Football. Is. Back.
And seven is a good number, right?
It’s supposed to be lucky. Three of them bring a jackpot in slots. And it’s the total of a touchdown and an extra point too.
Pittsburgh travels to Buffalo to face emerging star quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills. Meanwhile, the Eagles head south to play Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
Both games feature point spreads within a touchdown. Pittsburgh is a 6.5-point underdog. Philadelphia is getting 3.5 points. And there are plenty of prop bets too.
Here are seven worth your consideration as kickoff approaches on Sunday.
1) How many rushing yards will Steelers rookie Najee Harris have in his debut?
DraftKings Sportsbook has set the rushing total at 59.5 yards for Pittsburgh rookie running back Najee Harris. And with a hostile crowd in the stands and a high-powered offense on the other sideline, a good running game would serve the Steelers well in Week 1. The Bills ranked 25th in rush defense (according to yards per carry) last season, but the Steelers ranked dead last in rushing offense.
Something has to give on Sunday.
The over/under on Harris’ total pays out -115 on either side, bringing over $8 in return for every $10 you wager.
2) What about Hesiman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith? Over or under?
DraftKings also has a prop bet on the yardage total for Eagles rookie receiver DeVonta Smith. Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy last year at Alabama, has a receiving yardage total of 43.5, with each side priced at -115. Smith caught two of four targets for 19 yards in limited action during his lone preseason appearance.
3) Can newly-paid T.J. Watt power the Steel Curtain defense?
The Steelers and outside linebacker T.J. Watt agreed to a four-year $112 million contract extension on Thursday. The deal makes Watt the highest-paid defensive player in the league (based on his average salary).
And Pittsburgh is certainly hoping Watt can lead the team’s defense both at Buffalo and far into the future as well. The Bills have a team total (over/under) set at 27.5 points Sunday.
Watt and his teammates will be working to limit that number. The under also pays -115 if Pittsburgh can make it happen.
4) How will Jalen Hurts play in his season debut? How many touchdowns will he have?
Jalen Hurts enters the season as Philadelphia’s unquestioned starter at quarterback. He performed well in limited action last year, but will be expected to lead the Eagles’ offense this season. His total for passing touchdowns on Sunday is set at 1.5. The over is priced at +150. The under is -205.
Totals are also available on Hurts’ passing yards (231.5), interceptions (0.5) and other statistics.
5) Which Steelers receiver will lead the way?
Pittsburgh’s passing attack is rather balanced on the receiving end. Chase Claypool, Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson give Ben Roethlisberger plenty of options and ample targets too. On Sunday, their over/under yardage totals are fairly similar.
Claypool has a total of 50.5, Schuster’s is 53.5 and Johnson’s is 59.5. All numbers are priced at -115.
6) Can Miles Sanders put up big numbers in the “Birds” backfield?
The Falcons were 15th last season in rushing defense (based on yards per carry), so the Eagles could have some success on the ground Sunday. Philadelphia running back Miles Sanders has a rushing yardage total of 68.5 with a receiving total set at 13.5. The numbers are all priced at -115.
7) Could Big Ben be the best quarterback Sunday?
After some injury-plagued seasons in recent years, Ben Roethlisberger’s fitness was a hot topic this summer. The rumor mill has suggested that Roethlisberger might be in solid physical shape this season. And we may find out Sunday. Buffalo’s pass defense finished tenth in yards per attempt last season, which ranked in the top third of NFL teams.
Big Ben’s passing yardage total for Sunday is set at 267.5. There are also betting lines available on passing touchdowns, interceptions, and other stats as well. Bills quarterback Josh Allen is expected to have a better day, with a yardage total of 285.5. But Roethlisberger could very well outperform him, which would bode well for the Steelers.
The stats might tell the story.
On Sunday, the NFL returns with Pennsylvania’s favorite teams in action and a number of bets on the board.
Pick your favorites. Root for your team. And soak it all in.
Because football is back.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Don Wright