Pick Panthers at +5 Over Steelers in NFL Preseason Week 4

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, August 28, 2014 2:08 PM GMT

The Panthers take on the Steelers tonight in the final preseason game of the year for both squads. Read the article by our sports betting expert who will guide you in the right direction prior to making your NFL bets today.

Carolina (1-2) vs. Pittsburgh (1-2)
The Steelers will host the Panthers tonight at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with the opening kickoff slated for 7:30 PM ET. According to NFL betting odds the Steelers are a 5.0 point home favorite and the posted total is 37.5. These teams will meet in week 3 of the regular season on a Sunday night national telecast in Charlotte. If it wasn’t apparent already, the flavor of the day for these teams on both sides of the ball will be vanilla.

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Prominent Steelers Absent for Preseason Finale
Here’s what we do know heading into this game regarding the Steelers. Starters Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, and Cameron Heyward will all sit out this final preseason game, and each of those players is deemed to be healthy. Three other players that will also definitely not play (Jason Worilds, Lance Moore, and Sean Spence) are nursing injuries, and will be held out for precautionary measures. The Steelers figure to go with primarily their backups for the majority of, if not the entire game.

 

Panthers minus Cam Newton
The Panthers Cam Newton will definitely not play after suffering a hairline rib fracture against New England last week. Newton is expected to be ready to play for the regular season opener versus Tampa Bay. Ron Rivera has pretty much declared it in not so many words, that his starters will play little, if any, on Thursday night at Pittsburgh. Like many teams in their final preseason games, they have some critical decisions to make on players who are on the proverbial bubble. Look for these types of players to see extensive playing time across the NFL on Thursday, in order to receive further evaluation in live game action, and the Panthers are no different in that regards.

 

Head Coaches Preseason Histories
The Panthers Ron Rivera has gone 7-8 SU and 8-7 ATS during the preseason since taking over as the head man of the Panthers in 2011. Under the guidance of Rivera, the Panthers have gone 3-0 SU & ATS in their last 3 preseason games following a loss, and each of those games have gone over the total.

Mike Tomlin has gone 18-18 SU and 15-21 ATS in his 8-years as the head honcho for the Steelers. Pittsburgh has gone 1-6 SU in their last 7, and 1-7 ATS in their previous 8 preseason contests. Pittsburgh has also seen 6 of their previous 8 preseason tilts go under the total. However, the Steelers have won 11 of their last 13 preseason home games.

 

Final Analysis
Considering the Steelers preseason futility over the past 2-seasons, and the Panthers ability to bounce back following a preseason loss with Ron Rivera at the helm, I’m going to give the smallest of leans to the road underdog in this one.

Free NFL Pick: Carolina +5.0 over Pittsburgh at BetOnline