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Friday, September 19, 2014

NFL Betting Preview 2014 Week 3: Steelers Vs. Panthers

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Carolina Panthers

Market Watch

In the LVH look-ahead line the Panthers were favored by -3. When it was re-opened after Week 2 it had moved to -3.25.  If you like Carolina in the game, you should probably grab -3 at -120 now. If you want the Steelers, you can grab +3.5 for the same price. Where should this line be? I agree with the markets and think it should be slightly more than -3, although I'm not at all sold on the Panthers just yet. 81% of the early bets are fading Pittsburgh.

Bottom Line

Last Thursday I wrote that the Ravens should be able to take advantage of a meh Steelers defense, but it was hard to tell how the team would react to the Ray Rice saga - not to mention that both teams could be Jekyll or Hyde any given Sunday.

It could be the same story again in Week 3. Cam has very little to work with at his skill positions, but perhaps Benjamin and Olsen can be enough? It's not like the Steelers D has been able to stop anybody the last couple years. People are even questioning whether or not Lebeau's scheme is still effective in today's NFL. I wouldn't go that far, but they do have an embarrassing take-away rate and seem just as susceptible to the pass as the run.

It could be bad news for Steeler-Nation that this game is on national TV since they are 1-6 in their last 7 road prime-time games. Can Big Ben turn that around? As long as he has Brown and Bell healthy, he should have a shot. The big question I have is what to make of the Panthers secondary. On paper they are all borderline NFL players, but through two weeks they've executed the scheme really well. If they keep it up, Pittsburgh's offense could be in trouble.

I'm not getting involved in this one, but I'd only consider the Panthers in this spot. They have home-field, more talent, and better results early in the season.

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Bears Vs. Jets
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