Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Date and Time: Saturday, August 25, 2018, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Opening NFL Odds: Steelers -4, 45.5
Titans vs. Steelers TV Coverage: NFL Network
The Titans were one of the surprise teams a year ago to make it to the playoffs. Even with that the case, upper management decided to make a change across the board to the coaching staff. With that, Vrabel was offered up his first head coaching gig and he did himself a major solid by bringing in Dean Pees to run his defense and Matt LaFleur to be the shot-caller for the offense.
But through two games, the results have been ugly. Only four teams have averaged scoring fewer points than that of Tennessee, and the defense has been abysmal giving up over 30 points per game ( no. 29 ) while getting shredded via the pass ( No. 32 ). Much of that has to do with key components to the secondary going down with season ending injuries.
If nothing else, the Steelers are sure to be one of the more higher scoring teams in the league this season. The defense, well, that still looks to be an issue. After the Jacksonville Jaguars dropped 45 on them in the Divisional Round last season, the defense has gone out and allowed an average of 32.5 points per game the first two weeks of the exhibition season.
That’s something that needs to be rectified sooner rather than later, and with the starting unit set to get its most reps in weeks, starting now would be a good idea. Taming Marcus Mariota will be a good test for the unit, but the defense also must show well against the backups who’ve had a pretty decent go of it navigating the Titans offense. Pass that test, and the city of Pittsburgh will breathe a bit easier about its stop unit.
Player to Watch
Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben is entering his 15th season at the NFL level. Man does that make me feel old! Supposedly, he’s rededicated himself this season by slimming down and hitting the weight room. After having numerous knee surgeries, it only makes sense to extend his playing career, while at the same time, alleviate the joint pain that’s been brought about from 14 years of playing professional football. With that, his throwing arm is said to be stronger than ever and he feels more nimble in the backfield. NFL bettors will finally get their first glimpse of the Pro Bowl quarterback in this one after Mike Tomlin said he’s likely to get some work in against the Titans.
Titans vs. Steelers Free Picks
There’s been no movement on the NFL betting odds since first opening at the time of this writing. However, the Titans are getting 75 percent of the action plus the points. While Tomlin has proven to be a winner in this exhibitions in the past evidenced by his 29-22 SU career record, he hasn’t been a good bet with the Steelers 22-26-3 against the spread in those matchups. It wouldn’t shock me if either of these teams ultimately came out on top of this one with Vrabel looking for his first dub and Tomlin looking to put a better product on the field after last week’s beat down in Green Bay.
However, I’m expecting both defenses to rise to the occasion with the pressure turned up to an all-time high after the first two weeks of play. Pittsburgh’s vaunted passing attack is something Tennessee should get up for, and the Steelers have played to low scorers in each of their previous two dress rehearsals.
NFL ATS Pick: Under at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Steelers 21 – Titans 19