The New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers in arguably the best Week 1 matchup of the 2019 NFL season. It’s the first time we’ll see the defending champions since they won Super Bowl LIII, and the year’s inaugural “Sunday Night Football” game should end in the same fashion—with a Patriots’ victory.

New England is laying 5.5 points at home, according to the latest betting line at OddsShark. The Patriots were favored over the Steelers by as much as a touchdown just a few weeks ago. The game total is 50.5.

Pittsburgh actually got the better of New England when the two rivals met towards the end of the 2018 season. The Steelers defeated the Patriots 17-10, beating Tom Brady and Co. for the first time in seven years.

There are a few reasons to believe order will be restored in the opener with New England beating the team they’ve had their way with during the Brady-Belichick era.

For starters, Sunday’s contest is in Foxborough. It is usually a good idea to bet on the Patriots when they are laying fewer than seven points at home.

Brady is 5-0 against Pittsburgh at Gillette Stadium, including three wins by at least a touchdown in all three of those matchups since 2013. New England beat Pittsburgh 28-21 in the 2015 season opener.

Tom Brady Patriots Steelers
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots attempts a pass under pressure from Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on December 16, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Much is made about the home-field advantage of teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs, but the Patriots are truly the most difficult team to beat in their own stadium. New England has gone 6-2 or better at home every year in the last decade. In four seasons during that stretch, the Patriots went undefeated in New England.

New England went 8-0 in Foxborough last season before beating the Los Angeles Chargers in a home playoff game. Only their win against the No.1 seed Chiefs came by less than a touchdown.

The Patriots have won 12 of their last 13 regular-season home games by at least seven points. The Steelers only won four games on the road in 2018.

Maybe none of that would matter if New England was about to take a step back in 2019, but the Patriots might have their best team in a decade.

Brady is probably done being an MVP candidate. He doesn’t need to play like the greatest quarterback of all time when he has two No.1-caliber wide receivers, an impressive backfield, an above-average offensive line and a potential top-five defense.

The Steelers could be among the AFC’s best teams this season. The loss of Antonio Brown was addition by subtraction for an offense that will put up a lot of points. Pittsburgh has an underrated defense after the unit failed to meet expectations at times in the last two years. They are the best bet to win the AFC North.

The Patriots are just a much better bet than the Steelers in Week 1.

Prediction Against The Spread: New England over Pittsburgh, 30-23