NFL Picks: Steelers vs. Panthers Preseason Week 4

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 3:08 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 3:08 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t looked like Super Bowl contenders in August, as they get ready to close out their exhibition schedule against the Carolina Panthers Thursday.

Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this Week 4 matchup in the 2013 preseason, with the opening kick-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on the NFL Network. 

Sports betting websites with the best prices on 2013-14 NFL Futures 

Falling flat

Pittsburgh is 0-3 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) through its first three games of its exhibition schedule, which includes a 26-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs as three-point home favorites last Saturday.

The Steelers have been outgained in all three of their contests, while the ‘Under’ has cashed in two opportunities.

Record is deceiving 

Carolina might be 2-1 SUATS heading into its preseason finale, which includes a 34-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens as three-point road underdogs last Thursday, but the franchise has been outgained by a triple-digit yardage margin in its last two contests.

The Panthers are certainly happy with the big plays the defense and special teams continue to make on the field, but the offense has been pedestrian at best.

Jones to see plenty of action

NFL handicappers will find that the Steelers are averaging just 3.5 yards per carry during the preseason, something that needs to change if starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expects to have success under second-year offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Pittsburgh will likely rest its offensive star in this matchup, with rookie Landry Jones expected to receive a bulk of the snaps, as he prepares for his first season as a professional out of Oklahoma.

A definitive edge

Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen aren’t exactly the best sports picks under center, but they give the Panthers a definitive edge over the Steelers in terms of depth at the most important position on the football field.

Carolina enters with a 68-47 disparity in terms of first downs through three contests, with Anderson and Clausen completing a combined 24 of 43 passes for 304 yards and an interception

[gameodds]16/227820/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Panthers in their NFL picks, as they’ve covered the number in five of their last seven preseason games.

NFL Pick: Pick the Panthers -3.5 points at William Hill

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