Buffalo Bills will host Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round of the NFL 2021 season. This season, the home side has high ambitions, and they want to challenge a place in Super Bowl. On the other hand, the visitors look forward to entering the playoff battles.
The Bills had a very good 13-3 record last season, which kept them on the top of the AFC East table. They managed to win the division for the first time since 1995, and the hosts hope for another successful campaign in the regular season. Last time, they were one step away from Super Bowl, as Kansas City Chiefs stopped them in the semi-finals. The Steelers enjoyed a perfect form until December 2019, when their performances severely dropped. They had an 11-0 record but eventually finished with a 12-4 score ahead of the playoffs. However, that slump continued in the postseason as well, as they lost to Cleveland Browns in the first knockout round.
Buffalo Bills – Can they continue the preseason form?
Buffalo Bills head to this clash after winning all their three preseason games. The first victory was very narrow, as they beat the Lions 16-15, but the other two were much more comfortable. The hosts finally ended the Pats’ dominance in the AFC East last season and seem to be full of confidence ahead of the new campaign. Their roster didn’t suffer major changes, and the home side goes with the intact starting lineup in the upcoming season. Josh Allen remains the first-choice QB, and hopes to enjoy another excellent campaign.
The Bills will be stronger for Emmanuel Sanders, an experienced receiver who joined the franchise from the Saints. Their defense remains strong, and the Bills expended contracts with Matt Milano and Micah Hyde. The hosts beat the Packers 19-0 in their final preseason game, with Allen managing 194 yards and two touchdowns. Gabriel Davis also put an excellent performance by logging 75 yards and a TD from five catches.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Devin Singletary, Stefon Diggs, Isaiah McKenzie, Cole Beasley, Dawson Knox, Reggie Gilliam, Dion Dawkins, Jon Feliciano, Mitch Morse, Cody Ford, Daryl Williams
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Jerry Hughes, Harrison Phillips, Ed Oliver, Mario Addison, Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds, A.J. Klein, Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Levi Wallace
Quarter Back: Josh Allen
Kicker: Tyler Bass
with best odds
Pittsburgh Steelers – Will they enjoy a positive start?
The Steelers search for improvement after a stalemate in the most important part of the season last time. They had a solid preseason record, logging three wins and one loss in Week 3. They were better than the Cowboys – in the Hall of Fame matchup – the Lions and the Eagles while suffering a defeat against the Panthers. The visitors’ defense is one of the strongest in the league, at least on the paper. Melvin Ingram joined from the Chargers, while T.J. Watt is among the best defenders in the league.
On the other hand, Pittsburgh’s offensive line faced many changes, and it will be interesting to see how it will protect Ben Roethlisberger. Runners should help out Big Ben, and the Steelers’ offense massively relied on his hand at the end of the last season. Najee Harris could be a man who will step up. If they manage to keep stability in the offense, another playoffs campaign might be a reality for the Steelers.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron, Derek Watt, Dan Moore Jr., Kevin Dotson, Kendrick Green, Trai Turner, Chukwuma Okorafor
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Chris Wormley, Tyson Alualu, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, Devin Bush, Joe Schobert, Melvin Ingram III, Joe Haden, Terrell Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton
Quarter Back: Ben Roethlisberger
Kicker: Chris Boswell
Expert Pick #1 – Buffalo Bills -6.5 @-110
The hosts have beat the spread five times on the previous six occasions at home, while Pittsburgh failed to cover the number five times in their last seven matches. Since the Bills’ offense is very strong, I expect to see them in plenty of action. Therefore, my first pick for this matchup is the Bills to cover the spread.
Expert Pick #2 – Buffalo Bills to Win ML @-278
I’m going safer with this pick, and consequently, expect Buffalo to win ML. The odds are not too generous, but this might be a good choice if you search for a safer bet. I think the Bills should pick up where they left off in the preseason.
Expert Pick #3 – Buffalo Bills to Win by 7-12 Margin @+333
Punters looking for a long shot might try with the Bills to win by 7-12 points. Buffalo celebrated a 26-15 victory in their latest matchup, and I expect to see a similar scenario here. The odds for this tip are pretty lucrative.