The NFL’s 2019 regular season is only two days away. With the league celebrating its 100th anniversary, however, the defending Super Bowl winners will not open it — the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will — and instead have to wait to enter the action: the New England Patriots will unveil their sixth championship banner on Sunday night before taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a highly-anticipated matchup.
The Steelers, after all, are again projected to be one of the top teams in the AFC this season. If the oddsmakers are to be believed, however, the home team will start the year victoriously (via OddsShark.com):
Line: Patriots -6.5
As can be seen, the Patriots are favored to win the primetime meeting and open the season 1-0. It is not hard to see why: New England has dominated the ‘rivalry’ with Pittsburgh ever since Tom Brady took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2001. With Brady at the helm, the Patriots have won eleven of fourteen meetings with the Black and Gold — with all three of the losses, including last year’s, coming on the road.
A lot can happen on opening day, of course, but it would not be surprising to see the world champions kick off their season in style based on history and overall talent. The bookkeepers seem to feel that way as well.