2009 NFL Thursday Night Game Betting: Titans vs. Steelers

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
2009 NFL Thursday Night Game Betting:  Titans vs. Steelers

Carrie Stroup here and nothing gets me hotter than hot sweaty action.  Yeah that can mean only one thing:  2009 NFL Thursday Night game betting and this season we kick off with the Titans vs. Steelers.  OH YEAH!  Let's get it on Boys!

Keeping with recent NFL tradition, the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers open the new season at home before a national television audience on Thursday night. Pittsburgh, fresh off its second crown in four years, hosts Tennessee in a battle of the AFC's top two playoff seeds from 2008. Pittsburgh is a hefty 6 ½ point favorite and backed by 77% of bettors at Sportsbook.com.

The Titans (13-4, 14-4-1 ATS in 2008) defeated the Steelers 31-14 in Week 16 last season and captured the AFC South title with 13 victories.

Turnovers, a stifling defense, a deft running game and sound quarterback play from veteran Kerry Collins made the Titans the team to beat entering last year's postseason. And even with menacing tackle Albert Haynesworth (Redskins) gone from a defense that ranked in the top six in most categories, Tennessee is certain to be a factor in a division any of the four clubs could win and is 7-0 ATS in September the last couple of years.

Pittsburgh's competition in the AFC North may only go one deep, with nobody outside of Baltimore expected to contend. The Steelers (15-4, 11-8 ATS) have essentially the same personnel and are a safe bet to pick up right where they left off as 27-23 winners over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII. Ben Roethlisberger is primed to top last year's numbers (3,301 yards, 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions) with a new second tier of receivers in Limas Sweed and Shaun McDonald (Lions) to go with veteran Hines Ward and Santonio "Super Bowl MVP" Holmes. Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in the first game of a new season over the last six years.

Roethlisberger passed for 331 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions versus the Titans last Dec. 21 in a game that saw Pittsburgh's top-ranked defense allow just one scoring drive of more than 40 yards. That came midway through the third quarter when Tennessee went 79 yards on 11 plays and took the lead for good on Chris Johnson's 21-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-inches.

Pittsburgh can expect a heavy dose of Johnson and LenDale White, but as the Titans showed in last year's meetingm they won't hesitate to pass, as Collins went 20-for-29. That means Justin Gage will see plenty of action after totaling 104 yards last season against the Steelers defense. Look for the Titans to want to clock Big Ben just like last season, when they sacked him five times. Though Haynesworth will be missed, he didn't play in last year's matchup.

The Titans are 6 ½ point underdogs, with total of 35 at Sportsbook.com and are 16-6 ATS when catching points and are 8-2 UNDER in September.

If the opening game is to be a joyous occasion in the Steel City, the offensive line has to give Roethlisberger time to throw and not have him running for his life. Look for Pittsburgh to test Tennessee defense with deep shots to Sweed and rookie Mike Wallace. Defensively, the Steelers have to keep Johnson inside the tackles and prevent him from bouncing out wide.

 Pittsburgh is 39-18 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points and has played OVER in seven straight openers.

In the last six meetings between these AFC squads, the OVER is 6-1. The excitement starts at 8:30 Eastern on NBC for the NFL lid-lifter and the previous year's Super Bowl champions are 9-0 and 7-1-1 ATS in first game of a new season.

Log onto Sportsbook.com for all of you NFL wagering this season. With the $100K Perfect Parlay and Reduced Juice Fridays Sportsbook.com gives the football bettor the best value around.

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter


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