Two tough AFC teams go head-to-head on Thursday Night Football, with the Will Levis experience set to continue for the Titans, as they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. With quarterback news for both teams, and two teams teetering on the edge of playoff contention, this should be a huge game.
Below, we will dissect the matchup, previewing how we think things will play out, and give out our Best Bet. Make sure you are following BeforeYouBet, as we will have dedicated Match Previews for all Prime-Time NFL games this season, as well as a preview of the main slate on Monday’s. All for free!
NFL Week 9 Preview & Betting Tips
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Acrisure Stadium, Friday 3rd November, 11:15am (AEDT)
The Titans trotted out 2nd round quarterback Will Levis for his first career start last week against the Falcons and boy did he put on a show. Levis threw for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns, to lead the Titans to a 28-23 win over the Falcons. DeAndre Hopkins was explosive, catching 4 balls for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Titans struggled to put the game away, however for a team that hasn’t had an explosive playmaker at quarterback for a long time, Titans fans must have been ecstatic watching Levis light it up.
The Steelers are coming off a bludger of a game against the Jags. In horrible conditions, the Steelers struggled to get anything going on offense, gaining only 262 yards at 4.1 yards per play. They also lost Kenny Pickett to a rib injury just before half time, with Mitch Trubisky having to play in a terrible spot, down 9-3 and in rainy, cold conditions. He couldn’t get the job done, with the Steelers going down 20-10 at home to the Jaguars.
Shakel Brown / Taylor Stallworth (DT) – OUT
Hassan Haskins (RB) – OUT
Caleb Farley / Mike Brown / Roger McCreary (DB) – Questionable
Chris Hubbarb (OT) – Questionable
Derrick Henry (RB) – Questionable
Ryan Tannehill (QB) – Questionable
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – Questionable
Jeffery Simmons (DT) – Questionable
Minkah Fitzpatrick (SAF) – OUT
Cory Trice (CB) – OUT
Renell Wren (DT) – OUT
Pat Freiermuth (TE) – OUT
Kenny Pickett (QB) – Questionable
Levi Wallace (DB) – Questionable
The last time these two teams met was in week 15 of the 2021 season, back when Ben Roethlisberger was still standing like a statue in the pocket behind the iron curtain. The Steelers won a typical Steelers game with the late Big Ben, capitalizing on 4 Titans turnovers to win 19-13. With Ryan Tannehill starting, and no Derrick Henry, the only thing that is correlated with the 2021 game on Thursday night, is the two head coaches. With two conservative coaches, the total is a consideration here.
The Steelers were 4-point favourites on the lookahead, before the number re-opened at Steelers as 2.5-point favourites. This was obviously off the back of not only Kenny Pickett being injured, but also the tremendous debut performance by Will Levis. It seemed like an overreaction, and it was quickly bet back to Steelers -3. I make the Steelers a 3-point favourite, however given the uncertainty surrounding both teams’ quarterbacks, I think I’ll steer clear of the side for now. I’ll consider Steelers at -2.5, and I’ll consider the Titans at +3.5 if these numbers pop.
As for the total, the lookahead had this game totalled at 37, before re-opening at 36.5, and staying there at the time of writing. With two of the best defences in the NFL, and two of the worst defences, the under is something I’m looking at here. The overs might be finally starting to make a comeback in the NFL, with 8 overs and 8 unders last week, however prime time games have been heavy unders this season, going 19-8. The number is very low at 36.5, so this won’t be a huge bet, but I like the unders here.
I’ll also have a go at a player prop this week, where I like the under on Najee Harris rushing yards. Harris is averaging 44.5 yards per game this season on the ground, with his home/away splits being quite telling. At home, Harris averages 31 yards per game, whilst on the road he’s averaging 63 yards per game. The Titans have a very stout run defence, and I like them to hold Harris to under 45.5 rushing yards.
Best Prop Bet:
Najee Harris – Under 45.5 rushing yards - $1.90 @ Bet365 (1u)
Under 36.5 points
$2 (1.5 Units)