Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers Pick 8/29/18
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0 SU, 2-0-1 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS), 8/29/19
Time: 7 pm ET Thursday, Aug. 29
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
TV: NFL Network
Point spread: Steelers -3.5 (Bookmaker)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -190/Carolina +165
The Pittsburgh Steelers shoot to complete a perfect preseason when they take on the Carolina Panthers for a Week 4 NFL exhibition bout Thursday night in Charlotte. These teams have met each of the last 16 preseasons, with the Steelers winning nine of those games. Pittsburgh also crunched Carolina during the regular season last year. But of course, most starters will be rested Thursday night. How are we playing this game with our free NFL pick?
NFL Betting Odds
Week 4’s NFL exhibition betting odds opened Pittsburgh at -3 over Carolina, with an over/under of 33. Early betting action then added a hook to that spread.
Steelers vs. Panthers Set-Up
Pittsburgh opened its exhibition season with a 30-28 victory over Tampa Bay, then beat Kansas City 17-7, then won at Tennessee last Sunday 18-6. The Steelers popped out to a 15-0 first-quarter lead on the Titans and hung on from there for an ugly victory.
Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played his first three series of this preseason Sunday, producing six points. In his place back-ups, Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph combined to go 10/18 passing for 154 yards and one touchdown, with two interceptions.
Roethlisberger is not expected to play Thursday night, so Dobbs, Rudolph and maybe even Devlin Hodges will man the position.
Carolina, meanwhile, opened its exhibition slate with a 23-13 win at Chicago, then lost at Buffalo 27-14, then fell at New England last Thursday 10-3. The Panthers managed just 99 yards and seven first downs on offense against the Patriots.
Starting QB Cam Newton made his preseason debut last week, played three series, then left the game after suffering a foot injury. In relief back-ups, Kyle Allen and Will Grier combined to go 7/14 for 60 yards, as Carolina went nowhere.
Newton will be under wraps Thursday night so Allen and Grier will continue their battle for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
These teams just met back in Week 10 of last season; a 52-21 Steelers romp at Heinz Field. These teams have also met each of the previous 16 exhibition seasons; Pittsburgh is 9-7 SU over that span, while the teams have split ATS at 8-8.
NFL Betting Trends
Pittsburgh is 31-22 SU, 25-26-2 ATS over 12-plus exhibition seasons under Coach Tomlin.
Carolina is 19-16 both SU and ATS in eight-plus exhibition seasons under Coach Rivera.
These teams have split eight exhibition meetings under these coaches SU, with the Panthers going 5-3 ATS.
Favorites on the NFL betting lines are 26-20 SU, 23-21 ATS so far this exhibition season.
- Unders are 2-1 in Steelers games this preseason, which are averaging 35 total points.
- Overs are 2-1 in Panthers games this preseason, even though they’re averaging just 27 points.
- Unders are 28-20 so far this NFL exhibition season.
- Overs, to our mild surprise, played 10-6 during Week 4 of the exhibition season last year.
Free NFL Pick
These Week 4 exhibition games should be approached carefully by bettors because neither team wants to be here. They just want to get out of camp as healthy as possible. And to be honest, we don’t know who’s going to win this game or cover this spread. But with neither starting QB playing and with two decent defenses we do expect scoring to be rare. So despite what happened in Week 4 of the preseason last year, we’re playing the under on this game for our free NFL pick.