The NFL closes out the week with its Monday Night Football doubleheader, and the evening opens with a matchup of new vs. old. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and the New York Giants will play host to Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game airs on ESPN and kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. ET.
Pittsburgh has high expectations after an up-and-down 2019 season. Ben Roethlisberger injured his elbow in Week 2 last season and was lost for the year. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges split starting snaps the rest of the way and somehow the Steelers still almost claimed a playoff berth. They finished 8-8 thanks primarily to the third-ranked defense last season.
The Giants made a big change last season, benching Eli Manning and kicking off the Daniel Jones era. Injuries ravaged the skill positions, and yet Jones still put together a pretty decent first season. In 13 games, he threw for 3,027 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Considering Saquon Barkley was limited much of the season by a high ankle sprain and they didn’t get a full season of snaps from a single pass catcher, it’s not too shabby.
ATS Pick: Steelers
Point Total Pick: Over
I am tempted by the Giants, but the defensive disparity is too much and I’ve changed my mind. The Giants added some tools to their defense, but losing Xavier McKinney for a few months stings. The NYG defense vs. PIT offense matchup comes down to how you think Ben Roethlisberger looks in his return. I’m bullish on Roethlisberger and think he has a little something left in the tank. In an offense with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, the addition of Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald at tight end, and a solid backfield there’s a lot of options there for Big Ben.
On the other side of the ball, the Giants have a new head coach in Joe Judge and a new offensive coordinator in Jason Garrett. They face a Steelers defense that was great last season and shows no signs it will let up this year. Daniel Jones has a full arsenal of weapons coming into this game, but I don’t know if the Giants offense can keep up with the Steelers in this one.
If the Giants had improved their defense a little more, I would consider the Giants and the under. Instead, I think the Steelers can win this by a touchdown or more, and the Giants add some garbage time scores to get over the point total.
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