It is the first chance for those betting NFL football to use Monday Night Football as a bailout, enhancer from Sunday or a place just to have action, as we revert to making this must see television again.
Pittsburgh and Washington will play the first of two games on ESPN, as we get our first listen to new announcing team. The Steelers have prolific offensive potential and at JustBet (huge selection of props), they are the second choice for NFL Futures to win the AFC to New England.
Washington was the surprise winner of the NFC East last year by winning and covering last four contests. With Dallas coming into August healthy, the Redskins were relegated to second class status, but once Tony Romo went down yet again, Jay Gruden’s guys got a second look to possibly repeat.
For NFL picks, what should we be looking for, here is a preview how both teams can win or possibly cover.
The NFL odds have the Steelers as three-point road favorites and total of 50. The Steelers have All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but not everything else is set in the passing game like last season. That is why coach Mike Tomlin might lean more on his offensive line to establish the run against a Washington rush defense which ranked 26th against the run in 2015.
Le’Veon Bell will not be in the lineup for Pittsburgh, but DeAngelo Williams will and he averaged 4.5 yards per carry last season en route to 907 yards and 11 touchdowns.
On defense for the Steelers, it will be about stopping the run on early downs and generating a pass rush against a still questionable secondary. If they can dictate the tempo, Pittsburgh should win going away.
It would make a lot of sense for coach Gruden to flip the script and come out throwing to set up the run against Pittsburgh. The Redskins have an excellent collection of receivers in DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder. QB Kirk Cousins has shown he can get rid of the ball in a hurry and while Steelers have noted pass rushers, the Washington offensive line only permitted 27 sacks last season. Going up against Pitt secondary that was exposed last season and is unproven to date, this could open up the running game and lead to very balanced attack for the Skins.