Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants - 9/14/20 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants - 9/14/20 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) at New York Giants (0-0)

NFL Football: Monday, September 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm (MetLife Stadium)

The Line: New York Giants +5.5 -- Over/Under: 45 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants meet in NFL action from MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football.

The Pittsburgh Steelers come into the 2020 season hoping to stop their regression, taking another step back after finishing the 2019 season at 8-8, back from 9-6-1 in 2018, missing the playoffs for the second straight year. Ben Roethlisberger appears to be healthy once again as the Steelers’ starting QB after starting just two games last year, and the hope is that he stays that way so that the Steelers don’t have to use two backup QBs like they did last year, forcing themselves to use Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at times last season. Having Big Ben healthy is key as the last time he was fully healthy he threw for over 5,100 yards and a career-high 34 TDs. James Conner will look to come back from a down year where he had just 464 rushing yards in 10 games and JuJu Smith-Schuster will try to get back to his 2018 self after going from 1,426 receiving yards that year to just 552 in 2019. The Steelers did try to bolster the offense by signing Eric Ebron to lineup at tight end alongside Vance McDonald while also drafting Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame to add to their receiving group using their second-round draft pick. Defensively, the Steelers are as good as they’ve ever been, with T.J. Watt leading the charge in the pass rush with Bud Dupree alongside him. Devin Bush and Vince Williams take over linebacking duties and the secondary features names like Steven Nelson, Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick in a defensive unit that easily has the potential to be a top-5 defense next season.

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The New York Giants will hope to take a step forward under rookie head coach Joe Judge after being the laughing stock of the NFL for the majority of the last three years, taking a step back in 2019 after posting a 4-12 record and missing the playoffs for the 3rd straight season and 7th season the last 8. Judge turned a foe into an ally, picking up former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as an offensive coordinator to help adjust the offense to better suit the likes of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram, three players with still a tremendous amount of upside in the Giants’ system. Garrett will look to adjust the offense to suit Jones’ arm strength and mobility that was on display in his college days at Duke while also trying to get Barkley involved in the passing game. Engram’s had injury issues, but Garrett will hope to utilize his speed and skill set inside against slower linebackers to give Jones a target in seam patterns. Defensively, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers and Xavier McKinney are all new faces that will hope to bring some life to a Giants’ defense that was falling apart in recent years. Markus Golden is back as New York’s sack leader while Kyler Fackrell is back to try to return to form as a double-digit sack producer in a Big Blue uniform.

Pittsburgh is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 week 1 matchups and 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a road favorite while the under is 7-1 in their last 8 games overall. New York is 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 home games and 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games as a home underdog while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 home games.

We didn’t see it in all of the games on Sunday, but I think that this game on Monday night could be a game where you see the effect of having no preseason games. The preseason would’ve helped these two teams work out some intangibles, like how Jones, Barkley and co. work out Jason Garrett’s new offense and how the Pittsburgh defense communicates and if the offense is back to being as strong as they were before Roethlisberger went down last season. I just think this ends up being a battle, and as such I’m going to side with the over as my free pick for this game. However, my stronger play is on the side and I have that available as a premium play that you can find here.

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Chris’s Pick Under 45

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.