Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 9/20/20 NFL Picks, Predictions, Betting Tips, Week 2
Game: Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: 1 p.m., Sunday, September 20, 2020
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Odds/Point Spread: Pittsburgh -5.5
The Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers have been two of the best, most successful and most consistent football franchises in the NFL over the past 40 years. Prior to last season, when both squads failed to find the postseason for the second consecutive year, the last time that both the Broncos and Steelers failed to make the playoffs in back-to-back years was way back in 1980-81.
Over the last half-century there has only been one time, from 1969-1971, in which both of these franchises failed to make the playoffs three straight years. Will it happen again this season?
This game could go a long way in determining whether or not the Broncos or Steelers can make it back to the postseason. If either falters in their opener, then they will carry the weight of a potential 0-2 start into this game. Teams that start the year 0-2 have just an 11 percent chance of making the playoffs that season.
Conversely, if both teams win their opening games, then the winner of this Week 2 matchup would be 2-0. That carries with it a 61.3 percent chance of making it to the postseason.
Both the Broncos and the Steelers enter this game on a short week off Monday Night Football games in Week 1. That should benefit the host Steelers in this matchup. They will also benefit from the fact that this is an early kickoff (11 a.m. CST) for their Western-state opponents.
This game will feature two of the best defensive teams in football. The Broncos were No. 10 in the league in points allowed and in the Top 12 in both total defense and passing defense. They should be even better in Year 2 under defensive mastermind Vic Fangio.
Pittsburgh finished last season in the Top 5 in total yards, passing and points allowed. They were also No. 1 in the NFL in takeaways, and I’m sure they will turn up the heat against young Broncos starter Drew Lock.
The quarterback matchup should be the defining element of this game. We know both defenses are going to bring the hammer. So, between Lock and Ben Roethlisberger, I think whichever quarterback does a better job of taking care of the ball will lead their team to victory.
In regards to the spread in this game, it feels a bit high. This feels like too many points to lay out in a matchup of two teams featuring top tier defenses. I do think the Steelers have some situational advantages (they always seem to play great in their home openers) and I am curious how Lock will respond to this road test.
But it feels too rich for my blood right now. I need to see both of these teams in action in Week 1 before I consider which way to dip on the side in this one. I like both teams and think they are both a little undervalued heading into the season. So until that point, I will lean on what I know about them and back the defenses.
Who will win the Broncos/Steelers NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: Lean on ‘under’ 43.5.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in June. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 2 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 17.
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