Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers Preview
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
When: Thursday, August 31, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
Line: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: NBC
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Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger made a brief appearance week, albeit in a 19-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but it was enough for Steelers’ fans to feel happy about the readiness of their oft-injured quarterback for the upcoming season. Big Ben passed for 73 yards on 6 of 9 passing against the Colts, though it’s still unsure whether he’ll play in significantly more snaps against the Panthers this Thursday or that if he’ll play at all.
In any case, expect to see Landry Jones shoulder the bulk of work under center this Thursday against Carolina. Jones went 21 of 31 for 163 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception. What’s more interesting to see for the preseason finale of the Steelers is the backup running battle between rookie James Conner and Pittsburgh newcomer Knile Davis.
Connor rushed for 26 yards on four carries against the Panthers, while Davis had 21 yards on seven attempts. Le’Veon Bell isn’t reporting to the Steelers’ camp yet so Conner and Davis will have to share much of the work in the backfield. The duo could lay make heavy damage on Carolina’s defense that gave up 136 rushing yards to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Betting on the Carolina Panthers
Carolina gets the chance to close its preseason campaign on a winning note at home after escaping with a 24-23 road win over the Jaguars.
Cam Newton made his first preseason appearance in that game, completing both of his only two passes of the night with one connecting to Kelvin Benjamin for a touchdown. Seeing the Panthers’ top passing game duo playing beautiful music together is a beautiful sight for Carolina, which also got tremendous help from the backfield in the Jaguars game. Cameron Artis-Payne bowled his way through the Jags’ defense for 37 rushing yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Benjamin aside, the Panthers could be letting Curtis Samuel play more snaps opposite Pittsburgh. The Ohio State product after the rookie caught four catches for 15 yards on six targets against Jacksonville. He earlier missed some games due to a hamstring issue, but is looking good to go for Week 1 of the regular season.
The Panthers’ defense could make a statement against Pittsburgh’s offensive line that gave up three sacks to the Colts last week. Carolina sacked the Jags’ Chad Henne three times for a loss of 18 total yards.
Carolina wins, 25-23.
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