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Week 1 NFL Spreads: Titans vs. Steelers

NFL Opening Night – Week 1 – Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Time: 8:35 ET
Venue: Heinz Field
Titans vs. Steelers Odds
MoneyLine: Titans +240 / Steelers -180
Spread: Steelers -6
Over/Under: 35

Bill Belichick is widely viewed as the best coach in pro football, but how about some props for the guy who has been with his team longer (since 1994) than anyone in the Not For Long league?

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Fisher has survived the craziness of Pacman Jones, Albert Haynesworth and Vince Young, and when he brings his Titans to Pittsburgh for the season opener on Thursday, he’ll be doing it knowing that no one in the NFL put up better W-L numbers in the NFL last season than his team did.

Patching together a run-oriented offense, Fisher turned over the keys to journeyman Kerry Collins, who in the past has had his own issues (alcoholism) and is now collecting checks from his fifth NFL team. Fisher’s instructions to Collins were simple:

  1. Take the snap from center, turn and hand the ball off.
  2. Don’t turn over the ball.

Somehow it worked. The Titans dominated on defense, providing decent field position. Rookie Chris Johnson became a horse at running back, Collins found the end zone just enough and the Colts, who had dominated the AFC South since Peyton Manning arrived on the scene, started slow. Tennessee took control early and coasted to a 13-3 record.

But that was then and this is now, and the Titans will have their hands full Thursday night against the NFL’s best team. The line opened at Steelers -5 and was quickly bet up to 5.5, where it now stands in most Vegas books. The offshores are offering 6, and 5Dimes even pumped it to 7. The O/U fluctuates between 34.5 and 35.

Fisher wouldn’t know what to do if he wasn’t putting out one locker room brushfire or another, and this week’s has to do with, of all things, towels. Pittsburgh terrible towels, in particular, the kind that fans wave. LenDale White, who ate himself out of a starting job last season, decided to stomp on one of the towels last season when the Titans hung a 31-14 loss on the Steelers in Nashville.

White, in better shape this season, says he’ll have no trouble doing the same thing again on Thursday, in Pittsburgh. Sort of.

“I do whatever I want to do at your house or my house,” White said earlier this week. “Because I can buy the house I’m usually at. See what I’m saying?”

Uh, no. But that’s OK. We get the message.

Pittsburgh is most concerned with rings than towels, and the Steelers figure to be ready for this one.

Pittsburgh nailed opposing quarterbacks 51 times last season, but getting to Collins only once in Tennessee allowed him to throw for 215 yards and a TD. Pittsburgh will bring more heat Thursday night. The Steelers have won six straight season openers, and they have pretty much the same defense that dominated in 2008.

One concern in Western Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger hits the ground way too much, and Fisher must be working on some pressure defensive packages, even without Haynesworth to collapse pockets this season.

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel writer from Massachusetts.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


Comments

Comments

  1. While I fully realize they are still Super Bowl champs, I hardly think they are the best team in football. That being said, I do see them beating the Titans on Thursday as Tennessee is primed to take a big step backwards this season.

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