NFL Tennessee at Pittsburgh Betting Preview - Thursday Night Football

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Nov/01/2023

Week 9 of the NFL season begins with the 3-4 Tennessee Titans visiting the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday evening.

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Tennessee ended its two-game skid with a 28-23 home win over the Atlanta Falcons this past Sunday. It was a season-high point total. The Titans are 2½ games behind the surging Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South.

Those same Jags did throttle the Steelers, 20-10, in Pennsylvania last Sunday. Pittsburgh (along with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals) are a game-and-a-half behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

Pittsburgh is a field-goal favorite (total at 36½), according to NFL odds.

Moneyline is Steelers -145, Titans at +125.

Pittsburgh has a 48-32 series lead against the Houston Oiler/Tennessee Titan franchise.

Now At Quarterback

The Tennessee Titans are not going to scare anyone offensively, either before, during or after Halloween. They are toward the bottom half in just about every category, averaging fewer than 19 points per game.

Quarterback is an issue with this team, though it may have found a solution in rookie Will Levis. Levis, out of Kentucky, threw four touchdown passes in his first start as a pro. He finished 19-of-29 (238 yards), with DeAndre Hopkins catching three of the touchdowns.

Tennessee still has Derrick Henry (536 yards, three touchdowns) on this roster, and the star running back had 101 rushing yards against the Falcons (his second 100-yard game of 2023).

Now At Quarterback?

If the Tennessee Titans are anemic offensively (at least before last week), the Pittsburgh Steelers are a worse lot. Pittsburgh is 29th in the league, averaging 16.1 points per game. Only moribund teams in Las Vegas, New England and the Meadowlands (Giants) score less often.

Only the Raiders and Giants average fewer yards per game than the Steelers’ 271.7

Compounding Pittsburgh’s issue is quarterback Kenny Pickett’s injured ribs. He exited late in the first half in the loss to Jacksonville last week, with Mitch Trubisky taking over after that.

Whether Pickett is available against the Titans was not known as of this writing.

Defensively, the team is more porous (382.6 yards/game, 30th in league) than usual, though the opposition is averaging just 21 points per game.

A mediocre (2-2) home record has not helped.

Take the Steelers

Pittsburgh is 40-1 (+4000) to win the AFC, while Tennessee is 65-1 (+6500), as per NFL conference odds.

Both teams have some flaws this season, especially on offense.

Whether Will Levis has a second game to match his first remains to be seen.

Whether Kenny Pickett is able to play remains to be seen.

Do not expect a blowout by either side, but we think the home side is going to prevail.

Take the Pittsburgh Steelers -3 Thursday evening. Go under, too.

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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