TEN-PIT Free Pick
The 2009 NFL season starts off with a bang when the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night at 7:30PM ET.
The Steelers and Titans will meet at Heinz Field on Thursday night to kick off the 2009 regular season in what should be a tight contest.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers 6-point favorites over the Titans, while also setting the over/under total at 35.
Both teams had winning preseasons, as Pittsburgh finished 3-1 and Tennessee finished 3-2. (The Titans played an extra week because they played in the Hall of Fame Game to kick off the preseason.)
After losing to the Ravens in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last season despite owning the league’s best record, the Titans tried to add more weapons to their offensive arsenal this offseason. They signed former Steeler receiver Nate Washington and drafted wideout Kenny Britt in the first round. But Washington has battled a hamstring injury the past couple weeks and is questionable to play and Britt might not make an impact in his first year.
Expect the Steelers’ defense to control this game throughout. The Titans will try to get the ball into dynamic running back Johnson’s hands, but LeBeau will key on that and force Kerry Collins to throw. When that happens, expect the immobile Collins to hit the turf a couple of times as the Steelers ramp up the blitzes.
Pittsburgh isn’t going to allow Tennessee to walk into Heinz Field and steal a win – especially not on opening night of the season. While the Steelers’ running game was a problem last year, a healthy Rashad Mendenhall should cure that and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has more than enough weapons to throw to in the passing game, including Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes.
We also advise talking the over in this game. While the consensus is to take the under given that both of these teams have excellent defenses and (at times) lackluster offenses, don’t forget that turnovers will set up scoring opportunities in this game and what could be a slow first half turns out to be an exciting finish.
Our NFL Week 1 Free Pick for this matchup is: PITTSBURGH STEELERS – 6 and the OVER 35.
Tennessee Titans +6 Over 35
Pittsburgh Steelers –6 Under 35
Tennessee is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Tennessee is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games
Pittsburgh is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
Jared Cook, TE (Questionable/ankle)
Nate Washington, WR (Questionable/hamstring)
Ryan Mouton, CB (Questionable/ankle)
Craig Hentrich, P (Proable/back)
Lawrence Timmons, LB (Doubtful/ankle)
Dennis Dixon, QB (Probable/shoulder)
Posted: 9/10/09 12:00PM ET