The New York Giants will take on the Steelers in a season-opening matchup on Monday. How do the odds stack up for Big Blue?
The regular season has finally arrived. After what was a lost offseason and canceled preseason, the New York Giants will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this Monday night at 7:10 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium.
While neither team has made the postseason in recent years, the Giants and Steelers are seemingly in different spots as franchises. New York, who hasn’t reached January football since the 2016 campaign, is entering 2020 with a mostly new staff led by rookie head coach Joe Judge. The team also possesses a somewhat revamped offensive line, a new — and hopefully improved — secondary, as well as an up-and-coming quarterback in Daniel Jones.
The Steelers, on the other hand, are coming into this game with their longtime franchise quarterback finally back on the field. After an elbow injury sidelined Ben Roethlisberger for 14 games last year, the veteran will play a regular-season matchup for the first time since Sept. 15, 2019.
Nonetheless, it’s a new 16-game slate for either ballclub, and it’ll be interesting to see if these historic franchises will get off on the right foot after a weird and unusual training camp period.
Giants vs. Steelers odds
As many were expecting, the Steelers will come into East Rutherford as the favorites for the matchup and will be giving the Giants 5.5 points. This is a fair spread, considering the Giants are a rebuilding franchise and we still don’t know what we’ll get out of them come Monday night.
Many questions are still lingering in regards to the Giants as a whole. Is Judge going to be the right man for the job? Will rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas impress in his first year? Will Jones improve from a promising but turnover-filled rookie campaign?
The over-under is currently set at 45.5 points, as there are also question marks surrounding what either team’s offensive unit could bring to the table. Will Roethlisberger be as effective as he was prior to last year’s health-related setback? How is newly hired Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett going to fare as a play-caller?
Here are the full odds for Monday night’s contest:
According to FiveThirtyEight‘s ELO model, the probability of winning this matchup isn’t exactly on the Giants’ side. The model suggests the Steelers have a 67% win probability as opposed to Big Blue’s 33%.
While some may agree with the model’s outcome and others may not, the general consensus should be that the Steelers have a better shot at emerging victorious. They’re simply more talented than the Giants on either side of the ball right now and possess a more experienced and proven staff, led by veteran Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Tomlin.
How to watch/listen
- Date: Monday, Sept. 14
- Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
- Location: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: WFAN 660AM/101.9FM (New York), WBGG 970AM/WDVE 102.5FM (Pittsburgh)
Why take the Giants?
Simply speaking, it’s a new era of Giants football and the motivation and intensity are existent, thanks to Judge. This won’t be like the Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur eras, in the sense that the culture is on its way to a complete change.
Not to mention, the Giants improved greatly this offseason, at least on paper. With a revamped secondary, a new defensive leader in inside linebacker Blake Martinez, and a new offensive tackle in Thomas, the Giants look like they’ll be better than they were last year.
Having said all of that, taking the Giants as 5.5-point underdogs could be a smart and realistic move. A hopefully improved pass rush against a rusty Roethlisberger and a battered offensive line could additionally lead to the Giants giving the Steelers a run for their money.
Why take the Steelers?
Although the Giants have improved on paper (as previously mentioned), that doesn’t mean it’ll all come to fruition on the field right away, especially after no preseason, OTAs, or minicamp.
If the Steelers can effectively utilize the run game early, it will free up the opportunity to run play-action and take advantage of a defensive backfield that, while versatile, has yet to play an NFL game as an established unit.
This Giants offensive line is also inexperienced and hasn’t played together in the NFL, with three new starters in Thomas, center Nick Gates, and right tackle Cam Fleming. Thomas and Gates are entering this matchup having never played a pro-level game at their respective positions.
A pass rush led by T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree could overwhelm this O-line group, which would ultimately make it a long night for Jones and the Giants’ young offensive unit.