NFL Preseason Week 2 Betting Preview: Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Saturday, 8/16/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Pittsburgh -2.5
Current Betting Line: Pittsburgh -2.5
Opening Total: 40
Current Total: 41
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Buffalo has split its first two preseason games, as it looks to build off a 20-18 victory over the Carolina Panthers as one-point road favorites last week, while going OVER the betting total of 37. The Bills are hoping that starting quarterback EJ Manuel can start producing more consistent efforts after his 17-for-22 performance in Thursday’s practice, which is important to consider when looking over the NFL betting odds. He has a major target in rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who caught three passes for 21 yards against the Panthers.
The Bills first-team defense has been spectacular in the early going, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL predictions, considering the group hasn’t allowed more than five total yards on drives during exhibition play. Buffalo top unit allowed just 19 yards on 11 carries against Carolina, but middle linebacker Brandon Spikes knows his teammates will need to step it up even further when facing a hat-on-hat run game that Saturday night’s opponent brings to the table.
Pittsburgh wanted to get off to a fast start after it lost all of its preseason games in 2013 and its first four regular-season games, but it ended up on the losing end of a 20-16 result to the New York Giants as 2.5-point road underdogs last week. The Steelers have been working on red zone offense for most of the week, while on the other side of the ball—head coach Mike Tomlin has focused in on limiting big plays. It’s important to point out that no team allowed as many gains of 50 yards and higher than the one that calls the Steel City home.
The Steelers first-team offense will get their first extending action of the season, as Tomlin expects to play starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least a quarter, which can’t be ignored when making your pro football picks. All signs point to rookie inside linebacker Ryan Shazier to see his first minutes of action, while strong safety Troy Polamalu is also expected to participate for a series or two.
Sports bettors will likely back the Bills due to the Steelers failing to cover their second preseason game the last two seasons.
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