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Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Point Spread - Pick

Denver Broncos (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
Week 2 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1PM EST
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: DEN +7/PIT -7
Over/Under Total: 41.5

The Denver Broncos come out to the Steel City to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. This week two battle features two teams coming off the short week after MNF games. The Steelers held up their end of the deal, handing the Giants a fairly-routine 26-16 win in East Rutherford. Conversely, Denver gave up the drawers at home, despite conditions appearing ripe for a season-opening win. They look to rebound from a 16-14 loss this week, however, in what might be a difficult road-spot.

Denver already appears to be bitten from the injury bug—an unfortunate situation heading into week two. Granted, they covered the number against Tennessee, but it made a Denver optimist forecast what could have been with names like Courtland Sutton, KJ Hamler, and Von Miller in there. And now Phillip Lindsay is banged-up, as is AJ Bouye, Garrett Bolles, and some other guys. It didn't help that it was more flies than hairs in Jerry Jeudy's week one debut, as the touted rookie receiver dropped some key balls. Drew Lock, a Show-Me State quarterback who didn't show me squat in week one, also missed a sure TD throw in the first half, apparently blinded by the ever-present Colorado strobe.

Throw in a bunch of miscues, most of an untimely nature for someone who may have had a money-line wager on the Broncos, and it was too much to overcome against an unspectacular, but vaguely-steadfast Tennessee squad. What is going to improve this week in Pittsburgh against a Steelers' defense that has one of the more rigid and disruptive fronts in the conference? Gordon, Jeudy, and Fant are all going to need to have good sight.

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A potential saving grace could be a Denver defense that was able to extract chon from the Tennessee offense. The pass-rush was languid at times and we should see more from Bradley Chubb in ensuing weeks. But they're going to have to make it work against a good Steelers offensive line. The addition of Jurrell Casey looks to have already paid off, as he has allowed this D-line to reclaim a fair portion of their previous swagger. In week one, the mistakes were replete, but they also flashed a nice playmaking element that could pay off down the line. You could see how it might work, with the rowdy front being the Frito and an energetic secondary being the Lay. And it's not like Pittsburgh's run-game is so scary now that you can rule out this "D." They bottled up Henry pretty well for stretches on MNF and look to do the same to Benny Snell this week.

The Pittsburgh offense with Ben Roethlisberger is in pretty good shape. Their RB situation is in a bit of flux and I'm not completely sold on JuJu Smith-Schuster as a surefire number-one receiver upon which this offense can rely. The addition of Eric Ebron is nice, but Big Ben doesn't quite have the cast of difference-makers on offense that he had in the past. After managing just 26 against a Giants' defense that doesn't figure to be great this season and being stagnant for stretches in the game, how automatic will they be in this spot against a better defense?

Still, week one allowed long-awaiting Pittsburgh fans to get a glimpse of what could shape into a contender. That defense is for real. And against what appeared to be a rickety Denver offense that isn't at full-power, it portends problems for Denver backers this week. Now, when you see "D," it's "D" that you see. And when you see Lock, yo, that's who he be. In other words, after watching Lock labor with the Tennessee defense at home, what can one rightfully expect to see this week?

If looking to come up with a tidy equation, you have two offenses that might not really fly this week, going against defenses that might be the strong suits of each team. The game is in Pittsburgh, where they have a more cemented quarterback and defense. I still see Denver being able to shrug off the rust of the offseason now in week two and make like hard on Roethlisberger and Bunch. But Pittsburgh has a defense that they brag about and the young Denver O-line might not be as well-equipped to handle stunts as previously advertised.

I see a game where both offenses struggle to achieve a strong foothold for long stretches of the game. That 7-point spread is pretty tricky, despite it being on a key number. I don't question whether Denver can enter live and show their depth. One always has to be wary of the week two fallacy of taking week one results too much to heart. I see the better move being the total and while it's pretty low at 41.5, I see a potential grind at Heinz on Sunday. I'm going "under."

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting that the Broncos-Steelers game goes under 41.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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