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Steelers Sizable Favorites Over Visiting Broncos in Week 2

JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores a touchdown as James Bradberry of the New York Giants defends during an NFL game on September 14, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

All is well in the Steel City once again, with Big Ben throwing touchdown passes and the Steelers defense suffocating opposing offenses. Having opened with a 10-point victory over the New York Giants, the Steelers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) look to build on that momentum Sunday afternoon as they host the Denver Broncos (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS), who fell 16-14 to Tennessee.

Denver Broncos vs Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Date/Time: September 20, 1 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Heinz Field
  • TV Coverage: CBS
  • Opening Odds: Steelers -4.5 | O/U 44.5 (Line History)
  • Broncos vs Steelers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

As you might expect, both the line and the total have shifted dramatically from when they were first released. Pittsburgh has climbed from -4.5 all the way to -7.5 in most spots, while the total has dipped 3 points to 41.5.

Denver News & Notes

Melvin Gordon’s Broncos debut didn’t end in a win, but Gordon was strong overall in his first game since joining Denver in the offseason. Gordon finished with 15 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown, with his only blemish a lost fumble that led to the Titans’ first touchdown. Fumbles shouldn’t be an ongoing concern for Gordon, who had just six in his previous three seasons.

The other Broncos player to keep an eye on Sunday afternoon is second-year tight end Noah Fant, who made a strong impression on Monday Night Football with five catches for 81 yards and a score. Even if wide receiver Courtland Sutton returns from a shoulder injury, Fant should remain an important part of Denver’s pass attack moving forward.

Pittsburgh News & Notes

Ben Roethlisberger’s final passing line was a model of efficiency: He went 21-for-32 for 229 yards and his first three passing touchdowns since Week 17 of the 2018 season. And his No. 1 target, JuJu Smith-Schuster, put himself in the early lead for Comeback Player of the Year with six catches for 69 yards and two TDs; JuJu had just three touchdowns all of last season.

Pittsburgh’s passing game is on point, but there’s uncertainty surrounding the Steelers’ rushing plan. James Conner is expected to return Sunday after suffering an ankle injury against the Giants and gaining just nine yards on six carries. Benny Snell took over and piled up 113 rushing yards in relief, and should spell Conner more than usual if both players suit up this weekend.

Betting Pick: Denver +7.5 (-110)

This is a lot of points for the Broncos to get, even if Sutton misses another game. Pittsburgh is a good bet to prevail, but Denver is balanced enough on both sides of the football to keep the score close.

Shark Bites
  • Denver is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • The UNDER is 8-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 9 games.
  • Ten Broncos had at least one catch in Week 1.