Steelers vs. Buccaneers odds, predictions: 2019 Preseason Week 1 picks from expert on 36-12 run
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will enter the 2019 NFL season featuring plenty of new faces both on the field and the sidelines. Both clubs will get their first taste of live action when they meet Friday night in their preseason opener. Kickoff from Heinz Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Steelers will enter a new era of sorts after they parted ways with running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown, both of whom helped form one of the league’s most explosive offensive units. On the other side, former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians came out of retirement to lead a franchise that has had only two winning seasons this decade. Pittsburgh is a 2.5-point favorite and the over-under for total points scored is 37 in the Steelers vs. Bucs odds. Before you make any Steelers vs. Buccaneers picks, be sure to see the NFL preseason predictions from SportsLine NFL expert R.J. White, given the success he’s had picking these teams.
White has been SportsLine’s top pro football analyst for two-plus seasons. Over that span, the CBS Sports NFL editor and nationally recognized NFL Draft expert has gone 214-164 on NFL picks against the spread, returning more than $3,200 to $100 bettors.
White was all over the Patriots in the 2019 Super Bowl, nailing the year’s biggest sporting event for the legions that follow him. White said he wouldn’t trust Rams QB Jared Goff in a big spot, and Goff’s bumbling performance was key to New England’s 13-3 win.
The stats guru, whose picks are coveted by fans everywhere, has cashed huge in the world’s most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, twice in the past four years. What’s more, White has a combined record of 36-12 (75 percent) on picks involving Tampa Bay or Pittsburgh over the past three seasons. Anyone who has followed him is way up. Now, White has broken down Steelers vs. Bucs from every angle and revealed his strong against-the-spread pick over at SportsLine.
White knows the Steelers will be eager to make a strong impression as they turn the page and move on from Bell and Brown, whose Pittsburgh careers were filled with highlights on the field but often negative headlines away from it. One focal point of the offense will be James Conner, who rushed for 973 yards in 12 starts last year while Bell held out in a contract dispute. He also had 497 receiving yards on 55 catches.
Conner scored a touchdown on his first training camp carry in a goal-line drill. He said he looked forward to the preseason to “get tuned up,” but noted his teammates will get plenty of snaps in a crowded backfield competition. Second-year back Jaylen Samuels, who notched 256 rushing yards in his rookie season backing up Conner, is expected to see his share of the workload. Rookie fourth-round pick Benny Snell Jr., who showed explosiveness in college at Kentucky, also will be in the mix.
Veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger historically sees little to no action in the exhibition season and isn’t expected to play Friday. But the Steelers have a brewing competition for the backup job between Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph.
Even so, Pittsburgh isn’t assured of covering the Steelers vs. Bucs spread against a Tampa Bay club that similarly hopes to enter a new campaign on a positive note.
The club hired Arians after it parted ways with Dirk Koetter, who was hired in large part to groom and develop quarterback Jameis Winston. The quarterback has shown flashes of progress but also has been plagued by inconsistency. Arians was the architect of an Arizona offense that often ranked toward the top of the NFL in total yardage and points scored. He recently told the media that he has “seen a light go on” for Winston now that the coach and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich have worked extensively with the signal-caller in practice.
The first-year coach also has emphasized the need to improve a running game that ranked No. 29 in the NFL last year. Look for plenty of action from Peyton Barber, who had 871 rushing yards and five scores last year. Ronald Jones looks to bounce back from a disappointing, injury-plagued rookie year in which he gained just 44 yards.
We can tell you White is leaning toward the over, but he’s also identified a critical factor that’s made him jump all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing that pick over at SportsLine.
Who wins Buccaneers vs. Steelers? And what critical factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bucs vs. Steelers spread you should jump on Friday, all from the top NFL expert who’s brought in more than $3,200 the last two seasons, and find out.