Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Can the Home Underdogs Escape With Wins?
While it may have looked a little dicey at times, the NFL season is here! And not only do we get Monday Night Football tonight, but we get two contests to wet our whistles.
Let's dive into what we think could be some interesting betting angles for these Monday night clashes.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants
Lock-In the Under
It's hard to discern a lot from these team's performances last season under center -- veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was out most of the season, and this team really struggled to put points on the board with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. While the New York Giants turned the reins over to Daniel Jones late last season, and he possesses the ultimate safety blanket in Saquon Barkley, it wasn't exactly an elite offensive unit.
Keep in mind that Jones could be without the services of Golden Tate, who is listed as questionable. With the Steelers trading for Minkah Fitzpatrick, they turned into one of the pass defenses in the league, allowing only 195 passing yards per game. It seems likely the Giants could lean on Barkley to carry the torch.
The pace is not on the side of this being a shootout, either -- a year ago, the Steelers clocked in as one of the slowest offenses in the league, ranking 24th in situation-neutral pace. The Giants were considerably faster -- 10th in situation-neutral pace last season -- and these were not two teams lighting the field on fire.
Looking over at oddsFire, the over/under for the game has been set at 47.5 points, with some books like Westgate are pushing this down to 45 points. The under has some serious history here, too -- in Pittsburgh's eight road contests in 2019, they hit the under seven times, and the under has hit in the last three Pittsburgh-New York contests. On top of that, 60% of bets have been placed on the under.
Other Bets to Consider
From a public betting perspective, people love betting on big-name teams, and tonight is no different. The Steelers are garnering a ton of love with 84% of the bets and 89% of the money coming in on their side of the house.
The Steelers are currently 5.5-point favorites, and this team seems like the one that is more acclimated to each other, especially with a healthy Big Ben in the mix.
If you want something safer, consider the moneyline -- our algorithm sees the Steelers taking this one 70.1% of the time, and the cost (-250) isn't all that overly taxing.
Historical Betting Trends
-- Without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh was pretty solid ATS in 2019 (7-5-2).
-- The Giants were only 7-9 ATS in 2019.
-- Pittsburgh has dominated the NFC recently, logging a 7-1 ATS mark in their last 8 games.
-- The Giants have stunk at home, going 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos
Points Will Be Tough to Obtain
If you like to watch high scoring affairs in football games, we have bad news for you -- it doesn't look like either game is forecasted to be a shootout.
While the first game had a relatively mediocre over/under total, this one is far lower (40.5 points). Both teams feature very solid defensive units, but this over/under has slowly been dwindling from 42 points to 41 points down to 40.5. Denver ranked 10th in the NFL in points-per-game allowed (19.8), and Tennessee allowed only a total of 25 combined points in playoff wins over the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens, before losing the AFC Championship game to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Like we mentioned in the first game, this will be a SLOW contest. Both teams rank in the bottom-10 in terms of situation-neutral pace, with Tennessee ranking 22nd and Denver ranking 25th.
Looking over at oddsFire, the over/under for the game has been set at 40.5 points, but some books like PlayMGM (41.5 points) and SugarHouse (42.0 points) still have it a bit higher. With a slow pace, some run-heavy attacks, and some excellent defenses, the under seems like a pretty solid bet.
Other Bets to Consider
The majority of bets have also come for the road team in this contest. 72% of bets and money have come in on the road Titans, and after a deep run in the playoffs, that shouldn't be overly surprising.
The Titans are 3.0-point favorites on the road, and we see them covering only 42.84%. If you want to get a bit frisky, a Denver cover could be interesting.
On the other end, neither team seem like a safe bet to win -- our algorithm thinks Tennessee will win around 56% of the time, so perhaps the spread and the moneyline (Titans -166) are both a stay away.
Historical Betting Trends
-- These were two solid teams to tail last year. The Titans were 10-8-1 ATS, and the Broncos were 9-7.
-- Down the stretch, you made some serious coin betting on Tennessee, closing the season 9-4 ATS.
-- The Titans have been absolutely dominant within the AFC, posting an 8-2 ATS in their last 10 AFC games.
-- One team that has had Tennessee's number is Denver -- in their last six games between these two teams in Colorado, Denver is 6-0 straight-up.
-- Denver has been crushing the under; in their last 20 games, the under has hit 13 times.