Steelers vs. Titans Betting Guide: Back the Home Favorite?

Steelers vs. Titans Betting Guide: Back the Home Favorite? article feature image
Credit:

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Mariota, Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans Betting Odds

  • Spread: Titans -2.5
  • Over/Under: 40
  • Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

We can’t guarantee a Collinsworth slide, but there will be football on Sunday night. Plus it’s Week 3, so expect to see plenty of key starters play for more than a quarter.

Let’s start with a look at key storylines and actionable betting takeaways for the Steelers’ matchup against the Titans.

All odds as of late Saturday.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The end of the Antonio Brown era in Pittsburgh was only made possible by the consistent excellence of JuJu Smith-Schuster over the past two seasons.

I’m not hear to argue that JuJu is more talented than AB, but Smith-Schuster is certainly capable of functioning as an offense’s undisputed No. 1 pass-game option.

Have a feeling JuJu is going to be just fine with a few more outside snaps and jump ball chances this seasonpic.twitter.com/fNfvMXHhrr

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) August 22, 2019

We do have three games of evidence that Smith-Schuster is capable of producing at a high level without AB…

  • Week 16, 2017: 6 receptions-75 yards-1 TD (WR4)
  • Week 17, 2017: 9-143-1 (WR1)
  • Week 17, 2018: 5-37-1 (WR28)

Good things have generally happened whenever the Steelers have gotten the ball in JuJu’s hands.

It seems likely that Smith-Schuster will continue to be a pain for most defensive coordinator’s to deal with, and it’d be shocking if he doesn’t continue to receive more than enough opportunities to make plays.

  • Only Travis Kelce (12 targets), Michael Thomas (14) and DeAndre Hopkins (15) had more pass-game opportunities inside the 10-yard line than Smith-Schuster (11) last season.
  • Only six players averaged double-digit targets per game in 2018: Davante Adams (11.3), AB (11.2), Julio Jones (10.6), Smith-Schuster (10.4), Odell Beckham Jr. (10.3) and Hopkins (10.2)
  • Brown (168 targets) and Smith-Schuster (166) were already two of only five receivers with more than 160 targets last season.

Tennessee Titans

Don’t tell Marcus Mariota that the preseason doesn’t matter.

And people think that NFL players don't care about the preseason pic.twitter.com/3SM1lc4VIh

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) August 19, 2019

The Titans enter Year 5 of the Mariota era with a 27-28 record in his 55 regular-season starts to go with a single playoff victory.

He hasn’t exactly separated himself from the pack or performed like a No. 2 overall pick to this point.

Mariota’s Rank Among 41 QBs with at Least 16 Starts Since 2015

  • Completion rate: 63.2% (No. 24)
  • Touchdown rate: 4.3% (No. 24)
  • Interception rate: 2.6% (No. 30)
  • Quarterback rating: 89.4 (No. 23)
  • Adjusted yards per attempt: 7.2 (No. 20)
  • Yards per game: 214 (No. 32)

Ryan Tannehill is pushing to redeem his own career, and reports have suggested Mariota could be on a short leash to start the season.

Add it all together and we have a team with one starting-caliber quarterback with nothing to prove facing a team with two (mostly) starting-caliber quarterbacks with everything to prove. Gimme the Titans.

PICK: Titans -2.5

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