Week 10 TNF Capper Court: Nary a Vote for Panthers in Steel City

Monday, November 5, 2018 3:35 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 3:35 PM UTC

Welcome to the "Capper Court," where five of SBR's NFL handicappers will provide their opinions on Thursday night and Sunday night NFL games. The majority rules! It's Panthers-Steelers to kick off Week 10. 

<h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nfl-football/carolina-panthers-vs-pittsburgh-steelers-3452792/odds/" rel="nofollow">Carolina (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) at Pittsburgh (5-2-1 SU, 5-3 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/NFL Network)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Free Majority Pick: Steelers -4 Opening Line</h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4377&amp;book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow">BetOnline</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3452792, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,169,238,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><h2>Matthew Jordan: <img alt src="https://images-production-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5b9af00bd5d1ec008d779e6d/thumb-steelers-logo" style="width:50px;height:50px;" /></h2><p>There have been some horse-bleep Thursday night games this year, but this is a terrific matchup between legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Just like Sunday night was only the second meeting all-time of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, it’s also just the second between future HOFers Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger. And, yes, both will be in Canton. Newton has an MVP under his belt and is one of the best dual-threat QBs ever. Big Ben has two Super Bowl rings. Probably the last time these guys face off – barring a Super Bowl matchup -- as I doubt Roethlisberger is still playing in four years. Pittsburgh lost its first-ever meeting with Carolina in 1996 but has taken the past five.</p><p>The Steelers enter on a four-game winning streak to take charge in the AFC North. Their defense has really improved during that winning streak, not allowing more than 21 points in any game. James Conner has been fantastic with four straight 100-yard games. Who needs Le’Veon Bell? (We’re just assuming he’s not returning this week.) Carolina, meanwhile, won its third in a row Sunday, scoring a franchise-record 35 first-half points in a 42-28 win over Tampa Bay. The Panthers have now scored 99 points over their past nine quarters. Newton has a personal-best seven straight games with at least two touchdown passes. I’m leaning Steelers here as Carolina already has lost vs. two mediocre teams, Atlanta and Washington, on the road. Pittsburgh is 6-0 ATS all-time in this series. I may go an alternate line of Steelers -2.5, though.</p><h2>Swinging Johnson: <img alt src="https://images-production-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5b9af00bd5d1ec008d779e6d/thumb-steelers-logo" style="width:50px;height:50px;" /></h2><p>The Steelers reeled off their fourth straight win when they delivered a 23-16 victory over their divisional rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. It was payback for a 26-14 loss suffered in Week 4 and now the Steelers remain in command of first place in the AFC North. Carolina is quietly building one of the best records in football, having won four of their last five with their most recent win coming at the expense of the Tampa Bucs in a 42-28 decision. The Panthers scored a team-record 35 first-half points in their win on Sunday yet produced only a single touchdown in the entire second half, which allowed the Bucs to mount a rally that ultimately came up short.</p><p>Let’s not get too carried away with the Panthers. We’ve been led down this primrose path before and it always seems to end in disappointment. Carolina bested the team with the worst defense on the planet last week while the Steelers notched a win against one of the league’s best in Baltimore. In addition, the Pittsburgh defense has allowed no more than 21 points since Week 5 and James Conner, the understudy assuming the lead role in Le’Veon Bell’s absence, has found his groove over the last four weeks producing a combined offensive total of 689 yards and seven touchdowns. Pittsburgh has more talent and depth at all the skill positions, and I refuse to get fooled again by Cam and the Cats – back the Steelers on Thursday night.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Cool little clip from the &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Panthers?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Panthers&lt;/a&gt;, \"CMC has superpowers\"&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Carolina?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Carolina&lt;/a&gt; plays the &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Steelers&lt;/a&gt; this week. &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#HereWeGo&lt;/a&gt; just defeated their rival, the &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ravens?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Ravens&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/pIRl1YT7qt\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/pIRl1YT7qt&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Gabriel Schray PXP (@schrayguy) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/schrayguy/status/1059461745692024833?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;November 5, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Doug Upstone: <img alt src="https://images-production-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5b9af00bd5d1ec008d779e6d/thumb-steelers-logo" style="width:50px;height:50px;" /></h2><p>Carolina was extremely intriguing at the opening spread of +5 (now at 4). On a head-to-head comparison, the Panthers are right with Pittsburgh when breaking down the numbers. Under Cam Newton they are a proven winner and are showing last year's surge was no joke. Like the Steelers, Carolina has won five of six and is gathering momentum. The Panthers offense is more run-oriented, in part thanks to Newton's unique skills. But where the game changes for my money is Pittsburgh at home and because of Antonio Brown.</p><p>There are several great wide receivers in the NFL, but at least this person's opinion, Brown remains the benchmark. It would not be a surprise the see this game tied or Pittsburgh holding a three-point lead in the fourth quarter. This is when Big Ben and A.B. go to work and move the chains and likely hit a big play that alters the game to give the Steelers a six or seven-point lead. Despite the Panthers being an excellent road underdog, they are 2-10 ATS on the road after scoring 30 points or more in two straight games.</p><h2>Kevin Stott: <img alt src="https://images-production-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5b9af00bd5d1ec008d779e6d/thumb-steelers-logo" style="width:50px;height:50px;" /></h2><p>The Mustard Palace is the Site of this big interconference game for both teams whom ESPN had ranked 6th (Panthers) and 7th (Steelers) heading into Week 9 with Cats victories against two talented birds — the defending champion Eagles and Ravens — justifying their high spot despite Carolina’s recent history of underwhelming (SU) down the homestretch of the L2 Regular Seasons (2-4 L6 in 2016, 3-3 L6 in 2017).</p><p>With the Panthers 0-6 ATS L6 in the series and 0-3 ATS L3 in The Steel City and 1-7 ATS on Thursday Night Football (1-2 ATS Away), the Trends and Steelers recent Momentum means backing Big Ben (63-54 ATS at Home) and the Home team, 8-7 ATS and 5-3 ATS at Home on TNF, is the Rx. Keeping McCaffrey in check will be big for the Black and Yellow (-3 TO) who’ll need to avoid Turnovers against this savvy Carolina (+8 TO) side who play much better at Home (5-0 SU) than on the Road (1-2 Away). A hot Pittsburgh side under the prime-time lights at Heinz Field sounds like a challenge for Cam (46-30 ATS vs Non-Division). Bell’s forfeited more Salary ($6,844,235 by Week 8) than most will scrape in their Lives.</p><h2>Rainman: <img alt src="https://images-production-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5b9af00bd5d1ec008d779e6d/thumb-steelers-logo" style="width:50px;height:50px;" /></h2><p>The Panthers are receiving a lot of love because of how well they’ve played the last two weeks. But these past two weeks haven’t shown anything new because we already knew that they are very strong at home. Whereas they are undefeated SU at home, two of their losses and two of their three non-covers have come on the road. They take a step back especially on defense. Their opposing passer rating at home is 80 whereas it’s 109.5 on the road.<br /><br />After weeks of drama, the Steelers have found their groove with upstart running back James Conner. They’ve won and covered their past four games with Conner rushing for over 100 yards in each game. Conner is improving, rushing for 2.4 more YPC with 15 more carries in his last game against Baltimore than in his first. Pitt’s passing attack benefits from the attention that defenses have to pay to Conner. Roethlisberger has thrown eight touchdowns to only two interceptions in his past four games. He’s also found chemistry with Antonio Brown, who has six touchdowns in the last four games compared to three in his first four.</p>
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