Point Spread: Steelers -3.5
Total Line: 35.5
The Atlanta Falcons roll into Heinz Field this Saturday night to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Week 3 preseason contest. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast locally.
Atlanta lost to Miami 28-23 as a two-point home favorite in its first preseason game, but went on the road last Friday night and beat Jacksonville 15-13 as a three-point underdog. The total went over the 33-point line against the Dolphins, but stayed ‘under’ the 36.5-point line in Game 2.
Matt Ryan, who shouldered much of the blame for Atlanta’s embarrassing 48-21 loss to Green Bay in last year’s playoffs, seems determined to make amends with two solid performances so far in limited action. He will get his chance to really gauge if he is ready to go this Saturday against the vaunted Steelers’ defense. Ryan completed 13-of-25 attempts for 206 yards and two touchdowns so far, but all eyes have been on the Falcons’ No. 1 draft pick Julio Jones. In two games, he has caught four passes for 73 yards, which averages out to 18.3 yards a reception.
Pittsburgh appeared to sleepwalk through its 17-6 loss to Washington as a 2.5-point road underdog in its first game, but suddenly looked in mid-season form in a 24-14 victory over Philadelphia last Thursday as a three-point home favorite. The total stayed ‘under’ the 33-point line in Game 1, but went ‘over’ the 35-point line against the Eagles.
The Steelers completely dominated a star-studded Philadelphia team when the starters for both teams were in the game. Ben Roethlisberger was sharp from the start, completing 8-of-12 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Hines Ward was on the receiving end of one of the TD’s for his only catch of the preseason so far. More impressive was Pittsburgh’s defense which completely shut down Michael Vick and Philly’s high-powered offense.
This Saturday should be a good test for both teams as the starters are expected to play well into the second half. Stick with the Steelers and the home field advantage in this game as they take down their second-straight NFC opponent. The NFL free pick has Pittsburgh covering the 3.5 points in a game that goes ‘over’ the total.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.