelers to hold the Patriots to a maximum of 14 points here. 

On the other side, Pittsburgh has a plethora of weapons on offense to aid Mitch Trubisky. TE Pat Freiermuth will challenge the Patriots linebackers, especially in the red zone. Najee Harris is an elusive do-it-all running back who runs with power and vision. Meanwhile, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and George Pickens pose a serious threat to a New England secondary that PFF ranked 31st in Week 1 for pass coverage. Plus, Adrian Phillips – arguably the best Patriot in the secondary – is questionable to play.

The Steelers cannot be classified as an elite offense due to Trubisky’s presence, but they should have no problem scoring at least 21 points against the depleted Patriots. With a more explosive offense and dangerous defense, the Steelers are clear favorites to prevail. 

Betting Trends

  • Steelers are 19-5-2 ATS in their last 26 games as a home underdog
  • Steelers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. AFC
  • Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall
  • Under is 4-0 in Steelers last 4 home games
  • Under is 10-4 in Patriots last 14 road games

Key Injuries

New England Patriots Injuries: Mac Jones (P), Adrian Phillips (Q)

Pittsburgh Steelers Injuries: TJ Watt (O), Levi Wallace (Q), Robert Spillane (Q), Najee Harris (P)

Key Matchups

Check out the key matchups and mismatches for New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers below.

The Patriots Offensive Line vs the Steelers Defensive Front

Mac’s back injury may reduce his mobility, and the receivers also need extra time to create separation against this airtight Pittsburgh secondary. Therefore, New England’s offensive line must stave off the pass rush and provide an abundance of time for the passing offense. In addition, the offensive line has to create gaps for Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. It’s crucial that New England can run the ball because it will allow them to drive up the field without challenging the Pittsburgh secondary. 

It won’t be easy, as the Steelers can still apply tremendous pressure even without Watt. Cam Heyward recorded a sack against Cincinnati, and he is coming off an All-Pro 1st Team season where he produced 10 sacks. Alex Highsmith shredded the Bengals for 3 sacks, and Larry Ogunjobi is one of the better defensive tackles at pressuring the quarterback. 

This matchup will determine whether the game is close or a breeze for the Steelers.

Jalen Mills vs Diontae Johnson

With JC Jackson in Los Angeles, Jalen Mills is now the top cornerback for the Patriots. He allowed 62 yards against Miami, and PFF graded him as the 7th worst cornerback in coverage (minimum 10 coverage snaps). It’s understandable given the wide receiver talent Miami boasts, but he again faces a stiff test against Diontae Johnson, who posted 1,161 yards, 8 TD, and a Pro Bowl appearance last season. 

Can Mills contain Johnson and allow New England to double elsewhere? If Johnson torches him, then it will trickle down the entire defense and allow Pittsburgh to move the ball effectively. The Patriots cannot afford a successful outing from the Steelers receivers since their own offense will struggle to score points.  

New England Patriots Depth Chart

QB: Mac Jones
RB1: Damien Harris
RB2: Rhamondre Stevenson
LWR: Nelson Agholor
RWR: DeVante Parker
SWR: Jakobi Myers
TE1: Hunter Henry

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Mitch Trubisky
RB1: Najee Harris
RB2: Jaylen Warren
LWR: Diontae Johnson
RWR: George Pickens
SWR: Chase Claypool
TE1: Pat Freiermuth

Braxton has been writing for Lineups since December 2021 with the majority of his articles focused on the NBA. He is currently a senior at the University of Pennsylvania where he has spent the last few years working with various UPenn athletics teams and contributing to the UPenn Sports Analytics Group.

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