- The Pittsburgh Steelers are 1.5-point road favorites as they meet the Tennessee Titans on Sunday (October 25, 1 pm EST)
- Pittsburgh is an NFL-best 4-1 against the spread this season
- Read below for analysis on how the line will move leading up to kickoff
There’s only two remaining unbeaten teams in the AFC and they will clash Sunday (1 pm, EST) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Surprisingly, it’s the visitors who’ve been established as the team to beat in this game.
The 5-0 Pittsburgh Steelers open as the 1.5-point pick over the 5-0 Tennessee Titans. This season, Pittsburgh is 4-1 against the spread. That’s tied for the NFL lead.
Steelers vs Titans Opening Odds
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-126||-1.5 (-115)||O 52.5 (-110)|
|Tennessee Titans||+108||+1.5 (-105)||U 52.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Oct. 18th at FanDuel.
Tennessee hasn’t lost a game since falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in last season’s AFC Championship Game. Yet, this is the third time in their last five home games that the Titans are underdogs.
COVID Come Down?
Adrenaline can enable people to accomplish incredible feats. The Titans, who’d been put on pause by the NFL after encountering 24 positive COVID-19 tests, whipped the 4-0 Buffalo Bills 42-16 after practicing just once in 15 days.
On Sunday, only five days later, the Titans were forced to rally to outlast the 1-5 Houston Texans 42-36 in overtime. Did their down time finally catch up to them?
Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry are the 2nd pair of teammates to have 300 Pass yds, 4 Pass TD and 200 Rush yds, 2 Rush TD in a game in NFL history
The other? Super Bowl XXII with Doug Williams (340 Pass yds, 4 Pass TD) and Timmy Smith (204 Rush yds, 2 Rush TD)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 18, 2020
Tennessee amassed a club-record 601 yards in total offense. Ryan Tannehill passed for 364 yards and Derrick Henry ran for 212 yards. That’s first time in NFL history that a team has finished up with a 350-yard passer and a 200-yard rusher in the same regular-season game.
On the down side, Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal and had another blocked. The Titans turned the ball over twice. The defense surrendered 335 yards and four TD passes to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Irrestible Force Meets Immovable Object
No back in the NFL can pound the rock at an opponent like Henry. He leads the NFL with 588 rushing yards. His per-carry average is 4.78 yards.
Among NFL defenses, only Tampa Bay (2.7 yards per carry) stuffs the run better than the Steelers. Pittsburgh is holding opponents to 3.3 yards on the ground per carry.
Bro!! It’s bout 6 million Steelers playing defense right now. My goodness. This is the defense folks been waiting on!
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) October 18, 2020
Cleveland came into Sunday’s game showing an NFL-best 188 yards per game on the ground. Pittsburgh held the Browns to 75 yards rushing.
The Titans are 16-0 when Henry runs for at least 100 yards. This showdown could very well be the game-determining matchup.
Lewan Goes Down
A potentially huge loss for the Titans was Sunday’s departure of Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan. He went out in the third quarter with what’s being reported as a torn ACL.
Lewan’s replacement Ty Sambrailo was beaten for a JJ Watt sack and forced fumble a couple of plays after entering the game. He was also guilty of a false start.
Pittsburgh’s defense leads the NFL in quarterback sacks per game (five) and sack percentage (12.27).
Steelers’ LB Devin Bush tore his ACL today is out for the season, per @AdamSchefter
Bush: 58.7 grade ranks 15th among LBs this season pic.twitter.com/60U1B5yPLH
— PFF (@PFF) October 18, 2020
An inexperienced blocker on his blind side could cause serious mayhem for Tannehill to deal with on Sunday.
The Steelers also suffered a key injury on Sunday. Starting linebacker Devin Bush left their game with an ACL tear.
Line Will Lean To Steelers
If the plan is to bet the Steelers, now is the time. Bettors tend to favor defense over offense in these types of matchups. The Steelers are a big-play defense that makes things happen and disrupts an offense’s rhythm and confidence.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020
Cleveland was just 1-of-15 in third-down conversions during Sunday’s loss.
If you’re leaning toward a play on the Titans, hang on until later in the week. This line figures to grow in favor of Pittsburgh.
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