On Saturday, the Tennessee Titans return to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in Week 3 of the Preseason. These two teams squared off in Week 11 of the 2017 season with Pittsburgh dominating Tennessee. Will the Titans get revenge? Kickoff at Heinz Field is at 4 PM ET.
|Betting Data History||Tennessee Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Current S/U record||0-2||1-1|
|S/U in 2017||10-8||13-4|
|Current ATS record||0-2||1-1|
|2017 ATS Home||5-2-1||3-6|
|2017 ATS Away||4-6||4-4|
|2017 O/U Home||5-3||6-3|
|2017 O/U Away||5-5||1-7|
These two teams have faced off 18 times in the regular season and playoffs since the Oilers left Houston and became the Tennessee Titans. Over that span, the Titans hold the edge in this series with a 10-8 record. Since 1999, these two teams have played 11 times at Pittsburgh, with the Steelers posting a 6-5 record. This is the first time that the Titans and the Steelers have played against each other in the preseason.
The Steelers have been lighting up the scoreboard in the preseason this year, and they will look to continue that trend this week against the Titans. However, it’s unclear as to whether or not Antonio Brown will play. Big Ben will get some action, but nobody is sure as to how many series he will play.
For the Titans, their offense has looked pathetic in the preseason and they’re desperate to turn things around this week. The Titans defense has also been gashed two weeks in a row and Tennessee is hoping for a better performance from their normally reliable unit.
The spread opened with the Steelers favored by 4 points and it has held steady at that number. The Over/Under opened at +45.5 and has come down slightly to 44.5 total points.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has stated that Big Ben will play this Saturday for the first time in the 2018 preseason. How much he plays is really up to how well the starting offense is performing. Typically, starters play at least the first half. However, it sounds more like a quarter for Big Ben on Saturday night. From there, the Steelers will roll out Landry Jones for at least a quarter, which will most likely be with the starters as well. The second half of the game will be split between Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs. It’s clear, Tomlin wants to see how well each quarterback performs to ensure their spot on the QB pecking order.
The Steelers defense gave up 51 points to the Packers in Week 2 of the preseason and 14 to the Eagles in Week 1. They will be looking to improve their play as the starters should be on the field for the first half. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh doesn’t have a great deal of depth on defense and I see them being in trouble in the 2nd half of this game. The Titans offense might not score much in the first half, but look for them to open things up in the second half.
Speaking of Tennessee’s offense, they’re averaging 15.5 ppg this preseason. During their regular season matchup last year at Pittsburgh, the Titans only scored 17 points. The Titans need Mariota to push the ball down the field and stop with the dink and dunk plays. In the preseason, Mariota is 6 of 10 for 122 yards and 2 TDs. However, 80+ yards and a TD came on two plays.
The rushing duo of Henry and Lewis have combined for 27 yards this preseason on 9 carries. This is unacceptable for a team that loves to run the ball and has a solid 1-2 combo in the backfield. Pittsburgh has been decent against the run this preseason, only allowing 91.5 ypg on the ground. So, Tennessee will have some tough sledding on Saturday night.
The winner of this game will most likely be the team with the least amount of penalties. The Titans have 25 penalties for 258 yards, with 23 of those penalties coming from the backups. The Steelers aren’t much better as they have 20 penalties for 158 yards. In this all-important dress rehearsal, both head coaches will be looking for their respective teams to cut down on silly mistakes like self-inflicted penalties.
In the preseason, the Steelers are 26-22 SU and 22-26 ATS under Mike Tomlin. However, they have gone 4-2 ATS in their last 6 preseason games. Unfortunately, the ATS numbers get worse as Pittsburgh is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 grass games, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games, and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 overall games. However, the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head matchups.
For the Titans, they’re 4-0 ATS in their last 4 grass games. If you count this preseason, the Titans are 0-3 ATS in their last 3 overall games.
Bottom line, I don’t like the spread for this game, the money line on the Steelers is too much of a risk, and I just don’t trust the Titans right now to pick the upset or the points. So, I’m going with the Over in this one.
The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 head-to-head meetings. For the Steelers, the Over is 8-2 in their last 10 games, 6-3 at home in 2017, and 2-0 this preseason. For the Titans, the Over is 5-2 in their last 7 overall games including 2-0 this preseason.
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