NFL Picks: Week 1 49ers vs Steelers

The clock will strike at 1:00 pm ET on the NFL Sunday, September 10, 2023, setting the stage for a football face-off between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. With contrasting fortunes from their last season, this duel promises to be a gripping tale of strategy, strength, and stamina.



Spread: 49ers -2.5 (-110), Steelers +2.5 (-110) 

Moneyline: 49ers -142, Steelers +116

Total: O 41 (-110), Under 41 (-110) 


Last year’s ballad

The San Francisco 49ers, with a commanding 13-4 record, demonstrated sheer dominance, especially in their division, where they went undefeated. While their offense dazzled, averaging 26.5 points per game, their defense remained a bulwark, restricting opponents to a mere 16.3 points on average. With a talented roster boasting the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw for 2437 yards, the agile Christian McCaffrey rushing for 746 yards, and the electric Brandon Aiyuk amassing 1015 receiving yards, the 49ers seemed almost unstoppable.

On the other side, the Steelers painted a modest picture. With a close 9-8 record overall and a balanced home-away game record, they showcased a resilient spirit. Averaging 18.1 points offensively, they allowed 20.4 points against them. The young quarterback, Kenny Pickett, made waves with 2404 passing yards, while Najee Harris displayed his prowess with 1034 rushing yards, and Diontae Johnson emerged as a reliable receiver with 882 yards.


Matchup Analysis

As per the figures from BUSR NFL Odds, the 49ers are tipped as a 2.5-point favorite, but a deeper look tells a compelling story. Despite being helmed by three different quarterbacks in the past season, the 49ers surged to the NFC Finals, only to face heartbreak against the Eagles. The infusion of Brock Purdy as the starting QB has been transformative and a breath of fresh air for a franchise that has battled for years to find a regular. Under his leadership, the team has regularly crossed the 30-point threshold, signaling a potent offensive unit. Complemented by a consistently formidable defense, the 49ers appear daunting and a solid contender.

Yet, the Steelers have their own cards to play. Pickett, with a year of NFL experience under his belt, is poised to elevate his game further. Guided by the ever-strategic Mike Tomlin, the team possesses a defensive unit that is nothing short of exceptional. However, while their defense can pose challenges, the real contest will be on the offensive front. The 49ers, with their diversified arsenal, might just have the edge. Although the Steelers will aim to leverage their home advantage and staunch defense, the dynamism that Purdy brings to the 49ers’ offensive line seems hard to contain. For those looking to wager, betting on the 49ers covering the spread might be the astute choice.


Injury Roundup

Injuries, often the unseen game-changers, loom large over both teams. The 49ers’ roster is plagued with key players sidelined. T. Hawkins (S) and A. Parker (DB) are on the injured reserve list, grappling with hand and hamstring injuries respectively. Further, D. Luter Jr. (CB) and C. Latu (TE) face an indefinite hiatus due to knee injuries. With Z. Gonzalez (K) and J. Moody (K) also unavailable and uncertainties over J. Mason (RB) and N. Bosa (DL), the 49ers will need their bench to step up. The Steelers aren’t immune either. R. Wren (DT) and C. Russell (LB) are out with severe injuries, further complicating the team’s tactical approach.

As both teams prepare to lock horns, this game promises to be more than just numbers. It’s a test of strategy, adaptability, and sheer will to triumph.