Carolina Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Following San Francisco's romp over Oakland last week home teams are 7-2 straight up and 6-2-1 against the spread on Thursday nights this NFL season. Might that NFL betting trend bode well for the Steelers heading into Thursday night's inter-conference battle with the Panthers at Heinz Field?

NFL point spread: The Steelers opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total was 50 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.2-20.1 Steelers (NFL picks on every game)

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Why the Panthers can cover the spread

Carolina is 3-0 both SU and ATS the last three weeks, after taking care of Tampa Bay last week 42-28 and covering as a six-point favorite. The Panthers punted on their first possession of the game, then scored touchdowns on their next five and led 35-7 in the second quarter. They allowed the Buccaneers to get within 35-28 in the fourth but re-applied the gas and drove 75 yards to a game-clinching score.

On the day, Carolina out-gained Tampa 407-301, out-rushed the Bucs 179-82 and won the turnover battle 2-0, resulting in a plus-7 points differential.

The Panthers have now out-gained each of their last four opponents and out-rushed their last three foes. At 6-2 overall Carolina trails division-leading New Orleans by one game in the NFC South, but also owns the No. 5 spot in the NFC playoff standings.


Why the Steelers can cover the spread

Pittsburgh is 4-0 both SU and ATS its last four times out, after beating the Ravens in Baltimore last week 23-16. The Steelers, who lost at home to the Ravens earlier this season, spotted Baltimore the first three points of the game but led 14-6 at the half. They then scored the first touchdown out of the locker room and held on from there for the outright victory as two-point dogs.

On the afternoon, Pittsburgh out-gained the Ravens 395-265, out-rushed Baltimore 113-61 and held a 36/24 advantage in time of possession.

The Steelers, with James Conner now the guy on offense instead of Le'Veon Bell, have out-gained and out-rushed each of their last four opponents. At 5-2-1 overall, Pittsburgh leads the AFC North by basically a half-game over second-placed Cincinnati.


Smart betting pick

These teams are close at the moment, both playing good ball as of late. This game could well come down to one play or a field goal at the end, and either team could win. That's why the smart money takes whatever points are available for this contest.


NFL betting trends

The total has gone over in four of the Panthers' last five games vs the Steelers.

The Steelers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games at home vs teams with winning records.

The Panthers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as road underdogs.


All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.