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Tips For Betting On Panthers Steelers - Panthers, Steelers Face Preseason Finale In Different Ways

Posted by Tony Bryant on 8/29/2012 6:57:04 PM

The Carolina Panthers are trying to build something as they move toward the end of their exhibition season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are trying to avoid being torn down with injuries.

Carolina Panthers @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Thursday, August 30    
Betting line: No line

Why Carolina Will Win

The legal online sports betting skinny in this game is that Carolina has a little more to play for. The Panthers are a young team trying to round into shape before the regular season. There's more emphasis on gaining momentum in advance of the Sept. 9 opener because of the youthfulness of quarterback Cameron Newton and the need for his first-string offense to coalesce around him. Newton is very much a work in progress, even though his skills and athleticism are evident and prodigious.

Carolina still needs to create an offensive framework in which the team can make plays due to scheme, game planning, personnel, and the precise interworkings of those three facets. Everyone knows that Newton can make lots of terrific improvisational plays outside the pocket while also overwhelming defenders in open-field one-on-one situations, but can he stand in the pocket and deliver darts while taking big hits? There is a lot more work that Newton has to do, many more steps he must take in his overall evolution as a quarterback.

The unfinished business in the Panthers' locker room, this realization that they all need to grow and mature in the coming weeks (and months), is what will propel them into this exhibition finale with an appreciable degree of intensity and desire. Carolina will want to make a really good showing in this game, whereas Pittsburgh – reeling from the realization that its first-round draft pick, right guard David DeCastro, will be out for at least half the season – will merely want to get through this game and not take on any more injuries.

The Steelers are in a fragile position, with their running backs dinged up and safety Troy Polamalu returning from a nightmarish 2011 season in which he suffered multiple concussions and was not the same player he used to be. There are evident and abundant signs of Pittsburgh's brittleness at this point, and such a landscape definitely plays into Carolina's hands for this game.

Why Pittsburgh Will Win

When NFL betting experts try to find a reason to pick Pittsburgh in this game, they'll settle on one basic line of argument: This is a tenuous, in-between kind of place for Cameron Newton on an emotional level. It's true that Newton will want to play well in this game and show coach Ron Rivera that he's ready to lead Carolina to greater heights in 2012. Yet, a part of Newton's mind could already be looking ahead to the regular season, thereby draining any mental energy from the quarterback in this preseason contest. Let's be realistic about this event: NFL quarterbacks are not judged by how they handle preseason finales. Newton might want to win, but he's not going to see this game as the be-all and end-all for his 2012 journey as a professional football player. Pittsburgh can fill the void and, with backups, beat back Carolina.

Who Will Win

It’s just not likely that the Steelers, missing running backs and key offensive linemen, are going to be able to score many points. Pittsburgh has to feel tentative and anxious in this game; it wants to avoid getting injured more than anything else, and teams don't win with that mentality. Pick Carolina here.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Carolina



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