Week 1 MNF Trends and Picks


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Week 1 MNF Trends and Picks

Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!

Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8, 9-7 ATS) at New York Giants (4-12, 7-9), 7:15 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Steelers 26, Giants 20

  • Spread/Total Movements: 4.5 to 6, 47.5 to 46

  • Weather: 72 degrees, clear, 10 mph

  • Steelers Injuries to Watch: OG David DeCastro (knee, out)

  • Giants Injuries to Watch: WR Golden Tate (hamstring)

Steelers Trends

  • Pittsburgh is 2-7 ATS in its last nine season openers.

  • The Steelers are 2-5-1 in their last eight games as a road favorite.

  • Pittsburgh owns a 5-2 ATS mark in its last seven Monday night games.

  • The Steelers have won nine consecutive Monday night games straight up.

  • The Steelers played under the total in seven of their final eight games last season with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges at quarterback.

  • Pittsburgh ran the second-fewest plays per game (58.6) last season after running the fourth-most plays per game (66.1) with Ben Roethlisberger in 2018.

  • Big Ben will see his first action since having elbow surgery, and he received positive reviews in training camp. He gets a juicy first spot against a Giants defense that allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game to QBs (278.8) last season.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster is looking to bounce back after an injury-plagued third season, and he’ll get his own excellent first matchup against Logan Ryan who allowed by far the most receptions (69) and receiving yards (766) in slot coverage last season.

  • Perimeter WR Diontae Johnson will draw matchups against either James Bradberry or Isaac Yiadom. Johnson led the Steelers and all rookies in receptions last season with 59.

  • Eric Ebron got some buzz in training camp, but we’ll see how the Steelers use the secondary receivers with James Washington, Chase Claypool, and Vance McDonald each in the mix. The Giants allowed the sixth-most TDs to TEs (8) last season.

  • A healthy James Conner is expected to jump back into his bell-cow role, and he averaged 14.7 FPG in 10 games last season despite playing through a couple of injuries.

Giants Trends

  • The Giants are 1-10 in their last 11 games as a home underdog.

  • New York is 3-12-1 ATS in its last 16 home games.

  • The Giants played their last four home games over the total last season, and they were 4-1 toward overs in their last five games overall.

  • Saquon Barkley gets a tough first matchup against a Steelers defense that allowed the second-fewest combined TDs to RBs (7) last season

  • Daniel Jones never played a game with his full complement of offensive weapons last season, and we’ll see if Golden Tate (hamstring) cooperates this week. The Steelers led the league in sack rate (9.51%) last season while Jones was under pressure on a league-high 41.9% of his dropbacks. Fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas will be tested immediately.

  • Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard will square off against perimeter CBs Joe Haden and Steven Nelson. The Steelers allowed the third-fewest FPG to perimeter WRs (150.2) last season.

  • If he can play, Tate will get the easier matchup in the slot against Mike Hilton, who allowed the third-highest yards per slot coverage snap (1.33).

  • Evan Engram was the focal point of this passing attack when he was on the field last year, seeing at least six targets and a team-high 22% target share in his eight contests.

Brolley’s Bets

Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5 (Staff Pick Leans)

Diontae Johnson (Pit) over 47.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Tennessee Titans (11-8, 10-8-1 ATS) at Denver Broncos (7-9, 9-7), 10:10 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Titans 22, Broncos 19

  • Spread/Total Movements: 1 to 3

  • Weather: 79 degrees, clear, 5-10 mph

  • Titans Injuries to Watch: RB Darrynton Evans (hamstring, out), WR Corey Davis (hamstring), OLB Vic Beasley (knee, out), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee, out)

  • Broncos Injuries to Watch: Edge Von Miller (ankle, out), WR Courtland Sutton (shoulder), EDGE Bradley Chubb (knee), WR K.J. Hamler (hamstring)

Titans Trends

  • The Titans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games, which includes a 5-1 ATS mark in their last six road games.

  • Tennessee is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite, and they’ve played over the total in six of those games.

  • The Titans are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Monday night games.

  • Tennessee is 10-3 toward overs since Ryan Tannehill took over as quarterback.

  • The Broncos lost Von Miller (ankle) for the season to a freak ankle injury and Bradley Chubb (knee) could be limited in his first game back off 2019 ACL surgery. HC Vic Fangio relies on his front four to create pressure to allow him to disguise his coverages on the back end so the foundation of this defense could be shattered.

  • Tannehill permanently replaced Marcus Mariota as the Titans’ starting QB in Week 6 last year when he stepped into the lineup against the Broncos in the second half. Tannehill averaged 9.0 YPA in that contest, which was a sign of things to come.

  • Our Greg Cosell thinks the Titans could use some early play-action and go over the top to keep Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson from creeping up and stopping Henry. Tannehill could test new CB duo A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan early with A.J. Brown.

  • Brown beat Bouye, when he played for the Jags, for a 65-yard touchdown on a dig route that he turned into a catch-and-run TD last season in Week 12.

  • Jonnu Smith finished behind only Noah Fant in average yards after the catch (8.4) for the position last season. The problem is Smith saw just 3.6 targets per game with Tannehill last season.

  • Derrick Henry has seen more than three targets in a game just once (as a rookie) in 67 total games (playoffs included). The Titans kept just Henry and Darrynton Evans at RB on the 53-man roster so Henry is either going to be featured more in the passing game and/or Evans could have a bigger role than anticipated.

Broncos Trends

  • The Broncos are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight September contests.

  • Denver is 0-4-1 ATS in its last five Monday night games.

  • The Broncos are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as a home underdog.

  • Denver has played under the total in 11 of its last 15 home games.

  • The Broncos got slammed by two major injuries last week, which included Courtland Sutton spraining his AC joint. Jerry Jeudy will immediately step into a prominent role as the team’s top receiver if Sutton is unable to perform 10 jumping jacks in pregame warm-ups. Jeudy will get a middle-of-the-road first matchup against the Titans, who allowed 34.64 FPG to WRs (16th-most) last season.

  • Noah Fant led all TEs in average yards after the catch (8.4) last season, finishing ahead of this week’s opponent Jonnu Smith. Fant’s role would also be expanded if Sutton is unable to play, and he gets a friendly first matchup against a Titans defense that allowed the sixth-most FPG to TEs (13.98) last season.

  • Drew Lock did better than the low expectations set for him during his five-game audition at the end of last season, but the team’s 4-1 record inflated his actual performance. He averaged 6.5 YPA and 204.0 passing yards per game, which doesn’t look as great when you consider the desirable stretch of pass defenses (vs. LAC, @Hou, @KC, vs. Det, vs. LV) he faced during that stretch.

  • Philip Lindsay reportedly had a strong training camp and is pushing for a large role next to Melvin Gordon to start the year. Gordon has finished below 4.0 YPC in four of his five seasons while Lindsay is averaging 4.9 YPC in his two-year career. Gordon, though, brings more to the table as a receiver and as a goal-line back with 40+ receptions and 8+ rushing TDs in four consecutive seasons.

Brolley’s Bets

Tennessee Titans -1.5 (Staff Picks Lean)

Noah Fant over 39.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.