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Steelers Titans Betting Predictions – Steelers Will Try To Survive At Tennessee On Thursday

Posted by Tony Bryant on 10/9/2012 7:26:54 PM

The Pittsburgh Steelers might be a relatively old team, so they'll face a challenge this Thursday as they try to handle a short week and a quick turnaround against the Tennessee Titans.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans – Thursday, October 11    
NFL betting line: Pittsburgh -4.5

Why Pittsburgh Will Win    

The betting websites that are assessing this game will provide two particularly good reasons to take Pittsburgh. First of all, the Titans – due to the injuries suffered by opening-day starting quarterback Jake Locker – don't know which quarterback they'll put on the field for this game. Locker's left shoulder kept him out of this past Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, putting Matt Hasselbeck into the starting spot. With the short turnaround for a Thursday game, it's likely that Hasselbeck will still be the man, though Locker could possibly be available in a backup role if things turn south for the Titans.

At any rate, an uncertain and unsettled quarterback situation is not healthy for any team at any time; against the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense, it is especially unwelcome. Tennessee needs wholeness and consistency at the quarterback spot and on its offense in general. The Titans are simply not in a good position to give Pittsburgh's defense a strong challenge.
The other thing that has to be taken into account in this game is that with the Thursday kickoff, the energy levels of each team merit considerable attention. Both teams did play this past Sunday – the NFL doesn't want one team in a Thursday game to have more rest than the other – but Pittsburgh did have a bye week in week four, on the final weekend of September. Tennessee, on the other hand, won't get its bye week until November.

ittsburgh is therefore a fresher team entering this contest. Tennessee is likely to be a little more weary, and that does make a difference in these Thursday night games, which have featured very poor quality precisely because the participating teams have not been in optimal playing shape.

Why Tennessee Will Win

When playing online poker, you have to take chances at times, and Tennessee is in position to take chances against Pittsburgh's secondary. Tennessee's best chance to win is rooted in the fact that Pittsburgh's defense has been quite average this season, especially on the road. Pittsburgh lost 31-19 at Denver in week one and then 34-31 at Oakland in week three. The Steelers were expected to win each of those two contests but did not play very authoritatively. This defense, despite being guided by Dick LeBeau, the most senior active coordinator (offense or defense) in the NFL, has not been able to find consistent answers for his players' problems. LeBeau is regarded as the best defensive coordinator in football, but his charges have to make plays away from Heinz Field in the Steel City.

A perfect home team won't go too far in the NFL… not if it loses five or more road games in the same season. Pittsburgh's road woes could be just the thing to give the Titans a window of opportunity on Thursday. If you're worried about the possibility of Matt Hasselbeck starting in place of Jake Locker at quarterback, simply realize that another old-man quarterback felt to be past his prime – Carson Palmer – looked really good when Pittsburgh's defense got shredded by the Oakland Raiders. Hasselbeck could certainly work some similar magic in this contest if he is indeed the starter for Tennessee.

Who Will Win

The Titans might be able to make some noise at home against a Pittsburgh team that has struggled on the road, but the odds suggest that the Steelers will put a halt to their road woes in this contest. Take Pittsburgh in this situation.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Pittsburgh


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