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by Tom Wilkinson

NFL Betting Preview – Panthers at Steelers

We finally get a good matchup in prime time on Thursday night on FOX, as the Carolina Panthers visit the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers are in second place in the NFC South and have won three straight, while the Steelers lead the AFC North and have won four in a row. The Steelers are listed as 4-point home favorites, with the total in the low 50’s. Let’s look at this Week 10 matchup on Thursday night and NFL picks.

Date and Time: Thursday, November 8, 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Steelers -4, O/U 51.5
Panthers vs. Steelers TV Coverage: FOX

The Panthers offense has been rolling of late, as they have put up 78 points in their last three games and they have scored 30 points or more in four of their past six. Cam Newton is 10th in the league in passer rating and in the Carolina three-game winning streak he has thrown six TD passes and has no interceptions. The Panthers also have a strong rushing attack led by Christian McCaffrey who has 880 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.

"You should start with Cam Newton because he can run it, he can throw it," Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said to the media, "He's strong. He can make all the throws with accuracy from a distance standpoint well. But I really think what's going on with him is just looking at the infusion of roles between what he and McCaffrey are able to do. They're multi-dimensional players that really perform really well together. McCaffrey's playing more snaps I think than any other offensive player in football.”

The Pittsburgh defense has been playing better, as they have not allowed more than 21 points in their last four games. They will need to play well on Thursday against the Carolina defense. "We are growing every day," Tomlin said. "Guys are getting better. Technically, they are growing in terms of knowledge.”

The Pittsburgh offense has been very balanced this season with Roethlisberger throwing it to Antonio Brown, while James Connor is second in the league in rushing yards. The Panthers are 8th against the run so this will be an interesting matchup.

Key Stats

The Steelers have dominated the Panthers, winning each of the last three games and they are 3-0 all-time at home against Carolina. The Panthers are 0-6 ATS in the last 6 meetings. The Panthers are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games. The Steelers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games. The Steelers are 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Steelers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 home games.

Looking at the total, the Over is 4-1 in the Panthers last 5 games in November. The Over is 5-2 in the Panthers last 7 games on grass. The Over is 7-1 in the Steelers last 8 games on grass. The Over is 5-1 in the Steelers last 6 home games. The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in this series.

Panthers vs. Steelers Picks

It is hard to argue with what these two teams have done of late, as both come in playing really well. I still don’t trust Cam Newton so it is hard for me to take the Panthers, but I also don’t trust Mike Tomlin. I will pass on the side and focus on the total.

The Panthers have been rolling on offense and despite what Pittsburgh has done lately on defense and despite what Tomlin said to the media, the Steelers defense is still not that good. They have benefited from facing Cleveland and Baltimore the past two weeks. The Panthers are also not that great on defense and they have benefited from playing some poor offenses this season. I think both offenses will have a lot of success on Thursday night so I will go over the total at BetDSI.

Panthers vs. Steelers Pick: Over 51.5 at BetDSI
Panthers vs. Steelers Score Prediction: Steelers 30, Panthers 26

· Mejia: TNF - Packers at Seahawks
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