Steelers vs Buccaneers Odds and Monday Night Football Betting Preview
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t gotten off to a very good start, and one of the reasons is that the heart and soul of their offense hasn’t acted like a guy with a lot of heart and soul thus far. So they forge ahead once again without Le’Veon Bell as they face off against the explosive Tampa Bay Bucs in a game that kicks off 8:15 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
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Steelers vs Buccaneers Odds:
In the odds posted at VietBet for our Monday night NFL picks, the Steelers are slightly favored on the road:
Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1.5
Over 53.5 points -110
Under 53.5 points -110
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Steelers vs Buccaneers Odds – CJ’s Take
The situation regarding Bell is that he has a contract dispute and simply won’t report to the team. It is not an unreasonable assumption that the Steelers are a notch below a serious contender to win the Super Bowl without him, and there will probably be a more difficult time winning the AFC North if he is not a big part of what they do.
Bell wanted more guaranteed money in a deal the Steelers offered him in the off-season, which was to pay him $70 million over five years, and this is a big issue with players, who could see a career end with a serious injury. Even if he were to come back sometime in the next month, he’d have to get himself into playing shape. His replacement, James Conner, has great heart (having been a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and had a tremendous game in the opener against the Browns. AND he has caught ten passes. But he didn’t have a good week against Kansas City and isn’t likely to sustain success on Bell’s level.
Antonio Brown has a wild hair up his ass regarding some back-and-forth on social media, and he has suggested that he could have big numbers even if he was not playing with Ben Roethlisberger, and, well, you get the drift. Between that and the offensive linemen who are angry at Bell and the results thus far, which have been a tie and a loss, things aren’t steady in the Steel City. Yes, this is cause for concern.
The conditions they had to play under in Cleveland were a quagmire at times, and the Steelers coughed the ball up six times. Then they allowed Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, who’d had only a few NFL starts, light them up with six TD passes. And now they run into a Tampa Bay offense that has been riding high under Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard alumnus who, over the years, has gone through effective stretches, but nothing like this. Fitzpatrick has 78.7% completions, eight touchdowns, and 13.4 yards an attempt, and this is, in part, a reflection upon the receivers he has to work with – Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson on the flanks and tight end OJ Howard. With wins over New Orleans and Philadelphia, both of whom reached last year’s post-season, things are going good enough that it’s being asked whether Jameis Winston should even get his QB job back when he returns from his three-game suspension (that’s next week).
OK, it’s flipside time – Tampa Bay is not likely to get a lot out of the ground game, and they have a suspect secondary (allowing 77.4% completions). If you recall, they surrendered more passing yards than any NFL team last season. Between them, these clubs have permitted eleven touchdown passes and made just one interception. Maybe going over the total is the best way to look.
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By Charles Jay