Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers
Date and Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Opening NFL Odds: Packers -2.5, 42
Steelers vs. Packers TV Coverage: Local TV
Ben Roethlisberger didn’t see a lick of playing time in Pittsburgh’s preseason opener at the Eagles. Even so, the offense went on to rack up an impressive 252 passing yards and gained another 94 yards on the ground over 31 carries. Mason Rudolph gave the Steel City a glimpse of the future by completing 7 of his 12 passes for 101 yards and no turnovers.
Even more impressive was rookie Damoun Patterson out of Youngstown Stater who went on to reel in six of his 10 overall targets and turn them into 77 yards and a touchdown. Now in his second season, JuJu Smith-Schuster once again let it be known he’s an explosive pass catcher that must be accounted for on every down after his lone reception went for a 71 yards touchdown.
Even though it was the first exhibition game before the games really start to mean something, Green Bay is going to have some awfully tough decisions to make at the quarterback position. Though Aaron Rodgers didn’t take a single snap and might not this week either, the passing game still looked great with the trio of Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle each throwing for over 100 yards.
When the dust cleared, the Packers pass attack torched Tennessee for a whopping 356 yards through the air. Boyle impressed the most in the late stages of the game by completing 7 of 15 passes for 130 yards and a couple scores. Winning bets in the preseason goes along with backing the teams with the best quarterback rotations. Through one week, Green Bay looks to have just that.
We all know who will be leading both the Steelers and Packers into battle once the regular season begins. When healthy, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers are two of the best the game has to offer. However, the backup spots for both teams are up in the air which will likely turn this Week 2 preseason betting tilt a game of can you top this.
Landry Jones has been the heir apparent in Pittsburgh for a number of years now, but he’s largely unimpressed when called upon. That leaves the door open for both Joshua Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph to possibly leapfrog him with great showings the next couple weeks. Hundley got all the backup snaps last season but was very hit or miss. Should Kizer continue to limit turnovers and rack up the yardage, he too could land himself the backup role. The QB battles make for riveting drama in this Week 2 preseason clash.
Steelers vs. Packers Free Picks
Though it’s early, there’s been nothing but one way traffic in this matchup with nearly 94 percent of the tickets written backing the home based Packers. The betting line has since been moved to a full 3 points with heavy juice attached to it. Still, there’s no Pittsburgh money to be found. That’s quite the headscratcher considering Tomlin’s modest success in the preseason that’s seen him go 29-21 straight up lifetime.
But instead of picking a side in this tilt, I feel the most line value resides in the total. We faded the public that expected a low scorer at Lambeau last week, and we’re going to do the same this week as well. Bookmakers can’t buy an under ticket right now as heated the backup QB battles are. I’ll fade the noise and look for the defenses to rise to the occasion and keep this one relatively low scoring in an already high scoring preseason.
NFL ATS Pick: Under 42.5 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction:
Packers 17 – Steelers 16