Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (1/14/24)

Get Steelers vs. Bills NFL first touchdown player prop picks & odds for their (1/14/24) matchup.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills First Touchdown Search Tool

There’s some nasty weather en route to Buffalo; true “football weather” as some might say. This intense weather element adds a bit of intrigue into what would otherwise be considered the most “open-and-shut” game of the first round. With the chance that due to the weather, not many touchdowns are scored at all, the first one will be a tremendous moment in this game. With that in mind, let’s get into some NFL Wild Card first touchdown picks for this Steelers vs. Bills matchup, where we’ll look at key players like Josh Allen, Jaylen Warren, and more.

Steelers vs Bills First Touchdown Picks

If there really are gale-force winds and/or heavy snow when this game kicks off, it’s hard to imagine the air game being too prevalent for either side. As such, let’s focus mostly on the top rushing threats for both sides and how each team’s running game could play into first touchdown scorer best bets.

Josh Allen First Touchdown (+460)

Most quarterbacks take a step back when the weather conditions look like they might for this contest, but Josh Allen is not most quarterbacks. Not only is he accustomed to wintery weather as a six year starter in Buffalo, but he’s also one of the league’s best rushers.

At 6’5” and nearly 240 pounds, Allen is built to power through terrible conditions. Even if the Steelers are selling out against the run, Allen is simply a challenge to bring down in short spaces. Between his innate scrambling ability and the rise of the quarterback sneak this season, Allen comfortably set a career high with 15 rushing scores, a step well above his total of seven a year ago, and his career best of nine, set back in 2019.

His efforts only intensified as the Bills’ playoff hunt escalated. Over Buffalo’s final six regular season games, Allen scored eight times — finding the end zone in five of those contests. He can get lost on a pass play he extends with his legs, or if Buffalo gets inside the five yard line- or better yet, right to the goal line- he is option number one. In a game that should be a total mess, expect Buffalo to keep things simple and let their big QB call his own number.

James Cook First Touchdown (+650)

For the second pick, we’re sticking with the Bills ground game. After finishing seventh in the NFL in rushing DVOA it’s likely the Bills will lean on Cook in such conditions. Pittsburgh’s defense is more or less equally tough against both the pass attack and run game, and while the ground game still favors Allen, he’s not the only option.

Cook has been outstanding at times for Buffalo, ranking fourth in the NFL in rushing yards this year, but he hasn’t really scored too often. Despite rushing for over 1,100 yards, he only ran for two touchdowns.

However, he did score four receiving touchdowns, and could be an option through the air if the Bills run a misdirection-type play near the goal line with the Pittsburgh defense keying on Allen. Of course, he could also receive a plain old halfback dive; maybe the Bills will give a different look than usual Allen carry if they’re near the end zone but outside of QB sneak territory.

Najee Harris First Touchdown (+1000)

We have to have one Pittsburgh Steeler in here, just in case they do win the coin toss and put together a nice drive, but there’s a real chance they don’t score a touchdown at any point, let alone first. He shouldn’t be your only bet, but that being said, if you’re building a portfolio of first scorers, it’s pretty unwise to leave one team out. So, for the Pittsburgh representative, we’re selecting Harris, who has emerged as the top option in their stable of running backs, over Jaylen Warren.

Harris hasn’t necessarily been better than Warren, but he’s receiving more touches, especially where it matters. He scored four touchdowns over the final three games of the Steelers’ regular season slate, all of which had a playoff-like atmosphere as the team needed to win to stay alive. Don’t expect Mason Rudolph to guide the offense through the snowy evening; if the Steelers score, it’s extremely likely to be on the ground. With just one rushing score over the past seven games for Warren, that points to Harris as the best option.

Dalton Kincaid First Touchdown (+1300)

The Bills should be running the ball, but if that option turns out to be so predictable that Sean McDermott and Joe Brady want to break tendency and surprise the defense, they could opt for a short, safe pass. That type of approach implies production for your tight end, especially around the end zone, and even more so when you have a player like Kincaid available.

The rookie from Utah has played really well this year, but hasn’t scored too often. He’s done so just twice this year, none of which came in the team’s past seven games. That being said, his volume has usually been fine; he caught 11 passes over Buffalo’s final two contests of the regular season, both of which were absolutely key. If the Bills want to take some heat off of Allen, as we mentioned they could with Cook, they could turn to Kincaid to open up the scoring.

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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