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NFL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi breaks down his top prop bet for Sunday's game between the Steelers and the Buccaneers.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction, Player Prop Pick: Will Diontae Johnson Produce?

Steelers vs. Buccaneers Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: October 16, 2022
  • Gametime: 1:00 pm ET
  • Where to watch: FOX

Click here for Steelers vs Buccaneers odds

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Steelers vs. Buccaneers Prediction

Last week was a rough outing for the Steelers, to put it lightly. In Kenny Pickett's first NFL start, Pittsburgh's offense scored just 3 points. The Bills, however, scored nearly at will, obliterating the Steelers by a score of 38-3. It was the fourth-straight loss for the Steelers, who are now 1-4 and in sole possession of last place in the AFC North.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have managed a 3-2 start in spite of some uninspiring play, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. They will look to get back on track against a Steelers defense that is missing multiple key starters due to injury. Tom Brady will finally have his full complement of weapons — Chris Godwin is fully healthy, Mike Evans is two weeks removed from his one-game suspension, and Russell Gage is off of the injury report. The Buccaneers are nine-point favorites for a reason — they are the superior team in all respects.

Therefore, it seems likely that the Steelers will be forced to throw the ball quite a bit. We saw that type of game script unfold last week, with Pickett attempting 52(!) passes against the Bills. If this week's contest against the Bucs looks anything like that, the Steelers' pass-catchers will be in prime position to hit the overs on some of their props, even if much of that production comes in garbage time. Using that as my baseline, here is the prop bet that I think holds the most value for this Week 6 matchup.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Player Prop Pick

Diontae Johnson Over 5.5 Receptions (+115) (Bet $100 to win $115)

Over the past couple of seasons, Diontae Johnson has evolved into one of the best wide receivers in football. The hallmark of any superstar wideout is an elite target share, and Diontae has proven his ability to earn targets at a higher clip than almost any other receiver. Last season, he posted a target share of 28.5%, which trailed only Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, and Justin Jefferson. This year, he hasn't taken much of a step back despite playing with two new QBs; his target share of 27.6% through five weeks ranks eighth in the NFL among receivers.

Collectively, though, it has been a tumultuous start to the year for Pittsburgh's offense. Mitch Trubisky started the first three games, with Diontae posting 7, 6, and 8 catches over the stretch. In Week 4, Trubisky was benched for Kenny Pickett in the middle of the game. Diontae had a quiet day — recording just two receptions on four targets — but much of that disappointment can probably be attributed to the disarray that the quarterback switch created. Then, last week, it was back to standard business, with Diontae earning a whopping 13 targets in the blowout loss to the Bills.

Barring a shocking start, the Steelers will be trailing the Buccaneers for most of the game on Sunday. Pittsburgh will need to abandon the run game — which hasn't been effective for them to begin with — in order to remain competitive. This will be excellent for Diontae's outlook, given that he may be emerging as Pickett's favorite target. I prefer taking the over on Diontae's receptions over his receiving yards prop because the Buccaneers are excellent at limiting big plays. The Steelers may be forced to rely on short completions underneath, which is an area where Diontae excels. Taking this at plus money is a no-brainer.

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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