(1-0, 1-0 ATS)
(1-0, 1-0 ATS)
Two of the roughest and toughest teams in the AFC should be duking it out in a huge NFL betting encounter on Sunday afternoon, as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to LP Field to duel with the Tennessee Titans.
The Steelers have to feel like they’re playing with house money right now having already put one win in the bank with QB Ben Roethlisberger suspended. A second win in these four games would be phenomenal. What we learned last week is that this defense is still amazing, especially with SS Troy Polamalu back in the fold. The Atlanta Falcons failed to score a TD in a 15-9 victory in the home opener at Heinz Field. The key of the game was the running of RB Rashard Mendenhall, who picked off a 50 yard TD run in OT to send the Steeltown faithful home happy. Mendenhall finished the day with 120 yards on the ground. QB Dennis Dixon, who will get the start once again on Sunday, played admirably last week. He completed 18-of-26 passing for 236 yards. The one INT he threw was a mistake and he didn’t quite get things going with his legs, but Dixon did exactly what he needed to do. He kept the Steelers alive in the game and let the defense do its job. On the injury front, OT Max Starks and DT Casey Hampton are both out of the lineup on Sunday.
We still aren’t so sure whether the Titans are as good as their 25 point win over the Oakland Raiders suggests they are or whether they are just one of those teams that beat up on a team that isn’t that good. RB Chris Johnson will be hard pressed to continue his streak of 12 straight 100+ yard performances this coming Sunday against the Steelers. However, there is no doubt that this man is one of the most consistent players in the entire league. Johnson ripped off 27 carries for 142 yards and two scores in the win over Oakland last week. QB Vince Young should have his work cut out for him as well. The former Texas Longhorns star didn’t have a fantastic statistical game on Sunday, but as has been the case for his entire career, he just finds ways to win games. Young went 13-of-17 for 154 yards with two scores. He also rushed for 30 yards. If there is one thing for HC Jeff Fisher to be upset at, it is the quantity of penalties his team suffered last week. Though Oakland did more to hurt itself, Tennessee can’t be happy with eight flags for 81 yards on the day.
One thing is for certain in this game that is full of question marks. The oddsmakers have a very good perception of Tennessee and still have an awful one of Pittsburgh. The only thing that might’ve made this line sweeter would be in the Falcons would have won in Week 1. Our Week 2 picks are going to be on the Steelers, as making the adjustment before the oddsmakers do is the key to great NFL betting.
Selection: Pittsburgh Steelers +5.5