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Betting nuggets for Pittsburgh-New England

Chalk Points are quick-hitting previews designed for on-the-go fans and recreational bettors looking for fundamental information.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-7, 51.5), 8:30 p.m. ET, TV: NBC

• As of Wednesday night, 80 percent of the money bet and 61 percent of all wagers were on the Patriots at William Hill's Nevada sportsbook.

• Weather: There is an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

• The Patriots are 13-7 against the spread (ATS) in season openers under coach Bill Belichick.

• The over/under on Tom Brady passing touchdowns at the Westgate SuperBook is 2, with the over a -145 favorite. Roethlisberger: 1.5 passing TDs (-155 over).

• The Steelers will be without running back Le'Veon Bell (suspension), wide receiver Martavis Bryant (suspension) and center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle).

• The Patriots will be without starting center Bryan Stork (concussion) and running back LeGarrette Blount (suspension).

• The Steelers' offense is expected to be explosive, featuring prolific wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Patriots lost corner Darrelle Revis in the offseason. Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, a part-time starter the past two seasons, are expected start at corner for the Patriots.

• Brown's over/under receiving yards is 103.5 (-110).

• Mike Tomlin has squared off against Belichick five times. The Steelers are 2-3 straight-up and ATS in those meetings.

• The Patriots have covered the spread in 57.4 percent of games under Belichick.

• A high-scoring game is expected, with both teams utilizing up-tempo, no-huddle offenses.

• The total was sitting at 52 on Thursday at William Hill, where 60 percent of tickets and 53 percent of the money was on the over.

• Belichick is 30-9 SU in games with O/U totals higher than 50.

• The Patriots ran 67.5 plays per game in 2014, the fifth most in the NFL. The Steelers ran 67.1 plays per game in 2014, the sixth most in the league.

• The Steelers will be playing their first game under new defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

• Over the summer, in the heart of Deflategate, the point spread at most Vegas books dipped all the way to New England pick 'em, when Brady was expected to be suspended. The Patriots were -3.5 last week, before Brady's suspension was nullified. The line grew to Patriots -7. The over/under total went up from 48.5 to 51.5.

• New England has been favored in 12 consecutive Week 1 games, the longest such streak in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Patriots are 10-2 SU, but only 5-6-1 ATS, in those games.

*Statistical information from BetLabs on SportsInsights, TeamRankings.com and Spreadapedia was used in this report.