NFL nut Kyle Robbins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) shares his expert opinion on the best bets from Thursday night's action involving the Titans and Steelers.
Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers | Friday 17th November 2017, 01:25 | Sky Sports
Thursday night football has been lacking somewhat of a competitive edge over the last few weeks, and still continues to draw complaints from some of the more well respected players in the league. But hey, the show must go on, right?
Whilst the last few weeks may not have been as competitive as we’d have hoped, it hasn’t stopped plenty of points from being put on the board. Seemingly, a short week on the NFL calendar sometimes leaves teams struggling on their defensive assignments.
Defences to prosper
Thursday night’s match-up between Tennessee and Pittsburgh, on paper, looks set to be a low-scoring affair, given the fact that no Steelers game this season is yet to go over the 44 total point mark. So its rather ironic that the line for this game has been set at 44.5.
Both teams, I think its fair to say, struggle for consistency on offence, which is rather baffling when you look at the amount of talent they both have on the offensive side of the ball.
What’s even more of a surprise is the fact the Steelers rank a lowly 20th in points per-game, putting up just 20.8 points on average per-game. I think its fair to say, fans of the terrible towel, won’t be too happy about their teams’ offensive displays, and even more worried about the fact they rank behind the Baltimore Ravens in PPG, a team that often falls pretty flat on offense.
Combining both team’s offensive woes, to their performances on the defensive side of the ball, the line of 44.5 total points, priced at 10/11 with SkyBet, is certainly one I’ll be going under on.
Titans to utilise their run game
Now, when looking at specific points of attack for the offensive units, I think its fair to say Tennessee will be hoping a ground and pound approach proves effective.
The Titans rank a lowly 27th in passing yards per-game, at just 203 on average, but thrive in the run game, partly down to their duel threat quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Now whilst DeMarco Murray’s numbers have been up and down this season, he’s coming off the back of a three touchdown performance, in a game where the Titans put up over 170 rushing yards, with cornerback Adoree’ Jackson even getting in on the workload, with three carries for 30 yards.
Now, as I like to do, putting the statistical side of the game together, the Titans will struggle passing the ball against a Steelers defence who rank second against the pass, allowing just 181.8 yards on average.
If only it was that simple.
But when I also take into account that in three road trips this year, Marcus Mariota is yet to top 215 passing yards, and has only surpassed 230.5 yards on 3/8 occasions, I can’t see any better option than taking Mariota under 230.5 passing yards at 10/11 with SkyBet.
Another potential angle of attack is to look out for a Titans anytime touchdown scorer to come through their ground game. Whilst I like the look of Marcus Mariota at 5/1 with Bet365, I will take the 3/1 with Betfair on Derrick Henry, who thrived in a primetime game back in week six, and I’ll be hopeful of him getting a high usage night.