Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans Favored in NFL Monday Night Games

Posted on: September 14, 2020, 11:31h. 

Last updated on: September 14, 2020, 11:42h.

NFL betting lines overwhelmingly are driven by quarterbacks. However, the ankle injury that sent Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller to injured reserve a few days ago had a profound impact on the point spread for Monday night’s season-opening game against the Tennessee Titans.

Denver Broncos Von Miller
The Denver Broncos lost a key cog to their defense when quarterback-sacking Von Miller suffered a season-ending ankle injury at practice. (Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports)

“This game’s sitting at Tennessee -3 right now; it was pick ’em earlier in the week,” said Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, to Casino.org on Monday. “Big injuries on the D-line really hurt Denver’s chances in the betting public’s mind. It’s really lopsided action in favor of Tennessee right now. It’s still early in the day and bets will continue to rise. But we expect them to stay on that trend.”

Tennessee at Denver is Game 2 of a Monday night doubleheader to cap Week 1 of the NFL season.

Titans at Broncos (10:10 p.m. Eastern, ESPN)

The game features two of last season’s hot finishers. Behind powerhouse running back Derrick Henry and efficient quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee ran to the AFC Championship Game before getting knocked out by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos started 3-8, but went 4-1 once then-rookie quarterback Drew Lock was elevated into the starting lineup.

While Miller’s injury didn’t impact FanDuel’s over/under of 7.5 wins, losing him was a major blow for Denver’s hopes of being something more than a nuisance to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. Miller had been selected to the Pro Bowl in eight of his first nine seasons. He’s got 106 sacks and 26 forced fumbles in his career.

Typically, defensive players don’t notably impact the spread. But a player of Miller’s caliber is an exception,” said Kevin Hennessy, FanDuel’s director of publicity. “The timing of this injury is significant, being so close to the game, with the impact on personnel available and available time to prepare for the game.”

At FanDuel, the odds swing was even more decisive than it was at PointsBet. Denver started as a 2.5-point favorite, but is now a three-point underdog. According to Hennessy, 72 percent of the bets and 72 percent of the money have been placed on the Titans on the spread.

Steelers at Giants (7:15 p.m. Eastern, ESPN)

With the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger following last year’s elbow injury, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a solid favorite over the New York Giants in the first game of the night.

At FanDuel, Pittsburgh is a 5.5-point favorite. A resounding 84 percent of the bets and 89 percent of the money have gone to the Steelers on the spread, Hennessy said.

Right now, the Steelers are a six-point favorite,” PointsBet’s Mannino told Casino.org. “Bettors love them right now. We have lopsided handle and bet count on Pittsburgh. Even in New Jersey, bettors don’t believe in Daniel Jones getting it done.”

This will be a battle of quarterbacks at different stages of their careers. Following major surgery, the 38-year-old Roethlisberger opened as the favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year at +350 at BetMGM.

The 23-year-old Jones went 3-9 last year as the Giants’ rookie starting quarterback. He threw 12 interceptions and lost a league-worst 11 fumbles. He’ll have to take much better care of the football to beat the Steelers and right the ship after the Giants won a league-low 12 games the past three seasons.