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On Sunday, the only game of the day will be our game, the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Tennessee Titans. Not only is it the only game of the day but it will get the primetime treatment, with NBC broadcasting the contest nationally at 8:00 P.M ET.
Pittsburgh Undefeated So Far
Pittsburgh did a great job cleaning house of all distractions during the offseason. They let both LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown walk, two guys who made a lot of noise off the field and distracted from all things on it. So far, it’s gone well for the black and yellow, as they’ve won their first two preseason games and kept things quiet in the media.
Generally, the third preseason game is when starters get their biggest piece of playing time. That said, Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t played yet and it’s unclear how much he’ll play on Sunday, or if he plays at all. Big Ben hasn’t played yet in the preseason but fans of the team should be pleased knowing that his backups are solid enough to do the job if anything happens to the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Mason Rudolph, now in his second season, has been the standout for Pittsburgh, throwing two touchdowns in two games while posting a 115.9 quarterback rating.
— SteelVideos (@SteelBlitzburgh) August 18, 2019
As for their defense, they haven’t been great in two games. They’ve held opponents to just 17.5 points per game but they’ve given up a ton of yards. In fact, through two games, they’re allowing 397 yards per game, good for 31st in the NFL.
Titans Have Expectations This Year
Coming off a 9-7 season in 2018 and a postseason appearance in 2017, there is pressure on the Tennessee Titans this year to perform. Luckily, they made upgrades throughout their roster so it’s quite possible a return to the postseason happens in 2019.
Most importantly, the Titans bolstered their quarterback room, adding Ryan Tannehill as the No. 2 guy behind Marcus Mariota. Tannehill was the No. 1 starter in Miami for several years so fans can be confident he can do the job if Mariota goes down. And, throughout his career, Mariota has been prone to injuries so that’s definitely something that’s on the table. Through two preseason games, Tannehill hasn’t disappointed. He has one of the highest quarterback ratings in the NFL (130.8, No. 11), has avoided turnovers, and has taken just one sack.
Tannehill tipped the snap to himself and still threw the dime 🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/ioZqWiypr8
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) August 17, 2019
Tennessee also added a key slot receiver to help the quarterbacks this year. Adam Humphries, who was a key part of Tampa Bay’s offense for the last few seasons, will be a prime target this season. He’s coming off a huge season in Tampa where he caught 76 balls for over 800 yards.
— Mickey Ryan (@MickeyRyan1045) August 17, 2019
Although it’s the preseason, the Titans defense has also been a pleasant surprise. They’re allowing 15 points per game and in terms of total yards, they’re in the Top 10 with 295 yards allowed per game.
- 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 home games.
- 3-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. Pittsburgh.
- 6-3 SU in their last 9 home games.
- 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. AFC.
- 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
Updated on Aug 25 at 10:40am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Line has gone from Tennessee -3 down to Tennessee -2.5 and that is consistent with the fact that the Steelers have garnered 56% of the bets so far.
Injury / Weather Report
Pittsburgh’s Impact Injury Report
Out: LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Tennessee’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: RB David Fluellen & OT Jack Conklin
Out: DL Jeffrey Simmons
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Being home is huge in the NFL, especially during preseason games. A lot of the guys playing are second and third stringers who aren’t used to playing big-time games. Having your home fans around you make the transition much easier so the edge right off the bat goes to Tennessee. Then, when you throw in the edge in quarterback play (since Big Ben likely won’t play much, if at all), that’s a huge boost for the Titans. Pittsburgh is allowing a ton of yards this preseason and the Titans are moving the ball freely. Getting Tennessee at home and not having to give a full field goal is generous, and we need to be all over it. The public is going to be on Pittsburgh because they’re the more notable team so play this one right down to the wire and try to get the best line you can.
Prediction: Tennessee Titans -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
All trends point to the OVER in this one: the over has hit in Tennessee’s last four home games and in four of the last five meetings between the Titans and Steelers. Given that in addition to the fact the Steelers defense is allowing a ton of yards and big plays this preseason, the play looks to be awfully solid. After all, being on primetime is a big deal and these guys want to show out for the cameras and all the millions of fans watching on TV.
Prediction: Over 40