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Panthers Steelers Betting – Steelers Look To Lock Up Division Against Carolina

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/21/2010 10:13:07 AM
panthers steelers betting

The betting world was not really surprised when the Carolina Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals in week 15. Football betting can be a bit unpredictable, but there just this feeling surrounding the Panthers that they were going to win at least one game this season and now they have won two. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost an important game to the New York Jets in week 15, but Pittsburgh can still win the AFC North division if they just win out their last two games.

  • What: NFL betting
  • When: Thursday, December 23, 8:20 PM ET
  • Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -13.5

What’s On The Line

The Steelers (10-4) are not in a position to win home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they can roll into the playoffs as the number two seed and that would give them at least one home game. The Panthers are playing out the schedule in anticipation of a new head coach and coaching staff next season. Carolina may also want to consider highly-rated quarterback Andrew Luck in the upcoming draft as current head coach John Fox may have permanently damaged the confidence of this year’s rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Offensive Matchups: Panthers Steelers Betting

The Carolina Panthers do have a couple of weapons on offense. Running back Jonathan Stewart rushed for 137 yards in the Panthers win over the Arizona Cardinals. All-pro receiver Steve Smith should be a weapon in the passing game, but the quarterback problems in Carolina have limited Smith to only 537 receiving yards and two touchdowns. But the Panthers have no ability to use their weapons and they do not show any desire to exploit the long ball with Smith.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has receivers Heinz Ward, Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randel El to throw the ball to. When Big Ben wants to change things up he give the ball to running backs Rashard Mendenhall or full back Isaac Redman. The Steelers have tight ends that can block and catch. There is a well-rounded offense in Pittsburgh with the weakest point being the offensive line. But, against the Panthers, the offensive line will look just fine.

Betting Edge: Steelers

Defensive Matchups: Panthers Steelers Betting

If any unit on the Panthers should feel the most frustrated, it is the defense. The Carolina defense is ranked 12th in the league allowing an average of 330 yards per game. Perhaps most surprising is that the Panthers defense is ranked eighth against the pass allowing only an average of 203 passing yards per game. The Steelers offensive line will have a hard time blocking this Panthers pass rush, and that is what will keep the Panthers close in this game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best rush defenses in history. The Steelers defense is only allowing 63 yards per game on the ground. They get excellent penetration up front, and have athletic linebackers that can help slow up the running backs and tight ends that try to go into the middle of the field. The Steelers secondary is young and makes mistakes, but Clausen won’t make them pay for that in this game.

Betting Edge: Steelers

Notable Injuries: Panthers Steelers Betting

Linebacker James Harrison (illness) and wide receiver Hines Ward (non-injury) did not practice the first part of this week, but they are expected to play Thursday. Defensive End Aaron Smith (triceps) and defensive tackle Steve McLendon (stinger) are expected to miss the game. The status of linebacker Troy Polamalu is still undecided.

For the Panthers, wide receiver Armanti Edwards (illness) is doubtful for the game. Linebacker James Anderson (ankle), defensive end Greg Hardy (knee) and linebacker Nic Harris (head) are all listed as doubtful for the game.

Betting Edge: Steelers

Outlook and Pick: Panthers Steelers Betting

The Carolina Panthers have the defense to keep the Steelers offense on its heels, but the Panthers offense is not capable of withstanding the Pittsburgh. With or without Polamalu, the Steelers will be able to keep the Panthers offense in check and take this very important game.

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers


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