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In what should be a very physical matchup, the 2-0 Steelers hit the road Sunday to take on the 1-1 Philadelphia Eagles. After trouncing the Houston Texans in Week 1, Pittsburgh edged out the Browns last Sunday on a gusty night in Cleveland. The Eagles won their opener in convincing fashion, crushing the Rams 38-3, but lost to the Cowboys last Monday in a wild game at Texas Stadium.
The major question facing the Steelers this week is the health of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Head coach Mike Tomlin said early this week that Big Ben’s shoulder is not separated, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have any issues on Sunday against a tough Eagles’ defense that loves to blitz. Running back Willie Parker needs to get in the mix early and often to keep Roethlisberger protected.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBG Global have made the Eagles a 3-point favorite and the over/under total has been set at 44.5. Current public betting information shows that 70% of bettors favor Philadelphia to cover the 3-point spread.
Even though the Steelers are on the road this week, they don’t have to travel very far. And with the Eagles coming off a short week, Pittsburgh might be in prime position to pull off the small upset. As long as Roethlisberger’s shoulder isn’t a major issue, the Steelers should be able to control this game on the ground and keep their defense rested. Containing Brian Westbrook will be the major focus for the Steelers’ defense, although quarterback Donovan McNabb will pick them apart if Pittsburgh gives him time to throw. We predict the Eagles over the Steelers 20-18.
Steelers at Eagles Point Spread and Over/Under Total
[CB] Deshea Townsend is upgraded to probable - Heel - 09/15/08
[QB] Charlie Batch IR - Collarbone - 08/30/08
(!) [QB] Ben Roethlisberger is probable. - Shoulder - 09/16/08
[DE] Brett Keisel expected to miss up to two months - Calf - 09/15/08
[P] Daniel Sepulveda IR - Knee - 07/30/08
[FB] Tony Hunt injured last game, "?" - Hamstring - 09/16/08
[DE] Victor Abiamiri missed last game, doubtful - Wrist - 09/13/08
[WR] Kevin Curtis expected to miss 6-8 weeks - Hernia - 08/20/08
[WR] Reggie Brown is upgraded to probable - Hamstring - 09/17/08
[OG] Shawn Andrews injured last game, "?" - Back - 09/16/08
[CB] Jack Ikegwuonu IR - Knee - 08/27/08
PHILADELPHIA is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) off a division game over the last 2 seasons.
PHILADELPHIA is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) in home games after playing on Monday night football since 1992.
PHILADELPHIA is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) off a loss against a division rival over the last 3 seasons.
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