Considering the distance between these two squads, it isn’t surprising that http://oddsauthority.com currently has the Panthers vs. Steelers point spread at Steelers -14.5 points.
When the odds-makers opened the Panthers-Steelers betting odds earlier in the week, Pittsburgh was 13.5 point favorites. However, sharp bettors and the NFL betting public both put their cash on the black and gold; which explains the drastic one-point line move. Keep in mind, crossing over a key number like 14 is a huge move on any NFL point spread.
Despite their respective places in the NFL pecking order, the Steelers are coming off a loss last week, whereas Carolina notched their second victory of the year.
The Steelers will be without Troy Polamalu yet again. The All-Pro strong safety is done for the rest of the regular season with a dinged-up achilles. Even though the Steelers have plenty of other studs on defense, No. 43 is a game changer. A rare defensive standout that can consistently affect the outcome of a game, all by himself – and online betting shops know this. But does the NFL betting crowd?
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Including last week’s outright loss to the New York Jets and failure to cover the point spread, the Steelers are now 5-7 straight-up over the last two years when Polamalu was on the sidelines. More importantly, they were only able to cover the point spread in three of those twelve games.
The USC alum makes such a big splash on defense that in the 12 games he has missed over the last two years, Pittsburgh was only able to hold two of their twelve opponents to fewer than 18. Meanwhile, in the 18 games in which Polamalu was running around the field like a madman, only three of their opponents were able to put more than 18 points on the scoreboard.
If Pittsburgh is going to cover the lofty point spread tonight, not only will the Steelers defense have to step-up, but their slumping offense has to get back on track. Over the last four weeks, they have scored 19, 13, 23 and 17 points. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has just two touchdown passes over that span.
Tonight will be the perfect time to get out of their scoring slump as five out of Carolina’s last six opponents were able to score at least 31 points. The Steelers ‘D’ should come up big as well. The Panthers offense ranks dead-last in the entire NFL in scoring (13.1 points per game). They are so bad that they were only able to score more than 20 points in a game just twice the entire season.
Oddsauthority.com Steelers vs. Panthers prediction:
Last season when Polamalu was out of the line-up the Steelers lost three games outright despite being double-digit favorites; that won’t happen tonight. The Steelers offense gets back on track and the defense does their job as well. Final score: Steelers 30-Panthers 10. By the way, http://oddsauthority.com/
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