Steelers Buccaneers Betting – “Steel Curtain” Drops On Freeman, Bucs
Online betting players know all about the “Steel Curtain”, the nickname given to any dominant Pittsburgh defense. Well, it looks like the “Curtain” is back in 2010 as the Steelers are bottling teams up and forcing turnovers left and right, and they’ll take their unit to Tampa Bay, where the Bucs’ young quarterback won’t be able to figure out the complicated blitz packages that Pittsburgh is famous for.
- What: NFL betting
- When: Sunday, September 26th, 1:00 PM ET
- Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
- Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 \
What’s On The Line
The Steelers (2-0) dominated Tennessee for a 19-11 win on the road, and it wasn’t even as close as the score indicated. It doesn’t seem to matter who plays quarterback for the Steelers, as long as their defense plays the way it did on Sunday. The Buccaneers (2-0) rolled to a 20-7 win over Carolina on the road, and the young Bucs are playing well over their head. Tampa Bay pivot Josh Freeman will have his hands full against a Pittsburgh defense that always shows up.
Offensive Matchups: Steelers Buccaneers Betting
Pittsburgh managed a paltry 127 yards of offense against the Titans, and they’re 31st in the league in that category. Dennis Dixon is now hurt, which means that Charlie Batch steps into the starter’s role, unless Byron Leftwich makes some kind of miracle happen. Rashard Mendenhall may have to carry a heavy load against the Bucs on Sunday, because Batch didn’t look all that great in his cameo last week, and let’s be honest, he’s not that good anyway.
Freeman’s numbers last week weren’t great: 12-of-24 for 178 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t throw any picks or make any major mistakes to hurt his team, and with an offense like Tampa Bay’s, that may be more important than scoring touchdowns. Freeman also had four carries for 43 yards, and that scrambling ability may come in handy against the Steelers. Tampa Bay’s offense isn’t great, but it’s improving.
Betting Edge: Tampa Bay
Defensive Matchups: Steelers Buccaneers Betting
Any time you force seven turnovers, your NFL betting odds of winning a game are going to be great. That’s what the Steelers did against the Titans, forcing them to bench Vince Young in favor of Kerry Collins. They’ve racked up six sacks in the first two games of the season, and having a healthy Troy Polamalu back can’t be understated. He had a pick, six tackles (three for losses) and a crucial goal-line tackle of Collins that kept the Steelers in front.
The Tampa Bay defense isn’t as fearsome as they were a few years ago…..yet. They’re 15th in the league in that category (nine spots behind Pittsburgh), and they’re only going to get better as the season goes on. Cornerback Aqib Talib grabbed a pick, and by the end of the year he could be one of the breakout defensive backs in the league. Rookie Gerald McCoy has been moved all over the line, and he’s getting double-teamed while doing so.
Betting Edge: Pittsburgh
Notable Injuries: Steelers Buccaneers Betting
Dixon (knee) is out for a few weeks, while nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) is questionable for the Steelers.
Running back Kareem Huggins (groin) missed last week’s game and will be watched carefully before Sunday.
Betting Edge: Draw
Outlook and Pick: Steelers Buccaneers Betting
The Steelers are 2.5-point NFL betting favorites on the road, and they’ve won all three meetings with the Bucs during the turn of the century, including two in Tampa Bay. Freeman has really come a long way since last year, and you can see it in his decision-making, but he’s going to be swarmed by a Pittsburgh defense that looks like the Super Bowl-winning unit of a couple years ago. Unless the ground game can take some of the pressure off him, Freeman is going to spend most of the day running for his life. The Pittsburgh offense isn’t great, but they’ll do enough to put points on the board for the Steelers in a sports betting victory.
Stan’s Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers