Jan 9, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA;  (from left) New York Giants CEO John Mara, new head coach Joe Judge, and co-owner Steve Tisch pose for photos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers vs Giants MNF Pick

For the first time since 2004, someone not named Eli Manning will start for the New York Giants in Week 1. But QB Daniel Jones needs a lot more than that to change if the Giants are to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first Week 1 Monday Nighter.

The biggest change that needs to happens involves fumbles. Pittsburgh led the league in fumble recoveries in 2019, while the Giants led the league in lost fumbles. If that pattern continues here, 5.5 points is going to be the easiest cover of the week for Steeler backers.

Betting Line

Pittsburgh -5.5, Total 45 – Check latest lines at BetRivers and SugarHouse:

(see all NFL Odds)

Why the Steelers will cover the spread

The number is small, the Giants are bad and the Steelers ride a nine-game MNF win streak into Week 1. Ben Roethlisberger is back with a terrific arsenal of offensive tools and the defense looks to be solid again as well.

They face a Giants team that debuts rookie head coach Joe Judge, one of five HCs with new teams this year. The Giants have also been wallet suckers at home, rolling up a bankroll-draining 3-12-1 ATS mark in their past 16 home games.

Why the Giants will cover the spread

As Jacksonville and Washington proved Sunday, big home underdogs can bite hard in Week 1. Both of those teams were getting 7 points at home, while the Giants get 5.5 points here. So for bettors who like to wager on home underdogs exclusively, here is your chance.

And the Giants boast game-breaker Saquon Barkley, who can turn this game on just a few bursts. Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard provide good options for Jones. The Steelers are also just 3-8 SU in their past 11 road games, not exactly a lock as road chalk (1-5-2 ATS in eight games in this role since the start of the 2018 season).

Back-door cover anyone?

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants Pick

Of all the home dogs in Week 1, only the Jaguars and Washingtonites won, both in shocking fashion. This wouldn’t be quite as much of a shock, but 5.5 points on the road is a big number for Week 1. The Steelers could easily run up the score here, but Sunday’s teams worked hard for their new coaches, even if they didn’t all win.

We would lean to the total here. Pittsburgh has been a reliable UNDER bet in road games (19-5 in their past 24 as visitors) and common wisdom is that both teams will try to run the ball. UNDER 45 feels right for this game as we chicken out on the spread for fear of the back-door cover.

Trend Dummy (not his real name) is a veteran sports betting writer, who really should be a lot smarter by now. Starting with a betting trends fascination in 1993, Dummy has been chasing trends, patterns, streak and mathematical anomalies ever since. A serious data miner with real databases and betting acumen, he sometimes stretches stats to fit a narrative, but the data is legit. You decide if the trends have handicapping value.