The first Sunday of the 2023 NFL season is upon us, and one of the most intriguing matchups on the slate will see the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Acrisure Stadium. Though they’re on the road, the 49ers come into this one as the moneyline favorites on most NFL betting sites and betting apps.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Betting Odds
- The San Francisco 49ers come into the game as -2.5-point favorites
- Books are expecting a low-scoring affair, with the total sitting at 41 points
- George Pickens is offering tons of value on his +250 anytime TD odds
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Betting Odds - Sunday, September 10th
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a pretty topsy-turvy season last year with Kenny Pickett coming into the lineup midway through the fourth game of the season. The Pitt product figured it out, however, and the team went 7-2 to finish off the season and just barely miss out on the playoffs. The Niners had another great season and made a deep playoff run, only for the wheels to fall off in the NFC Championship. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-138||-2.5 (-110)||O41.0 (-110)|
|San Francisco 49ers||+114||+2.5 (-110)||U41.0 (-110)|
The Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers actually have a lot more in common than their fans might want to admit. They’ll both trot out very promising second-year quarterbacks, they both employ a top three pass rusher in the league, they both rely on defensive toughness over offensive flair, they both look to open up the passing game with a strong, dedicated rushing attack, and they both have an exciting and dynamic wide receiver duo. This one might just be a stalemate ladies and gentlemen.
The Steelers have been a great Week 1 team over the past decade, winning all but one season opener since 2014 that wasn’t against Tom Brady. The Niners, meanwhile, have not started as fast under Kyle Shanahan, going 2-4 in season openers since he put on the San Francisco headset back in 2017.
It’s also worth noting that last year, the Niners were an excellent team against the spread, going 12-5 ATS as the favorite. However, they weren’t quite so dominant when they went on the road as chalk, going just 2-4 ATS in those situations.
Meanwhile, Mike Tomlin’s Steelers have been historically excellent as home underdogs. In fact, Tomlin is the single-most effective coach when it comes to covering the spread as a home underdog: he has gone 13-4-3 ATS and 12-8 straight up as a home underdog since he began helming the Steelers in 2007, both tops among all NFL coaches since 1970. They’ve been even better recently, going 7-1-1 ATS as home dogs since 2018.
These numbers are just betting trends, but the Steelers under Tomlin have always been the kind of team to play up or down to their opponents, regularly losing games against the dregs of the league while playing way above what they should against the best teams in the league.
The relative strength of the AFC compared to the NFC should not be discounted either: the Steelers went 4-1 ATS against NFC opponents last year, while the Niners went 1-4 against AFC teams. Normally, we’d roll with the Niners on such a small spread, but considering Tomlin’s history in Week 1 and as a home dog, we’ll take the points this time around with Pittsburgh’s +2.5 point spread.
These might be the two best defenses in football and it’s a well known fact that defenses are quicker to learn their new playbooks and build chemistry than their offensive counterparts, so Kenny Pickett and Brock Purdy will be in tough here. 41 is a very low total, but we believe it is more than deserved, so we’d roll with the under here at -110.
Player Props To Consider
Player props are tough when you’re dealing with defenses as dominant as these two, but there are some little pockets where a few offensive players should be able to find success. One of those is the Steelers wideouts. San Francisco’s defense was elite at basically everything last year—except stopping opposing receivers.
They gave up the sixth most yards and the seventh most touchdowns to receivers last year, which means Diontae Johnson and George Pickens should flourish. Johnson will be the one getting more targets, so we like him to hit the over on his receptions prop at 4.5 at -130. He had 5+ receptions in 12 of 17 games last year and should be seeing more work this year with Pickett’s progress.
Pickens is more of a big play guy, so we love him to hit the over on his 42.5 receiving yards prop, a mark which he topped in six of his final eight games last year. The big body receiver should be one of Pickens’ go-to guys in the red zone too, which is why we think his +250 anytime touchdown odds are offering the most value on the board.
Another interesting prop to consider is the TJ Watt and Nick Bosa sack props. These are not yet on the board, but once they are, you should run to get them. Bosa just signed a massive deal and will have extra incentive to prove his worth, while Watt has always been excellent in Week 1: in five season openers, he’s racked up eight sacks, three interceptions, and a forced fumble.
Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.