NFL Picks: Steelers vs. Redskins in Preseason Week 2

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, August 15, 2013 3:24 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 3:24 PM GMT

The Steelers lost to the Giants in Week 1 while the Skins got a great comeback win against the Titans last week. Who should we back with our NFL Picks going into the finale of preseason Week 2?

The NFL odds for this matchup favor the Redskins here at -1.5, with a total of 38 points. Obviously Robert Griffin III is still not playing, but will the rest of the Redskins starters be able to put some points up against a stacked Steelers defense? Let’s take a look at what these teams did last week and then see if their coaches are going to shoot for the win, or lean more towards this being an evaluation game.

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Week 1

While in the game last week, Eli Manning torched the Steelers defense in two series. The first one he led his team to a field goal, and the second one he dropped a 57-yard bomb on 3rd down and 4 to give the Giants a lead they did not relinquish. I think we can expect their defense to want to improve that this week.

The Redskins looked like they were about to lose to the Titans before Patrick White led his team on a very late 4th quarter drive to score, and then completed a 2-point conversion to give the 'Skins a 1-point lead and the win.

Now in Week 2, both of these coaches will probably treat at least half of this game like a real one, and I am interested to see both of these preseason titans square off. Who should we back with our NFL picks in this very close spread?

Shanahan vs. Tomlin

After their Week 1 loss, the Steelers under Mike Tomlin drop to 19-7 SU and 14-11-1 ATS in the preseason. Mike Shanahan is one of the preseason masters, but it seems as if his work is done in Weeks 1 and 4, not 2 and 3. In the first and last week of the preseason, Shanahan is 26-8 SU, while he is only 18-12 SU in the middle weeks. Shanahan has a total preseason record of 45-34-2 ATS after their win last week.

However I am fading the Shanahan record and going with the Steelers in this game. For starters, Tomlin is also very good in the preseason, and as slight underdogs, I think they are just a little undervalued. Tomlin gets better as the preseason goes on as well. In Week 1, Tomlin is now only 4-4 SU, but in Weeks 2, 3 and 4, he is 15-3 SU!

Especially after coming off a loss, I see Tomlin willing his guys to victory here. Most coaches after a loss (even if the loss doesn’t count) want to turn around and get the win, and seeing as Tomlin gets better as the preseason goes along, I’ll take the few points with the Steelers.

[gameodds]16/226861/?r3=349-43-192-999997-19-1096-238-169/dec&r-1=349-43-192/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

On top of Tomlin likely coming for them, the Redskins have no real reason to play this game hard after their Week 1 win. The offense is going to be run by a completely different quarterback once the regular season comes around (most likely) and with some players on both sides of the ball still working their way back from major injuries, I can’t see Shanahan keeping his starters in the game very long.

On top of it all, the Steelers have a much tougher defense than the Titans, and I think that will also show a little bit this week with the 'Skins scoring. Pittsburgh will run the ball and control the clock and if it’s another low scoring game, I’m favoring the underdogs here. Dogs were 10-6 ATS in Week 1 of the preseason, so take the points in your sports picks.

NFL Pick: Pick Pittsburgh +1.5 on the spread, at William Hill

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