New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (12/7/23)

The New England Patriots battle the Pittsburgh Steelers in Thursday Night Football (12/7/23). Get Patriots vs. Steelers First Touchdown best bets, as well as a player prop search tool to optimize odds shopping for Thursday night’s game.

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New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers First Touchdown Picks

The goal of the First Touchdown prop is to identify which player will score the first touchdown of the game. Who will score the first touchdown in the Patriots vs. Steelers game?

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense First Touchdown (+2300 FD) & No Touchdown Scorer (+1500 DK)

Talk about pathetic offenses. Pittsburgh and New England are tied 28th at 1.3 offensive touchdowns per game, and both teams rank bottom ten in expected points added (EPA) per play. 

New England’s quarterback situation is a carousel of underwhelming options, they rank 27th in PFF’s pass blocking grade, and their receiver room is arguably the worst in the NFL. They face a formidable Pittsburgh defense that has allowed the tied third fewest touchdowns per game and forced the fourth largest percentage of opponent drives ending in a turnover. The Steelers are tied fifth in defensive touchdowns per game too, and they have every chance to once again replicate this feat. It would hardly be shocking if New England’s putrid offense either failed to score or spoonfed Pittsburgh’s defense a score.  

On the other side, the Patriots still maintain an effective defense that sits 15th in opponent EPA per play and 7th in opponent success rate. They own the third best run defense per PFF, which doesn’t bode well for a Pittsburgh team that has struggled to throw the ball. Veteran Mitch Trubisky is far from elite, or even good for that matter, so Bill Belichick can terrorize him via his game plan. 

The Steelers defense needs to score the first touchdown about 4.2 percent of the time for the bet to hold a positive expected value, while no touchdown scorer sits at 6.3 percent. 

Jaylen Warren First Touchdown (+500 BMGM)

Although New England’s run defense is stout, it’s difficult to trust Kenny Pickett in the red zone – the Steelers are 31st in passing touchdowns at a mere 0.67 per game. Najee Harris has absorbed the goal line carries throughout the season, but he’s unlikely to suit up due to a knee injury. 

Jaylen Warren has flashed tremendous potential. Of the 39 running backs with 100+ attempts, Warren ranks first in yards after contact per attempt, sixth in missed tackles forced, and third in breakaway percentage (per PFF). He will receive the vast majority of the volume with Harris either out or limited, especially in the red zone. 

If a player does wind up scoring a touchdown, then Warren is the guy to do so – he holds the most first touchdown equity of anyone. 

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Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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