Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: NBC, NFL Network
Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opening Line: Pittsburgh -7 (+110)
Current Line: Pittsburgh -7
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 44
Opening Money Line: Steelers -310 / Titans +255
Current Money Line: Steelers -300 / Titans +250
Two division leaders in the AFC meet Thursday night as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans. Pittsburgh is 7-2 and leads the AFC North by three games over the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers are also tied for the best record in the AFC with the New England Patriots. Tennessee is 6-3 and tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for first in the AFC South. Both the Steelers and Titans have won four straight games.
Pittsburgh leads the series 45-32 against Tennessee. The Titans have won four of the last six meetings against the Steelers but Pittsburgh won the last meeting 27-24 in Nashville in 2014. This series dates back to 1970.
Tennessee is coached by Mike Mularkey. Tennessee has a home loss to the Oakland Raiders 26-16, plus road losses to the Houston Texans 57-14 and Miami Dolphins 16-10. The Titans have home wins over the Seattle Seahawks 33-27, Indianapolis Colts 36-22, Baltimore Ravens 23-20 and Cincinnati Bengals 24-20 last week, plus road wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-16 and Cleveland Browns 12-9 in overtime. The Titans were 4.5 point favorites against the Bengals and the total was 40.5. Tennessee is 3-5-1 ATS and the total is 6-3 this season.
Pittsburgh is coached by Mike Tomlin. The Steelers have a road loss at the Chicago Bears 23-17 in overtime, and a home loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9. Pittsburgh has road wins over the Cleveland Browns 21-18, Baltimore Ravens 26-9, Kansas City Chiefs 19-13, Detroit Lions 20-15 and Indianapolis Colts 20-17 last week, plus home wins over the Minnesota Vikings 26-9 and Cincinnati Bengals 29-14. Pittsburgh was a 10.5 point favorite against Indianapolis and the total was 47. The Steelers are 5-4 ATS and the total is 1-8 this season.
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Tennessee is being outscored 24-23 this season. The Titans are #22 in points allowed. Tennessee averages 329 yards per game on offense including 204 passing and 125 rushing yards. The Titans are #8 in rushing and #28 in passing offense. On defense, the Titans are allowing 328 total yards per game including 236 passing and 92 rushing yards. Tennessee is #6 in rush defense. Tennessee is 43/120 on third and fourth conversions and opponents are 46/126. Tennessee has forced 14 sacks and allowed 20 this season. The Titans are +1 in turnovers and have allowed three defensive touchdowns.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 62.1% of his passes for 1,783 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, plus 32 carries for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has been sacked 12 times. He is probable with an ankle injury. Matt Cassel is the back-up and has thrown for 162 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. He has been sacked 8 times.
Running back DeMarco Murray has 109 carries for 433 yards with 4 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 255 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Henry has 94 carries for 409 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 6 catches for 45 yards. Jalston Fowler has a rushing touchdown.
Receiver Rishard Matthews has 36 catches for 513 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Delanie Walker has 43 catches for 458 yards, and also has a rushing touchdown. He is probable with an arm injury. Eric Decker has 28 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown. Taywan Taylor has 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown, plus 30 rushing yards. Corey Davis has 13 catches for 149 yards. Jonnu Smith has 13 catches for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. Three defensive players are listed on the injury report.
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Pittsburgh is outscoring teams 21-16 this season. Pittsburgh is #2 in points allowed. The Steelers average 358 yards per game on offense including 252 passing and 107 rushing yards. The Steelers are #10 in total and passing offense. Pittsburgh allows 284 total yards per game including 182 passing yards and 103 rushing yards. The Steelers are #2 three in total and pass defense. Pittsburgh is 45/119 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 40/126. The Steelers have forced 29 sacks and allowed 11 this season. Pittsburgh is -1 in turnovers. The Steelers have a defensive touchdown and have allowed two this season.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has completed 61.1% of his passes for 2,298 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has been sacked 11 times.
Running back Le’Veon Bell has 220 carries for 840 yards with 5 touchdowns, along with 40 catches for 251 yards. James Conner has 19 carries for 101 yards.
Receiver Antonio Brown has 60 catches for 882 yards and 3 touchdowns. JuJu Smith-Schuster has 29 catches for 521 yards and 5 touchdowns. Martavis Bryant has 21 catches for 276 yards and a touchdown, plus 4 carries for 13 rushing yards. He is probable with an illness. Tight end Jesse James has 20 catches for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Vance Mcdonald has 5 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Five defensive players are listed on the injury report.
Tennessee is 17-35-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 16-35-4 on grass, 17-41-4 overall, 8-20-3 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 14-36-2 after a straight up win, 7-20 in road games, 3-9 against teams with winning home records, 1-3-1 after gaining more than 350 yards, 11-37-4 against AFC teams, 2-7 after rushing for 150 yards or more, 0-4-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, and 0-3-1 in November. The underdog is 6-1 ATS in this series recently. The Titans are 5-2 ATS against the Steelers recently.
Pittsburgh is 4-0-1 ATS after failing to cover, 5-1 against teams with winning records, 3-1-1 in Thursday games, at home and in week 11, 5-2 after rushing for less than 90 yards, and 3-9 in November. The over is 8-3 in Pittsburgh in this series recently.
Both these teams have won four straight games, but the wins have been close low scoring games for the most part. I think this will be another low scoring game, and I think the Titans stay within the 7 point spread.