Patriots-Steelers over/under: New England, Pittsburgh hit over in first half of ‘TNF’ despite historically low odds

There will be a good number of sports gamblers upset with the amount of points being scored in the Patriots-Steelers contest. 

Sports books were expecting a low-scoring affair on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 14. The Patriots-Steelers matchup had a historically low over/under set before the game, with two weaker offenses going against one another. 

Someone must have forgotten to relay that message to New England and Pittsburgh. 

The Patriots jumped out to an exceptional start on Thursday night, as QB Bailey Zappe rifled three touchdowns in the first 30 minutes, helping Bill Belichick’s crew get out to a 21-10 lead after the first half. Zappe became the first Patriot since Tom Brady in 2018 to throw three passing touchdowns in a first half. 

With 31 combined points in the first half, the over/under total for the game hit before the second half even began. Oddsmakers had set the line at 31.5, but it dropped to 30.5 before kickoff. It was the lowest over/under for an NFL game since 2005. 

MORE: How Patriots’ offense is one of the NFL’s worst scoring units ever

New England wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Zappe and the Pats marched down the field at Acrisure Stadium and ended the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Ezekiel Elliott. 

The Steelers responded by securing points of their own on their opening drive, as kicker Chris Boswell sank a 56-yard field goal. 

After Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers picked off Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky deep in Pittsburgh territory, Zappe needed just two plays to find the end zone again, this time connecting with tight end Hunter Henry for the eight-yard score early in the second quarter. 

The Zappe-Henry connection came alive in the second quarter again. The New England signal caller threaded a perfect ball to into the tight end’s outstretched arms to push the Patriots’ lead to 21-3. 

The Steelers finally got into the end zone at the end of the second quarter. With 2:50 to go in the first half, Trubisky launched a ball to wide receiver Diontae Johnson for a 25-yard touchdown. 

It’s understandable why sports betting companies projected a low-scoring game. Entering the prime time matchup, New England and Pittsburgh had two of the worst offenses in the league this season. The Pats were dead last in points per game with 12.3, while the Steelers were at 29th, averaging 16.0 points per game. 

However, as evident by the high-scoring first half in Pittsburgh, you never know what’s going to happen once the teams are out on the gridiron. 

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