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NFL Betting Kicks Off Thursday With Steelers Favored Over Titans

9/10/09

Thursday Night, NFL fans will be treated to what "could" have been the AFC Title game a year ago. The Titans, who finished with a 13-3 record last year, whipped the Steelers towards the end of last season, 31-14, but came up short in the playoffs with a loss to the Ravens and never made it to the title game. Meanwhile, the Steelers did, and went on to win the AFC and the Super Bowl.

The betting line at sportsbook.com has the Steelers favored by 6 points with a total of 35. The game opened Steelers -4.5, so the early betting favors Pittsburgh, and hey, why not, they are the defending champs. The betting public will back the Steelers until given a reason not to.

Last years Titans win was a bit deceiving. It was a situation that set up perfectly for them. A home game, looking to build momentum for the playoffs and the chance to clinch home field advantage against a Steelers team that was playing it's 3rd road game in 4 weeks. The Steelers turned the ball over multiple times and the game simply got away from them in the 4th quarter where Tennessee outscored Pittsburgh 14-0.

What makes this game highly anticipated is the fact that both teams are still intact from a year ago. Both teams have a couple of players that were there a year ago that won't be there Thursday, but by and large, it's the same two teams from a year ago. In that game last December, the Titans were a 3 point home favorite. That suggests that these two teams were dead even on a neutral field. Flip it around for this game and give the Steelers 3 for home field and add a couple of inflation points due to the public backing and you can see how the line ends up at 6.

We can't pass up the extra value with the Titans here at +6. The Steelers will have all the juice that goes along with being at home with the Nation watching and their crowd pumped as they raise the Super Bowl Banner. They'll also have a bit of revenge as a motive for last years whipping in December. But the value here lies with the underdog Titans, particularly at anything higher than +6. No opinion on the total, though we'd expect a fairly low scoring game. However, the total is low as it is at 35, so we'll pass. Also note that the free half point on football wagers at skybook comes in real handy when the number is hovering around 6.

Remember folks, it's a long season. No need to bet on this one unless you really like one side or the other. It's the first of many NFL games to come this year. Either way, enjoy the game. It's great to have the NFL back for the next 6 months!

 

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