Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1)
Going into the season, I considered the Steelers pretty overrated. Casual fans look at the Steelers’ offensive skill position talent and their 13-3 record from a year ago, but they went 8-2 in games decided by 7 points or fewer last season and could have easily been a 10-win team. They especially struggled down the stretch, winning just 2 games by more than 4 points in the final 8 games of the season and then losing in their first playoff game at home to Jacksonville. That was in large part due to the loss of linebacker Ryan Shazier with injury and they did not adequately replace him this off-season. They will also likely feel the absence of Le’Veon Bell at some point, though backup James Conner is coming off an excellent first start.
Even getting a great game from Conner, the Steelers tied the Browns in Cleveland week 1, an underwhelming start to their season. The Steelers also enter this game missing some key players, with right guard David DeCastro, cornerback Joe Haden, and possibly their other cornerback Artie Burns out with injury. Despite that, they are still favored by 5.5 over the Chiefs, who are coming off of a week 1 win in Los Angeles against the Chargers in Pat Mahomes’ first real start. The Chiefs are missing safety Eric Berry, who has yet to return from a torn achilles, but I still have these two teams about even in my rankings. There’s not quite enough line value with the Chiefs at 5.5 for this to be worth betting, but I might reconsider if the line moves up to 6.
Pittsburgh Steelers 34 Kansas City Chiefs 31
Pick against the spread: Kansas City +5.5