Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills Betting Preview, Odds, and Prediction

The Pittsburgh Steelers are almost touchdown underdogs for their Week 1 season-opener on the road against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Do books have it right? Or are they underrating the Steelers at the expense of the highly-fancied Bills?
Nikki Adams
Wed, September 8, 5:45 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills Betting Preview, Odds, and Prediction

Date: Sunday, September 12

Game Time: 1:00 ET

Location: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

TV Network: CBS

Pittsburgh Steelers Record (0-0)

Buffalo Bills Record (0-0)

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS. BUFFALO BILLS BETTING ODDS PREVIEW

The Steelers and Bills are surfing a wave of expectation into the 2021-22 NFL season, but a collision in Week 1 means that only one side will get its campaign off to a winning start.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills odds corner the game in Buffalo’s camp, meaning markets are leaning towards a Bills win at home as the likeliest outcome. And with the Bills pegged as the 6.5 to 7-point home chalk with most market operators, a big win appears to be widely expected too. 

However, betting trends reveal a contrasting outlook. According to consensus betting reports, the public seems to be of two minds here, point to a 50-50 split in spread betting. Only a couple of other games slated for Week 1 show similar early betting trends where the public is split evenly down the middle. This makes the Steelers vs. Bills game one of the most intriguing on Sunday’s slate and one that potentially promises value on both sides of the coin.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS BETTING ODDS & OVERVIEW 

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a stellar season that finished on a 12-4-0 record and delivered the AFC North title. On the downside, how the Steelers finished the season has taken the shine off an otherwise solid account. The Steelers lost four of their last five games and then suffered an ignominious exit in the wildcard round (to Cleveland Browns). 

A season that had started promisingly behind an 11-0-0 record, the longest active winning streak, fell to the wayside quite spectacularly. Ben Roethlisberger seemed to fade down the stretch, the offense sputtered, and the toll on the defense started to show. As a result, books aren’t high on the Steelers as might have been expected otherwise. They’re the third-best bet behind the Ravens and Browns to win the AFC North, and they’re outside of the Top 10 contenders for Super Bowl 56. 

This isn’t the first time Mike Tomlin’s side has been underestimated. They were similarly disadvantaged in 2020 but emerged as the AFC North champions against the NFL odds. And they’ll be just as motivated, if not more, to prove their detractors wrong this season. The Steelers made some savvy moves in the offseason, one of which was selecting running back Najee Harris in the 2021 NFL 

draft. The rookie running back was one of the top prospects in the draft, and his addition is sure to spark the Steelers run game, taking some of the pressure of Big Ben and the passing game. In addition, the Steelers D -line has been one of the stoutest in recent years, and it should be the same or better this year.

BUFFALO BILLS BETTING ODDS & OVERVIEW

It’s clear that bookmakers are high on the Bills this season, not just for this Week 1 game with the Steelers. The Bills carry high expectations in multiple NFL futures betting markets, mainly down to their standout 2020 campaign, culminating in an AFC Championship appearance. 

Whether the Bills can replicate their 2020 run, only time will tell. However, they’re being backed across multiple sportsbooks to do so or go one better until proven otherwise. The Bills are the third-best bet to win Super Bowl 56 at (+1200), coming up just behind the Kansas City Chiefs (+500) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+700) in the odds. And they’re the second-best bet at (+650) to win the AFC, after the Chiefs (+260). 

This is the first time Josh Allen and the Bills go into a season as the defending AFC East champions and so-called “AFC heavyweight.” The best athletes in the world will say, “pressure is a privilege.” In reality, not all athletes handle pressure well initially. Some never learn how to handle it at all. So, the 2021 NFL season will show what Josh Allen is really made of. How clutch he is when he has a target firmly plastered on his back.  

PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS. BUFFALO BILLS ODDS

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Steelers +250 +6.5 (-107) Over 48.5 (+100)
Bills -275 -6.5 (-106) Under 48.5 (-104)

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS. BUFFALO BILLS PREDICTION AND BETTING PREVIEW

The Buffalo Bills are this season’s vogue NFL pick, prompting early money to go towards the Bills in the betting. However, this is shaping into an epic Week 1 showdown with the Steelers and not the cakewalk the odds would imply. Thus, late money coming down the wire appears to be going towards the Steelers plus the points. 

In some ways, this could be a let-down spot for the Bills. This is the first game of the season and the first time they’ll have a packed crowd at Highmark Stadium. The nerves, the pressure, and the occasion can all get to Allen and company. On the other side, there’s a dash of revenge here too for the Steelers, who lost to the Bills 26-15 in week 14 at Highmark Stadium. The loss cost the Steelers the No.2 seed in the AFC; thus, altering their playoff course.

Mike Tomlin is a brilliant tactician who has never had a losing season in his career with the Steelers. He knows his side can go toe-to-toe with the Bills and play better than they did last season. He’ll also appreciate the importance of this AFC showdown and the advantage of having it come up so early in the season when his 53-man roster is primarily healthy and raring to go. A win here can’t be overstated enough because it can have far-reaching implications. And that amounts to incredible motivation. So much so that it won’t be surprising if the Steelers pull off the upset over the Bills on the road by winning outright, never mind just covering the point spread. 

NFL Pick: Steelers + 6.5

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