The wait is finally over. Football is back.
The Pittsburgh Steelers host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 of the new NFL season, and boy are there a ton of ways to make money in this one. The 49ers look to continue their run as one of the scariest units in all of football, while the young Steelers look to take a huge leap forward this year.
There’s a lot to uncover in this contest. Here, we break down 49ers vs. Steelers odds, props, and predictions.
NFL Week 1 Odds: 49ers vs. Steelers Spread, Moneyline & Total
There hasn’t been much line movement for this game since sportsbooks first dropped betting lines a few weeks ago. San Francisco is pegged as a 2-point road favorite with a moneyline price as long as -125 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Steelers, meanwhile, are between +105 and +115 on the moneyline.
The Over/Under total is around 41 points, give or take half a point, at most legal US sports betting apps.
49ers vs. Steelers Betting News
It seemed that as the 49ers went down the quarterback depth chart last year, their offense got better. The 49ers averaged 32.6 points with Brock Purdy, compared to 23.9 with Jimmy Garoppolo and 10.0 with Trey Lance.
Say what you want about Mr. Irrelevant. He showed last season, particularly in the playoffs, that he can be trusted as a game manager with a winning pedigree.
George Kittle is still idled by a groin injury that he suffered in early August and is in danger of missing Sunday’s opener. His questionable tag is quite the surprise considering he was healthy enough to play in the 49ers’ preseason finale against the Chargers.
If the All-Pro tight end is unable to suit up, then the team will turn to Christian McCaffrey to handle even more of a load. The All-Pro running back was traded to San Francisco in the middle of last season and has given the 49ers a new dimension to their offense.
Pittsburgh ranked 26th in the NFL in scoring last season, but the offense may be looking up with Kenny Pickett and George Pickens both going into Year 2. The duo connected on a 33-yard touchdown in the first preseason game and on a 35-yard passing play in the final preseason game.
Pickett, in particular, played exceptionally well in the three exhibition games, completing 86.7% of his passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns with zero turnovers. And while the preseason should be taken with a grain of salt, you should still be at least somewhat encouraged by it.
The defense is one of the best in football – that’s when TJ Watt is healthy. Watt’s 2022 campaign was hampered by a pectoral tear in Week 1 that sidelined him for seven games. The Steelers allowed an average of 25.29 points per game without their stud linebacker, compared to just 16.9 points with him.
49ers vs. Steelers Props
Christian McCaffrey Anytime TD Scorer (+100, FanDuel)
There are very few players in the league who can cash in touchdowns as prolifically as McCaffrey. He’s hit pay dirt in each of his last nine games, including all three playoff games, and has 13 total touchdowns in 14 games with the Niners.
CMC’s touchdown prop is as short as -145 at Caesars, but you can grab him at an industry-best price of +100 at FanDuel.
Najee Harris Under 48.5 Rushing Yards (-115, Caesars)
This is a matchup nightmare for Najee Harris, who is an inefficient runner behind a poor offensive line. The 49ers allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game (82.5) and the fewest yards per attempt (3.4) last season.
To make matters worse, San Francisco gave up 50 yards or more to a player just five times in 17 games last season. Jaylen Warren looked more explosive than Harris last season and will chip into Harris’ workload. So even if Harris has an efficient day on the ground, he may not get enough volume to gain 50 yards.
49ers vs. Steelers Prediction
Whether you look at talent or play style, the Niners are by far the superior team. They have reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa, who will wreak havoc on Pittsburgh’s weak line.
San Francisco owns the trench game. They have reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa, who wreaks havoc on opposing offensive lines each week, and it should be no different against the Steelers’ soft line.
But let’s say the defenses offset each other. When you compare offenses, there’s no question the 49ers have the more potent offense. Even if McCaffrey has a slow day on the ground, he’s still arguably the best pass-catching back in the league and will showcase that on Sunday.
The trio of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Kittle (if he plays) gives the Niners a boatload of ways to exploit Pittsburgh’s 19th-ranked passing defense.
The Steelers simply don’t possess the offensive power to keep up with San Francisco’s. The Niners dominated almost every team they faced with Purdy at quarterback last season, and Sunday’s contest should look no different.
49ers vs. Steelers Pick: 49ers -2 via Caesars Sportsbook
49ers vs. Steelers Broadcast and Game Day Information
- Game Day: Sunday, September 10, 2023
- Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Acrisure Stadium | Pittsburgh, PA
- Channel: FOX