The last time we saw the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills square off was in Week 14 of the 2020 NFL season. This time around, we will get a showdown between the Steelers and the Bills in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, with plenty of headlines stemming from the game.
Back in Week 14 of last season, Buffalo prevailed with a 26-15 victory over Pittsburgh, handing the Steelers their second loss in a row after beginning the season 11-0. Ahead of what should be an intriguing game, let’s take a look at both sides of the ball in the Week 1 bout between the Steelers and the Bills.
Steelers vs Bills Best Bet: Bills -6.5 (-110) at BetMGM
For in-depth analysis on this pick and others, continue reading.
Steelers vs Bills Prediction
Entering the 2021 season, it seems as if the Steelers and the Bills are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to expectations. While Pittsburgh has been historically successful, it could very well be Ben Roethlisberger’s final year in black and gold in 2021.
Even with Roethlisberger returning for another season, he isn’t the same quarterback he once was and he’s going to have an entirely new offensive line than he had just last season.
As for the Bills, the expectations couldn’t be much higher after they saw Josh Allen makes leaps and bounds in his development as a quarterback in 2020. Allen led Buffalo to the AFC Championship before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-24.
Despite not having much of a running game, the Bills are projected to have one of the league’s best passing offenses with Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, and Cole Beasley catching passes from Allen.
The one chance that the Steelers have to upset the Bills on the road is the addition of rookie Najee Harris to the offense. Harris is expected to take on a heavy workload in the backfield, joining forces with Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster in the offense.
Pittsburgh’s defense is also known for wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks, so they could make things uncomfortable on Allen, especially after adding Melvin Ingram, along with the potential emergence of Alex Highsmith.
Unless Roethlisberger can wind back the clock, it’s hard to envision the Steelers being able to overtake the Bills on the road. Given the lack of confidence I have in Roethlisberger, I have Buffalo defeating Pittsburgh for the second straight season.
Betting Pick: Bills 27, Steelers 17
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Steelers vs Bills Best Bets
Best Bet: Bills -6.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Of course, there’s a chance we see the Bills take a step backward after a stellar campaign in 2020. However, with Brian Daboll returning as their offensive coordinator, along with the defense slated to show improvements, Buffalo should be one of the premier teams in the AFC again.
We’ll get a good look at what type of team the Steelers are in Week 1, especially against a team that was in the Conference Championship game last season. What Pittsburgh needs to do is limit turnovers and avoid any mental mistakes against an offense that can score with the best of them. It’s not like the Bills have a shortage of talent on defense with Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Tremaine Edmunds, and Jerry Hughes leading the way.
I’m expecting a turnover or two from Roethlisberger, which could lead to easy points for Allen and the Bills. Seeing that I am predicting a double-digit victory for Buffalo over Pittsburgh, take the Bills at -7 for -110 odds on BetMGM right now. Even with a deep pass-rushing unit, the Steelers won’t have enough to slow down the aerial attack led by Diggs and co.
Best Bet: Under 48 Points (-110) at BetMGM
Sometimes, it can be dangerous to bet the over in Week 1 of the NFL season due to teams needing time to shake the rust off from the offseason. There are some games where I feel comfortable betting the over, but for the bout between the Steelers and the Bills, I’m siding with the under.
BetMGM currently has the over/under set at 48 points, which is fairly high in a game that features an aging quarterback like Roethlisberger.
Yes, Pittsburgh has an assortment of weapons on offense, but having a makeshift offensive line doesn’t seem ideal to begin the season. On the other side of the field, the Bills are definitely capable of dropping 30 points. However, the defense of the Steelers is capable of preventing them from posting 30 points on the scoreboard, helping us reach the under on total points.
Steelers vs Bills Same Game Parlay Picks
As the regular season nears and sportsbooks begin releasing player props, go check out my Same Game Parlay article for this game!