Bucs vs. Steelers Preseason Prediction
There are only two games on Friday night’s NFL preseason schedule, with the Steelers hosting the Bucs at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Vikings visiting the Saints at 8:00 p.m. ET. What are the best plays for bettors looking to cash in on these exhibition matchups?
7:30 p.m. ET, Friday, August 9, 2019
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Public Betting Trends
The Steelers are 2-point home favorites versus the Bucs while the over/under currently sits at 37.5 points. According to our NFL Football Public Betting Chart page, the Steelers are receiving 59% of the betting tickets from online sportsbooks.
Tampa Bay Bucs Fantasy Spin
Jameis Winston said he is focused on improving his decision making. "Be a game manager when I need to. Be a playmaker when I need to. Check it down when I need to. Cut my losses and throw the ball away when I need to," Winston told NBC Sports' Peter King. "It’s a part of learning the game — understanding a throwaway is okay. If a defense gets you on a play, it’s okay." New coach Bruce Arians and OC Byron Leftwich appear to be happy with Winston's progress -- Arians said he has seen "the light go on" -- but the quarterback has not earned the benefit of the doubt after throwing 58 interceptions in 56 career games. If he can limit those mistakes, however, the Bucs have the firepower for one of the best passing games in the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers Fantasy Spin
ESPN's Dan Graziano reports Steelers WR Donte Moncrief "sounds like the front-runner" for a starting role opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster. Moncrief opened camp as the team's starter opposite Smith-Schuster and it's stayed that way despite rookie Diontae Johnson's flashes before suffering a groin injury Monday. Moncrief's job appears more than safe, with Johnson battling James Washington for a role in three-wide sets. The Steelers have the sixth-most targets (226) and third-most air yards (2,485) up for grabs from last season's production, making Moncrief an easy buy at his current 11th-round ADP.
NFL Betting Trends
The Bucs are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games dating back to last season.
The Steelers are just 4-9 against the number in their last 13 home games.
I like backing teams with new coaches because those coaches often feel like they have something to prove in preseason. That might not be the case tonight with Bruce Arians, who has been in the league for decades and understands that preseason games don’t matter. But he’s also trying to change the culture in Tampa and also didn’t have his contract renewed in Pittsburgh when he was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator. Perhaps he wants to stick it to his former employer and boss (Mike Tomlin) with his new team. It’s a loose narrative, but what else do we have to go on in preseason?
NFL Week 1 Preseason Prediction: Tampa Bay Bucs +2