NFL Preseason Betting at BookMaker.eu
Detroit Lions +3 +100
Pittsburgh Steelers -3 -120
The Steelers posted the worst record of any team in the AFC last preseason, tallying just a 1-4 mark against the number. Pittsburgh also had the most porous defense of any team in preseason last season, allowing 122 points.
Detroit was much better in the preseason, posting a 3-1 record ATS and a 3-0 record against AFC teams. The Lions allowed less than 13 PPG during the preseason last year and as a result all four of their games went under the total.
WHO TO WATCH
Detroit recently signed Anquan Boldin and will likely give him a long look in the slot position. Boldin is one of the oldest receivers in the league, but is one of the best that going over the middle and making tough catches. Matthew Stafford has already raved about his ability to catch anything thrown his way and he should see more action than usual for a projected starter.
The Lions could also run Ameer Abdullah more than teams usually run their starting running backs in preseason. Abdullah missed a lot of last season with injuries and didn’t get much of a chance to get used to the speed of the NFL. He has a solid line in front of him, so Jim Caldwell might leave him out a little longer to see what he can do against one of the better defensive fronts in the league.
For Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t see much action early in preseason at this point in his career and Landry Jones will likely see a lot of work in the first half. Jones appeared to have won the back-up position this summer over Bruce Gradkowski and will see a good amount of action in this game.
With Martavis Bryant suspended for the season, Pittsburgh is having an open battle for the starting wide receiver spot across from Antonio Brown. That should mean lots of time for Markus Wheaton and Sammie Coates, the two most likely candidates to win the spot. Coates has more speed, but still has to prove that he can run routes while Wheaton is more polished.
More veteran teams tend to play their starters less during the preseason and Pittsburgh’s roster is full of older talent. Look for the Steelers to pull their starters earlier than the Lions and use that time to bet on Detroit.
Detroit has a lot more questions coming into this season than Pittsburgh does. The Lions need to have Boldin gel with Matt Stafford quickly and need another receiver to emerge other than Golden Tate. Detroit also has a full-fledged running back battle behind Abdullah and a lot of fringe talent will get chances there.
The Steelers have won just two games over the last three preseasons and at this point Pittsburgh just wants to get through these exhibitions without injury. Mike Tomlin will be quick to sub and the starters won’t see much action at all.
NFL Preseason Betting: Detroit 24, Pittsburgh 17